Dear Members of the USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee:
I wrote to you eight years ago to thank you and all the previous committees for your tireless work on the USDA’s dietary guidelines. As I explained back then, your guidelines and the federally approved school lunches based on them are giving my daughters a competitive advantage in life by causing other kids to become tired, experience difficulty concentrating in class, etc.
My prediction that my daughters would bypass most of their classmates is looking pretty good, by the way. My older daughter was recently selected to participate in a math competition. Only the top 50 math students from her high school’s 900 freshmen and sophomores were invited. She ended up with the highest score among the 50.
Granted, her math abilities are largely genetic. But when I see her eating brain-building foods like fatty meats and eggs while so many of her classmates live on “heart healthy” vegetable oils, processed grains and other frankenfoods, I can’t help but think your dietary guidelines tipped the scale in her favor.
But I’m not writing today to thank you for that. No, today I’m writing to thank you for weakening each succeeding generation of Americans so thoroughly, I no longer fear growing older like I once did. Thanks to your dietary advice, you’ve guaranteed that if old guys like me take care of ourselves, we’ll remain stronger and healthier than many guys who are young enough to be our children or grandchildren – and it will stay that way for years to come.
I’m thinking back to a story that hit the news several years ago. Some knife-wielding young punks tried to rob a group of tourists on a bus. The robbery was foiled when a 65-year-old man grabbed one of the young punks and snapped his neck. Later that year, I read a news story about a man in his 70s who cold-cocked a 20-something who attempted to mug him in a men’s room. Just plain punched out the punk.
What is going with these butt-kicking old guys? I thought at the time. Well, now I know. Those young would-be robbers were probably weak, tired, sick, diabetic, soft-boned … heck, there are all kinds of ways your dietary advice could help us old guys come out on top in a physical confrontation.
And thanks to your tireless efforts to convince Americans to cut back on meat, eggs and animal fats and eat even more hearthealthywholegrains!, the weakening of each succeeding generation is continuing. Back in 2012, researchers reported that Baby Boomers aren’t as healthy as their parents were at the same age:
Obesity among baby boomers is more than double the rate of their parents at the same age, and boomers with three or more chronic conditions was 700 percent greater than the previous generation.
In 2017, Bloomberg news reported this:
Americans in their late 50s already have more serious health problems than people at the same ages did 10 to 15 years ago, according to the journal Health Affairs.
And now an article in the Daily Mail informs us that Millennials aren’t even waiting until middle age to decline physically:
It’s all downhill from 27, new research reveals. At least if you’re a millennial, chronic conditions and diseases start to rear their heads in your late-20s, and from there things continue to deteriorate, according to a new Blue Cross Blue Shield report.
Millennials, as a generation, are in overall poorer health than their predecessors, Gen X-ers, with higher rates of depression, hyperactivity, substance misuse, type 2 diabetes and Crohn’s disease, among other chronic conditions.
When the researchers narrowed their focus to older millennials, ages 34-36, they found higher rates of nearly all of the top 10 most common conditions than were seen in generation X at the same ages – despite the fact that 83 percent of millennials think they are in ‘good’ or ‘excellent’ health.
Yup … each succeeding generation is getting fat, sick and tired at a younger age, while testosterone levels among men keep dropping compared to previous generations. I’m waiting for bumper stickers that read 30 is the new 50!
Give it another generation, and your awesome dietary advice will revolutionize sports. Teams will be out-bidding each other for players over 50. People will follow the senior leagues in golf and tennis because the youngsters just can’t compete at the same level.
But sports are just the beginning. Soon we’ll see 25-year-olds in big cities crossing the street to avoid walking past a couple of 60-year-olds lurking on the corner — you can never be too careful with these old guys, you know.
Or imagine an urban road-rage incident: some 30-year-old believes he was cut off in traffic, so at the next red light, he starts to exit the car to confront the offending driver… until his wife yanks on his arm, screaming, “Are you trying to get yourself beaten to death? Look at him – he’s at least 70!”
So thanks again, USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee. I used to worry that I’d feel over the hill by the time I turned 60. But since I ignore your advice and so many young people don’t, I’m looking pretty darned fit and healthy by comparison.