America Runs on Dietary Dogma

It’s junk food for thought — and we’re hoping to change it
Dr. David L. Katz and Mark Bittman
Medium
At any given moment in America, some suite of generally silly and inevitably fleeting dietary fixations prevails. These fixations underlie much of what ails us, from our waistlines to food waste, from dwindling reserves of the rainforest to pandemic diabetes.
Arial view of 3 cracked raw eggs spilled on a white background

We think it’s a useful tool to understand, commit to and maintain a truly healthy diet, and one that will serve as a useful counter to all the bull out there.

“How to Eat” by Mark Bittman and David L. Katz, M.D., is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and is available here on March 3.

At any given moment in America, some suite of generally silly and inevitably fleeting dietary fixations prevails. These fixations underlie much of what ails us, from our waistlines to food waste, from dwindling reserves of the rainforest to pandemic diabetes.

There are no such dietary fixations where diet contributes most emphatically and reliably to years in life (i.e., longevity) and life in years (i.e., a blend, at minimum, of vitality and enjoyment). Where diet delivers the most to health, meals may well be exciting, but diet news certainly is not, because there is none: News cycles come and go, while dietary practices — rooted in heritage, sustainable, sensible, and passed down the generations through culture — remain. Everyone is hungry for the next good “diet,” yet that’s where diet is doing eaters the least good.

Among the many factors propagating a state so benighted and costly (poor diet is the leading cause of premature death in the United States today) is the very kind of zeal Bertrand Russell famously ascribed to fools and fanatics. Much of what we hear about nutrition comes at us not in the guise of an incremental addition to all that we knew until yesterday, but as a replacement for it, in the fell swoop of one adamant epiphany.

America runs on dietary dogma, in other words, and dogma is junk food for thought.

Read the full article at Medium.

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