Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I always thought it was just a newspaper for The Man

For some reason the Wall Street Journal is on a nutrition kick lately. Over the last week or so I've been noticing an increasing number of articles where the central theme appears to be “Hey fatass! Stop eating so much crap!” There was an article on the importance of hi-fiber foods a few days ago, and today I'm hit with both the need to eat more fruits and vegetables as well as the dangers of high sodium intake. I'm also remembering an article on portion control recently, but honestly I can't recall whether I read that in the Journal or somewhere else.

Since when did the Wall Street Journal start becoming such an expert on medical news anyway? Has it always been a medical publication and I just didn't know? I mean, it is the only “journal” publication that doesn't reference medicine in its name (e.g. New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association). And it was a broadsheet, too. Very clever, those Wall Street publishers. “First we'll convince everyone we're a business newspaper! It'll only take about 75 years or so. Then, we surprise them by gradually changing all our articles to medical stories and within a couple years – all our readers will be doctors!”. I still don't get why this would be a good thing. But I'm not part of their coterie of editors.

Anyway, fine, fine, fine. I've been trying to eat at least two servings* of fruits and veggies every day. And I think I've now irritated the cafeteria staff so much with my incessant requests for “half portions” of whatever they are serving that they give me dirty looks when I approach the counter. They think I'm just being cheap, but I think the portions they dish up with shovels are slightly more than what is shown on their FDA nutrition info they post. And I really don't need 8500 calories just for lunch thank you.

But as I sat here today munching on my low-fat** jambalaya, mixed vegetables, and orange, I read through these articles and was suddenly struck by the realization that lions don't need to worry about eating enough blueberries to up their levels of anthocyanins in order to maximize the effectiveness of their vitamin C intake. Why is that? Why can animals live their entire lives eating a single food*** with apparently no harm or side affect? Heck, We seem to get along perfectly well for a good portion of our youth living on nothing but breast milk. Frankly, this whole thing smacks of the powerful influence of the secretive fruit-and-vegetable lobby. Darn them and their meddling “fiber is good for your colon!” agenda convincing me to go for the orange instead of cookies for dessert today.

Sigh...someday maybe someone will invent the whole grain Twinkie...

* Don't ask me – I have no idea what a “serving” is either. It would be better to say I try to eat two types instead
** Allegedly. Of course the sodium level probably would have the WSJ's nutrition editors in a tizzy
*** Lions = meat; pandas = bamboo; koalas = eucalyptus leaves; toucans = Froot Loops; Wile E. Coyotes = a steady diet of failure and bodily injury.

2 comments:

Theo said...

I'm sure that being upright-walking social savanna apes displaced from the "correct" lattitude has something to do with our messy diets.

Heck, the whole idea of hunters and gatherers smacks of exactly what you're talking about with the WSJ. Once upon a time people made sure they ate 5 red berries, 3 blue berries, a few green leaves, and a couple of bites of red meat. Eventually someone figured out what "red", "blue", and "green" meant... and ever since we've been too confused to eat for ourselves, so we need things like the WSJ. :)

towwas said...

The WSJ has out*stand*ing healthcare coverage - but you're right, personal health is kind of a new thing for them. Goes with their whole kinder, gentler "Personal Journal" thing. And their "look, we can publish on the weekends, too" thing. But they've always kicked ass on things like insurance (and the uninsured) and the U.S. health care system (or lack thereof).