I don’t mean to keep picking on Paleoista, Paleo-TM’s poster girl for taking the hard line on diet. Really. But I’ve got a quibble (or more than a quibble) in her When Healthy Eaters Cave post today. Re the NYTime’s recent piece on the challenge with eating healthy while out, she writes:
The article mainly focused on fast food restaurants attempting to offer healthier, lower calorie foods, yet seeing trends that show people tend to not order those items. In fact, the studies they reference seem to prove that “including a healthy option did change people’s behavior — by making them eat more unhealthily.” …
Ok. So, if I understand correctly the 30% of Americans who are obese and additional 30% who are overweight are heading to their favorite fast food joints, seeing that there is a salad option on the menu, feeling placated and then smiling with a satisfied feeling that they’re doing something good for their body…and then going ahead and ordering the triple cheeseburger, the chili cheese fries and a jumbo milkshake?
No, I don’t think you understand correctly. Where did you get the intel that this is only about the overweight and obese? Is it that you figure if thin people ordered the triple cheeseburger, chili cheese fries and jumbo milkshake they’d be overweight or obese? So the thin folks actually must have gone ahead and ordered the salad?
The Times piece makes no such statement. And the full text of the study makes no mention of either “overweight” or “obese.”
I realize that the prospect of losing weight is a big reason that people find a Paleo-TM diet compelling (at least until the cravings or urges to binge kick in). And it is certainly the case that obesity and health complications are linked.
But while I am not a card-carrying HAES evangelist, I think it’s well worth disentangling the two. Eating a more healthful diet — which I do think means less hyperpalatable processed food — is worth pursuing regardless of one’s weight.
Presuming that it is just the overweight or obese who are at risk of a poor diet is, to quote Julia Roberts, a big mistake. Big. Huge.