Odds & Ends: Bacon and Eggs, Sugar and Sodas, Interview, Cognitive Dissonance

More evidence that what “everyone knows” is changing

Yesterday I linked to articles in the popular press that dispute the “fat kills!” everybody knows advice.  Today a reader sent a link to an article titled 15 Ten-Second Health Tips on Yahoo Health.  Here’s the relevant quote:

Eat Bacon and Eggs for Breakfast
Regularly skipping breakfast increases your risk of obesity by 450 percent. Moreover, researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University found that people who regularly ate a protein-rich, 600-calorie breakfast lost significantly more weight in 8 months than those who consumed only 300 calories and a quarter of the protein.

And no, eggs and bacon aren’t unhealthy. (Overeating eggs and bacon—or anything else—is what’s unhealthy.) In fact, whole eggs contain more essential vitamins and minerals per calorie than any other food. They’re also one of the best sources of choline, a substance your body requires to break down fat for energy. What’s more, in a recent review of dozens of scientific studies, Wake Forest University researchers found no connection between egg consumption and heart disease. As for bacon, once it’s been cooked it contains just 1 gram of saturated fat per slice—and one-third of that is the kind that has no effect on cholesterol levels.

Frankly, I don’t care if bacon has one gram of saturated fat or 20, because saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease.  That little complaint aside, it’s encouraging to see eggs and bacon publicly exonerated in the press — a mere 27 years after TIME magazine fingered them as killers.

Sugar in a can

Here’s a question I get in emails all the time:  If carbs make us fat, why aren’t the Japanese fat, since they eat rice? Yes, they eat rice.  Americans eat rice, pasta, bread, cereals, donuts, french fries, ice cream, pizza crusts, cookies, potato chips, corn chips, and Little Debbie Snack Cakes.  Then, on top of all that, you can toss in the sodas.  Here’s a graphic showing the rise in soda production in the U.S.

Now here’s another graphic comparing annual per-capita soda consumption in several countries:

Notice Japan down there at the bottom of the list — with about 1/10th the per-capita consumption of the U.S.   I’d say that could make a difference.

A reader happened to send me this email last week:

Hi, Tom – I thought you would appreciate this.  Today my husband accidentally grabbed a regular instead of a diet soda at the store.  He’s a lab researcher studying aging in fruit flies and just happened to have sucrose around since it’s used in the fly food.  He posted the attached picture to Facebook, with the comment:  Accidentally grabbed regular instead of diet coke at the convenience store. Ouch 260 calories. Decided to weigh out 70g of sugar, and here’s what it looks like.

There’s your sugar from a 20-ounce soda.  According to my math, the average American consumes somewhere between 270 to 300 times this much sugar from sodas each year.  Since I don’t drink any, that means someone else is consuming 600 times this much sugar from soda per year.  (If anyone knows that guy, tell him to STOP RIGHT NOW!)

Another interview

I recently appeared on Jim Harold’s Conspiracy Corner podcast.  I warned him beforehand that I’m not a conspiracy theorist.  I don’t believe our government has the competence to pull off grand conspiracies.

My views on how the government screwed up our diets may be interpreted by some as a conspiracy, but I chalk it up to two factors: 1) as the great economist Milton Friedman said, people have an inexhaustible capacity to believe that whatever is good for them is also good for society as a whole, and 2) as detailed in the wonderful book Mistakes Were Made (but not by me), people also have an inexhaustible capacity to deny their own mistakes.  The USDA recommended a diet that happened to benefit the grain industry whose products they’re supposed to promote anyway, and they’re probably incapable of admitting they goofed.

Anyway, Jim still wanted me to appear on the podcast.  His site is normally subscription-only, but you can listen to the podcast here.

The Older Brother on Cognitive Dissonance

The Older Brother’s latest post is about the disconnect between what the experts recommend and what the evidence shows:

Today’s SJ-R Health section focused on the very real food-health connection and an anti-inflammatory diet, but only the last sentence mentioned that “foods labeled ‘low-fat’ often remove fat and replace it with pro-inflammatory carbohydrates.”

Like the low-fat menus being force-fed to school kids now, which remove the fat their brains and bodies need to be healthy; then fill them up with grains and other carbohydrates; then wonder where all of the childhood obesity, diabetes, ADD and autism is coming from.  That ought to make someone’s brain hurt.

I probably shouldn’t mention this since he didn’t, but yesterday was his birthday … so if you visit the blog, wish him a happy belated.

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95 thoughts on “Odds & Ends: Bacon and Eggs, Sugar and Sodas, Interview, Cognitive Dissonance

  1. Walter

    I had two points, but you’ve already covered one: people with a broken metabolism don’t respond to cards the same way as someone whose never eaten SAD.

    I thought during the interview that the point you made about CSPI taking credit for removing trans fats from the restaurants and not admitting they put them there to begin with, is an extremely important point.

    Almost as important as McGovern’s “I don’t have the luxury.”

    A classic case of “Mistakes Were Made … but not by me.”

    Reply
  2. Jason

    Yay, my sugar picture made it onto your blog. Part of my research is looking at metabolic effects of different dietary components in fruit flies. Keep up the good work Tom, loved your movie.

    Thank you for the picture, and thanks to your wife for sending it along.

    Reply
  3. Hannah

    Hi Tom,

    I really enjoyed this article. It is heartening to see people realizing that eating good fats and protein isn’t what’s making them fat. That 450% increase of obesity risk ought to be enough to shake anybody.

    Also you might want to mention that on top of eating all sorts of grains we also eat brown and white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, sucrose and lots of other sweeteners that are unhealthy for us and make us fat. Stick to raw honey and fruit (dried or fresh) and you have a lot less trouble with weight.

    Thanks,
    Hannah

    Reply
  4. The Older Brother

    @Mat

    Somebody actually just asked about the Tom & Jerry angle in the comments on my “The Older Brother Gets Grass-Fed” post. Here’s my reply:

    They swear that’s not what they were thinking. Circumstantial evidence supports their claim, as I was born and named first, so technically it’s Jerry and Tom. Tom, of course, may disagree.

    There’s also a classic cocktail from the 1800′s called a Tom and Jerry, a kind of rum and eggnog concoction which was originally called a “Jerry Thomas,” created by an eccentric bartender of the same name. They claim this wasn’t the inspiration either (at least consciously), but it looks suspicious. We report, you decide.

    Cheers!

    – Older Brother

    Reply
  5. apdubya

    To add to the post regarding Japanese eating habits, serving sizes for things such as sweets & sodas are generally MUCH smaller in Japan than the US. Go to McDonald’s in Japan (not that you really should; get the sashimi, man!) & you’ll see that the large soda is more like our children’s or small size.
    Japanese friends also complain that US food is too sweet; they prefer their own sweets (made with far less sugar and with traditional methods, too). As they say, the proof is in the pudding…

    We’ve corrupted our sense of what “sweet” is. Like a lot of low-carbers, I now find that carrots and some nuts actually taste sweet.

    Reply
  6. Joanne

    “On the cruise, I saw some really big people walking around with those “all you can drink” soda cups, filling them constantly. You almost have to look away to stay sane.”

    Wow, I thought I was the only one who felt that way…and they carry them ALL THE TIME!!! Sorry to say, to me it screams “I’m a soda addict and don’t really care what this sugary slop is doing to my body” Never liked the stuff, never drank the stuff…give me a glass of water every time.

    I fully understand it’s difficult to lose weight without the proper diet, but when you chug big sodas all day, you’ve got to have a clue what it’s doing to you.

    Reply
  7. Peggy Cihocki

    Speaking of Soda consumption and it’s effect on health, I just finished watching Dr. Lustig’s lecture on fructose at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM. I already knew from your movie and other sources that fructose is really bad news unless it’s packaged in the fruit. But it was interesting to see why.

    That’s a great lecture.

    Reply
  8. Robert

    Thought this might interest some people and didn’t know where the proper place to post it is. It’s the Big Mac guy from that other movie we all love so much.

    http://news.yahoo.com/video/milwakee-wisn-18667753/wisconsin-man-hits-big-mac-milestone-25267119

    Take a listen to those cholesterol levels! They’re just terrible! /sarcasm

    Strangely, Spurlock featured that guy in Super Size Me, which kind of undermines his whole premise that eating at McDonald’s will kill you.

    Reply
  9. Jason

    Yay, my sugar picture made it onto your blog. Part of my research is looking at metabolic effects of different dietary components in fruit flies. Keep up the good work Tom, loved your movie.

    Thank you for the picture, and thanks to your wife for sending it along.

    Reply
  10. Luke

    I saw the Big Mac Guy on TV today, and they called him a freak of nature (facepalm). They mentioned that he lived a sedentary lifestyle, and that he was eating a diet that will kill him. Why do we have to put up with this stuff?
    On another note, do you think that he eats Big Macs with buns all the time, or do you think that he might be limiting his carb intake?

    If I remember correctly, he eats three a day, which would be about 135 carbohydrates.

    Reply
  11. gallier2

    That’s also a complaint when friends come back from the US. Everything is sweet, soft and tastes artificial (whatever that means). I’ve never been to the US and can not confirm or infirm but I do believe them. This said, I tried once american marhsmallows (yeah, I know it’s not paleo) and they were less sweet than their european equivalent (Haribo), but candy is probably not the right “food group” to compare.

    Sugar or HFCS are in a stunning number of the processed foods here.

    Reply
  12. apdubya

    To add to the post regarding Japanese eating habits, serving sizes for things such as sweets & sodas are generally MUCH smaller in Japan than the US. Go to McDonald’s in Japan (not that you really should; get the sashimi, man!) & you’ll see that the large soda is more like our children’s or small size.
    Japanese friends also complain that US food is too sweet; they prefer their own sweets (made with far less sugar and with traditional methods, too). As they say, the proof is in the pudding…

    We’ve corrupted our sense of what “sweet” is. Like a lot of low-carbers, I now find that carrots and some nuts actually taste sweet.

    Reply
  13. Luke

    I saw the Big Mac Guy on TV today, and they called him a freak of nature (facepalm). They mentioned that he lived a sedentary lifestyle, and that he was eating a diet that will kill him. Why do we have to put up with this stuff?
    On another note, do you think that he eats Big Macs with buns all the time, or do you think that he might be limiting his carb intake?

    If I remember correctly, he eats three a day, which would be about 135 carbohydrates.

    Reply
  14. gallier2

    That’s also a complaint when friends come back from the US. Everything is sweet, soft and tastes artificial (whatever that means). I’ve never been to the US and can not confirm or infirm but I do believe them. This said, I tried once american marhsmallows (yeah, I know it’s not paleo) and they were less sweet than their european equivalent (Haribo), but candy is probably not the right “food group” to compare.

    Sugar or HFCS are in a stunning number of the processed foods here.

    Reply
  15. HW

    I saw the Big Mac guy on TV last night too. The reporters kept repeating how he was a freak of nature, and an exception to the rule. They said the rest of us could never eat like that without getting fat or raising our cholesterol to dangerous levels, but imply he has some kind of genetic ability to eat lots of calories and fat, lol. The whole segment made me roll my eyes… and yeah, I’ve read that he doesn’t usually order fries with those burgers. Go figure.

    I’d bet a whole lot of us would experience the same “freak” results.

    Reply
  16. Firebird

    25,000 Big Macs and they say it’s going to kill him? Which one will it be, the 25, 006th?

    Outrageous comments from the media. Makes me ashamed to have been a member.

    Whenever he finally dies, it’ll be the last one blamed for killing him.

    Reply
  17. eddie watts

    fructose-glucose syrups are in most if not all of the ice creams in my local morrisons now too.
    and in most sweets or cake-like products.

    Reply
  18. Stephen Taylor

    My view on how government screws up our diets.
    There is no conspiracy, just a coincidence of idiots!

    One of my favorite book titles: A Confederacy of Dunces.

    Reply
  19. HW

    I saw the Big Mac guy on TV last night too. The reporters kept repeating how he was a freak of nature, and an exception to the rule. They said the rest of us could never eat like that without getting fat or raising our cholesterol to dangerous levels, but imply he has some kind of genetic ability to eat lots of calories and fat, lol. The whole segment made me roll my eyes… and yeah, I’ve read that he doesn’t usually order fries with those burgers. Go figure.

    I’d bet a whole lot of us would experience the same “freak” results.

    Reply
  20. HealthyFixx

    I had a similar OMG moment yesterday when I saw the headline in Yahoo news “Is Skim Milk Making You Fat?” The article explained that full fat milk is actually less likely to cause weight gain and they even went so far as to include the quote: “Diets high in fat do not appear to be the primary cause of the high prevalence of excess body fat in our society, and reductions in fat will not be a solution.”

    Is the truth actually starting to go mainstream?

    We can only hope.

    Reply
  21. Firebird

    25,000 Big Macs and they say it’s going to kill him? Which one will it be, the 25, 006th?

    Outrageous comments from the media. Makes me ashamed to have been a member.

    Whenever he finally dies, it’ll be the last one blamed for killing him.

    Reply
  22. eddie watts

    fructose-glucose syrups are in most if not all of the ice creams in my local morrisons now too.
    and in most sweets or cake-like products.

    Reply
  23. kat

    I wish soda had sugar – like David said, it’s mostly corn syrup, and that is from GMO corn. (explained in the movie King Corn) I’d rather have real sugar than HFCS or Nurta-sweet. Spenda not much better.
    but, sigh, yes – I am giving up all soda. bad for weight and bad for your teeth too!
    BTW – when my kids were home – NO soda ‘cept for a treat on Saturday. no juice or anything but water. we wuz poor! and my kids all grew up very healthy, super smart, and good looking too!
    I have become a huge label reader. look for HFCS – corn surup – in a lot of foods. thanks :0)

    It’s in a surprising number of foods. Even most breads include some HFCS these days.

    Reply
  24. Stephen Taylor

    My view on how government screws up our diets.
    There is no conspiracy, just a coincidence of idiots!

    One of my favorite book titles: A Confederacy of Dunces.

    Reply
  25. Kathryn

    @kat

    It is so easy and so much fun to make your own sodas at home. You can use excess fruit/berries from your yard or overripe fruit from your favorite grocer. You will be boiling everything so no need to worry about food poisoning issues.

    The simplest soda of all ingredient-wise is ginger ale. You control how much real sugar or honey to use as well as how much grated ginger per gallon. An ounce to an ounce and a quarter will give you ginger ale. Twice that will give you a very potent ginger beer.

    If you let your batch ferment on the counter for a few days before bottling, especially if it is fruit based rather than just ginger, you can make the most sublime soda/wine spritzers for a fraction of what the store might charge.

    The process does not require fancy equipment nor fancy bottling gear. A reused lowly 2 liter soda bottle will work just fine and is very kid friendly. The little ones love to squeeze the bottle to see if it’s getting hard from the build up of fermentation. When the bottle is rock hard, it’s fizzy and ready to drink.

    Unlike store bought soda, since this is a natural fermentation process, recapping allows the process to repeat itself if you leave it out at room temperature. No more worring about flat soda.

    There are lots of resources online and on youtube to take you through the process. The biggest decision you would have to make is if you want to use lacto-fermentation (you make yourself from grated ginger) or ale yeast (I buy at my local homebrew shop)

    Reply
  26. Firebird

    I don’t know why everyone glorifies honey, it is a sugar, just like any other sweetener. You can make the claim all you want about the nutrients that are in honey, and the same can be said about sugar right from the stalk of the cane, plenty of nutrients, too. Some health experts are also pushing agave as a healthy alternative to sugar. But the bottom line is that there are plenty of people who cannot have honey because of the sugar rush/crash it creates.

    I’ll stick to Splenda, stevia and xylitol.

    Reply
  27. HealthyFixx

    I had a similar OMG moment yesterday when I saw the headline in Yahoo news “Is Skim Milk Making You Fat?” The article explained that full fat milk is actually less likely to cause weight gain and they even went so far as to include the quote: “Diets high in fat do not appear to be the primary cause of the high prevalence of excess body fat in our society, and reductions in fat will not be a solution.”

    Is the truth actually starting to go mainstream?

    We can only hope.

    Reply
  28. kat

    I wish soda had sugar – like David said, it’s mostly corn syrup, and that is from GMO corn. (explained in the movie King Corn) I’d rather have real sugar than HFCS or Nurta-sweet. Spenda not much better.
    but, sigh, yes – I am giving up all soda. bad for weight and bad for your teeth too!
    BTW – when my kids were home – NO soda ‘cept for a treat on Saturday. no juice or anything but water. we wuz poor! and my kids all grew up very healthy, super smart, and good looking too!
    I have become a huge label reader. look for HFCS – corn surup – in a lot of foods. thanks :0)

    It’s in a surprising number of foods. Even most breads include some HFCS these days.

    Reply
  29. Kathryn

    @kat

    It is so easy and so much fun to make your own sodas at home. You can use excess fruit/berries from your yard or overripe fruit from your favorite grocer. You will be boiling everything so no need to worry about food poisoning issues.

    The simplest soda of all ingredient-wise is ginger ale. You control how much real sugar or honey to use as well as how much grated ginger per gallon. An ounce to an ounce and a quarter will give you ginger ale. Twice that will give you a very potent ginger beer.

    If you let your batch ferment on the counter for a few days before bottling, especially if it is fruit based rather than just ginger, you can make the most sublime soda/wine spritzers for a fraction of what the store might charge.

    The process does not require fancy equipment nor fancy bottling gear. A reused lowly 2 liter soda bottle will work just fine and is very kid friendly. The little ones love to squeeze the bottle to see if it’s getting hard from the build up of fermentation. When the bottle is rock hard, it’s fizzy and ready to drink.

    Unlike store bought soda, since this is a natural fermentation process, recapping allows the process to repeat itself if you leave it out at room temperature. No more worring about flat soda.

    There are lots of resources online and on youtube to take you through the process. The biggest decision you would have to make is if you want to use lacto-fermentation (you make yourself from grated ginger) or ale yeast (I buy at my local homebrew shop)

    Reply
  30. Firebird

    I don’t know why everyone glorifies honey, it is a sugar, just like any other sweetener. You can make the claim all you want about the nutrients that are in honey, and the same can be said about sugar right from the stalk of the cane, plenty of nutrients, too. Some health experts are also pushing agave as a healthy alternative to sugar. But the bottom line is that there are plenty of people who cannot have honey because of the sugar rush/crash it creates.

    I’ll stick to Splenda, stevia and xylitol.

    Reply
  31. Tracee

    Yesterday at my kids school I did an “Added Sugar Booth” at the health fair. I had different sizes of the sodas I see kids buying most (I work at a convenience store), I also had three big bowls of sugar, several 1 teaspoon measuring spoons and foam coffee cups. When the kids came up they told me what their favorite soda was and I had them spoon that amount of sugar into the cups. A 20 oz Dr. Pepper has 16 teasoons, a 20 oz Rootbeer has just over 18 and 1 lite size Mtn Dew, (very popular size with the kids) has 31 teaspoons which completely fills the coffee cup. I saw several parents do a double take when they saw their kids cups. It was a fun booth!

    Excellent idea.

    Reply
  32. Howard

    While you were away I commented on Jerry’s posting about how my brother and I paralleled you and him on both your political and dietary epiphanies virtually to the year, although the roles were reversed with respect to age (I am the elder). Now I discover that Jerry’s birthday is the day after mine. My brother’s is June 28th. Is that close to yours?

    Nope, I’m Nov. 14.

    Reply
  33. Tracee

    Yesterday at my kids school I did an “Added Sugar Booth” at the health fair. I had different sizes of the sodas I see kids buying most (I work at a convenience store), I also had three big bowls of sugar, several 1 teaspoon measuring spoons and foam coffee cups. When the kids came up they told me what their favorite soda was and I had them spoon that amount of sugar into the cups. A 20 oz Dr. Pepper has 16 teasoons, a 20 oz Rootbeer has just over 18 and 1 lite size Mtn Dew, (very popular size with the kids) has 31 teaspoons which completely fills the coffee cup. I saw several parents do a double take when they saw their kids cups. It was a fun booth!

    Excellent idea.

    Reply
  34. Howard

    While you were away I commented on Jerry’s posting about how my brother and I paralleled you and him on both your political and dietary epiphanies virtually to the year, although the roles were reversed with respect to age (I am the elder). Now I discover that Jerry’s birthday is the day after mine. My brother’s is June 28th. Is that close to yours?

    Nope, I’m Nov. 14.

    Reply
  35. Kat

    Hannah, with all due respect, honey is even worse for you than usgar and will spike your insulin faster! Just because something is “natural” by the way it’s an animal product, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Splenda and the like may not be “good” for you but at least they won’t throw your insulin levels to the moon. there’s been sutdies where people have consumed the equivalent of 10,000 packets of sucralose with no ill effects.

    Reply
  36. Kat

    Hannah, with all due respect, honey is even worse for you than usgar and will spike your insulin faster! Just because something is “natural” by the way it’s an animal product, doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Splenda and the like may not be “good” for you but at least they won’t throw your insulin levels to the moon. there’s been sutdies where people have consumed the equivalent of 10,000 packets of sucralose with no ill effects.

    Reply
  37. Dana

    That’s all right, I’m guessing those of you who are touting the Japanese diet as superior have not actually set foot in a Japanese grocery store.

    I have.

    Granted, it’s here in the U.S. but a store like that is meant to serve recent immigrants and first-generation American-born who are still close enough to their ethnic origins to miss the food.

    The Japanese are ahead of us in that they still eat a lot of traditional foods that are nutrient-dense. That is probably protecting them from at least some of the obesity that American suffer, obesity being as much a symptom of malnutrition as anything else.

    But seriously, you should check out some of the treats they eat and drink. Check out the ingredients. Check out the carb count.

    You will be appalled.

    Even their “more natural” mochi cakes tend to clock in at a whopping greater than 50g of carbohydrate PER SERVING.

    It doesn’t matter what the serving size of something is, either. You can always eat or drink more than one serving.

    Diabetes is on the rise in Japan. Just because they’re not all walking around at 300 pounds like so many of us are doesn’t change that fact. And that’s the cases they know about. Like as not they’re making the same mistake that Americans in *this* country make concerning diet and health: “I’m slender, so I will never become diabetic.” So they don’t check. So they’re sicker by the time they find out they were dead wrong.

    Everywhere industrial food–even ethnic industrial food–is displacing the natural ethnic foods, you’re going to see this happening–with or without the attendant weight gain.

    Someone sent me a statistic (which I still need to confirm) that the rate of type 2 diabetes in Japan is now around 6% — that’s in a country where rate of obesity is 3%. So they apparently have twice as many diabetics as they do obese people. So much for the theory that type 2 diabetes is caused by obesity, as opposed to both having a common cause.

    Reply
  38. Dana

    That’s all right, I’m guessing those of you who are touting the Japanese diet as superior have not actually set foot in a Japanese grocery store.

    I have.

    Granted, it’s here in the U.S. but a store like that is meant to serve recent immigrants and first-generation American-born who are still close enough to their ethnic origins to miss the food.

    The Japanese are ahead of us in that they still eat a lot of traditional foods that are nutrient-dense. That is probably protecting them from at least some of the obesity that American suffer, obesity being as much a symptom of malnutrition as anything else.

    But seriously, you should check out some of the treats they eat and drink. Check out the ingredients. Check out the carb count.

    You will be appalled.

    Even their “more natural” mochi cakes tend to clock in at a whopping greater than 50g of carbohydrate PER SERVING.

    It doesn’t matter what the serving size of something is, either. You can always eat or drink more than one serving.

    Diabetes is on the rise in Japan. Just because they’re not all walking around at 300 pounds like so many of us are doesn’t change that fact. And that’s the cases they know about. Like as not they’re making the same mistake that Americans in *this* country make concerning diet and health: “I’m slender, so I will never become diabetic.” So they don’t check. So they’re sicker by the time they find out they were dead wrong.

    Everywhere industrial food–even ethnic industrial food–is displacing the natural ethnic foods, you’re going to see this happening–with or without the attendant weight gain.

    Someone sent me a statistic (which I still need to confirm) that the rate of type 2 diabetes in Japan is now around 6% — that’s in a country where rate of obesity is 3%. So they apparently have twice as many diabetics as they do obese people. So much for the theory that type 2 diabetes is caused by obesity, as opposed to both having a common cause.

    Reply
  39. Elenor

    I read somewhere yesterday (and alas, cannot remember where to provide a source), that Japanese immigrants to the U.S. who stay within their ‘ethnic enclaves/support groups’ and continue to eat their historical foods do NOT (as is so often published) quickly suffer a rise the American diseases, as compared to those left at home. It’s the ones who switch to the SAD who have the leaps in colon cancer and diabetes and so on. So, it’s not locale, it’s food choice!

    Reply
  40. Elenor

    I read somewhere yesterday (and alas, cannot remember where to provide a source), that Japanese immigrants to the U.S. who stay within their ‘ethnic enclaves/support groups’ and continue to eat their historical foods do NOT (as is so often published) quickly suffer a rise the American diseases, as compared to those left at home. It’s the ones who switch to the SAD who have the leaps in colon cancer and diabetes and so on. So, it’s not locale, it’s food choice!

    Reply
  41. Miko

    Japan and carbs: portion sizes are much smaller here. I think that this is what really accounts for the seeming paradox. Right now, make a cup out of your hand. Imagine a pile of cooked rice on your palm. That’s about the serving size of one bowl of rice, and people rarely take second helpings.

    Fruit is regarded as a sweet, and is often consumed for dessert instead of pie or cake.

    There is no entrenched custom of snacking between meals.

    It is rare to mix starches in one meal (for example, bread *and* potatoes, or rice *and* noodles).

    Children are almost never given soda to drink even on hot days, instead they are encouraged to drink unsweetened barley tea or green tea.

    Although obesity is rare, most Japanese are what you’d call “skinny-fat” meaning that although they are slender, they have incredibly poor muscle tone.

    There is an incredible amount of social pressure to maintain a slender figure, and people are swift to comment if they think you’ve gained or lost a few pounds; it’s not regarded as rude here. And possibly you’ve heard about the government-mandated waistline checks? I’ve been dodging them for years!

    Reply
  42. Miko

    Japan and carbs: portion sizes are much smaller here. I think that this is what really accounts for the seeming paradox. Right now, make a cup out of your hand. Imagine a pile of cooked rice on your palm. That’s about the serving size of one bowl of rice, and people rarely take second helpings.

    Fruit is regarded as a sweet, and is often consumed for dessert instead of pie or cake.

    There is no entrenched custom of snacking between meals.

    It is rare to mix starches in one meal (for example, bread *and* potatoes, or rice *and* noodles).

    Children are almost never given soda to drink even on hot days, instead they are encouraged to drink unsweetened barley tea or green tea.

    Although obesity is rare, most Japanese are what you’d call “skinny-fat” meaning that although they are slender, they have incredibly poor muscle tone.

    There is an incredible amount of social pressure to maintain a slender figure, and people are swift to comment if they think you’ve gained or lost a few pounds; it’s not regarded as rude here. And possibly you’ve heard about the government-mandated waistline checks? I’ve been dodging them for years!

    Reply

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