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Are we fooling ourselves about healthy eating?
January 5th, 2011
09:30 AM ET

Are we fooling ourselves about healthy eating?

Americans could be fooling themselves when it comes to healthy eating, according to a Consumer Reports survey.

Nearly 90 percent of 1,234 U.S. adults surveyed said they were eating a “somewhat," "very," or "extremely" healthy diet. Only 11 percent described their diet as “not very” or “not at all” healthy.

Most people made efforts to eat healthier. For example, 60 percent of the participants said they chose whole grains over white rice or refined carbs. More than half also reported that they ate five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day - although this could also be a miscalculation of serving sizes by respondents.

A CDC survey conducted last year found that only 26 percent of adults ate vegetables at least three times a day.

Regardless of healthy efforts, about 57 percent of the respondents were overweight or obese according to their body mass indexes, calculated from their self-reported height and weight.

Fifty-nine percent said they were either "careful" or "strict" about their food intake. But of these people, more than a third indicated that they did not limit fats or sweets.

This led Consumer Reports to ask, “Are we fooling ourselves?”

The participants were asked which vegetables they regularly consumed once a week or more:

Lettuce or salad greens: 78 percent
Tomatoes: 71 percent
Carrots: 63 percent
Potatoes: 61 percent
Broccoli: 57 percent

When asked why they didn’t eat more vegetables, the frequent responses were:

You already eat an amount you are satisfied with: 66 percent
Vegetables are hard to store or they go bad: 29 percent
Someone else in your household does not like vegetables: 17 percent
Vegetables are too expensive: 14 percent
You don't like vegetables: 13 percent

This survey was conducted in November 2010 and the author cautions that there could be seasonal variations in the responses.


soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. AmyLynn

    When people wake up to the truth about Obesity then things will change
    1.McDonalds did not do this
    2.Junk food dId not do this
    3.We cannot handle the truth..it hurts.

    The Truth is the food today is not the same as 40 years ago

    We have injected Hormones,Steroids,Bleach..etc into the food. This has stopped the body from making good insulin

    The Drug makers get filthy rich off obesity and diabetes 2

    A filmmaker has been reversing diabetes in now 10 countries WITHOUT MEDICATIONS and the drug makers do not reveal this to the people

    just google SPIRIT HAPPY DIET

    January 5, 2011 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cser

      People are digustingly fat because they overeat and don't exercise. I do agree that food is not exactly as natural as it used to be, however.

      January 5, 2011 at 10:51 | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      The hormones, steroids, pesticides, etc, are not responsible for the obesity 'epicdemic' (although they very well may be a major factor in everyone getting Cancer these days). What is responsible for obesity and type 2 Diabetes (generally) is that people simply eat way too much and exercise far too little. Portion sizes are ridiculously huge these days.

      If you eat more calories per day than you burn off, you will gain weight. It's pretty simple, really.

      January 5, 2011 at 11:03 | Report abuse |
    • Lasciel

      1) Spirit Happy Diet is a scam.
      2) Diabetes cannot be reversed once you have it. The impact of serious complications can be delaying – how long depends on how healthy you live.
      3) Obesity is a complex condition whose risk factors include poor diet and lack of exercise, but also includes factors such as stress, hormone changes, and slowing of the metabolism as you age.

      January 5, 2011 at 12:12 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Lol @ AmyLynn
      People are fat because they choose to be. They eat too much of the wrong types of foods, and do not exercise. It's really simple. Food additives and preservatives aren't making people fat.
      I eat a worse diet than anyone I know, but I go to the gym 4 times a week. I maintain a healty weight while eating food that is processed and full of preservatives.

      January 5, 2011 at 12:49 | Report abuse |
    • PrimalOne

      Agreed, This spirit happy diet is a complete scam site. Do not google it. I just did and now I feel dirty for doing so. (The clue being that people who are on the level and have a real diet don't constantly tell you how on the level they are and how real their diet is, using unprovable anecdotes and assertions)

      Next, you're wrong about sugar. Sugar is the killer and the primary cause of type 2 diabetes.. all forms of it including bread (even whole wheat) our bodies are not adapted to eat the amount of sugars (carbohydrates) we cram into them on a daily basis and we're suffering as a result. We have a type 1 diabetic in our household so I know exactly how the body responds to carbohydrate foods and since we've eliminated them (except for low carb veggies, some nuts, a few rare berries when in season) everyone in my family has trimmed their fat and increased their lean muscle mass. We're just not hungry as much, we don't crave the carbs, it's awesome.

      The paleo/primal diet is the way to go. Eat what we are adapted for: A variety of (organic, grass fed) meats and fish, some nuts, some root vegetables, loads of fresh greens, and the occasional fruit. You will lose weight and you'll feel a heck of a lot better.

      January 5, 2011 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
    • Conrad Shull

      I'd imagine the paleo/primal diet was probably "eat everything and anything that you possibly can that doesn't obviously harm you and is at least minimally palatable". As for obesity, there is one demographic of young people who are almost never overweight and yet love McDonald's, etc. – skaters.

      January 5, 2011 at 13:15 | Report abuse |
    • mack spear

      agreed

      January 5, 2011 at 13:35 | Report abuse |
    • kim

      when referring to diabetes, please be specific. Some Type 2 diabetics CAN be taken off medicine with a healthy diet and exercise. Type 1 diabetics do not make any insulin and are dependent for life on injections or pump therapy.

      January 5, 2011 at 18:00 | Report abuse |
    • Madeleine

      True. And today's food has less nutrients than 25 years ago, due to farmers not refueling the soil. You would have to eat twice as much spinach today to get the nutritional benefits of spinach grown 25 years ago.

      January 5, 2011 at 19:04 | Report abuse |
    • jm

      Yep, food was sooo much better 40 years ago when people cooked with trans fat Crisco

      January 6, 2011 at 00:55 | Report abuse |
  2. The_Mick

    I lost 30 lbs but then the losses stagnated. My low cholesterol etc. indicated a decent diet. But then I started keeping a very detailed budget, separating food into groceries, sodas & drinks, sweets, snacks, and restaurant [fast food]. I found I've still got a way to go to eat healthy. Keep tabs by budget or diet journal is a great way to keep yourself on track.

    January 5, 2011 at 11:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Luke

    Saying that "it's as simple as calories in versus calroies out" is a little disengenuous.

    At the end of the day that is true on a technical level, but the body does not treat every calorie the same way....and it completely ignores theconcept of nutrition. Try going on a 1500 calorie Kool-Aid diet. The sugar will keep your insulin much higher than a 1900 calorie "paleo/primal" diet, but you will burn more body fat with the paleo diet as it keeps insulin low.

    Low insuling = body uses stored fat. High insulin = body stores fat and creates urges for sugar to maintain the insulin level..

    January 5, 2011 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      Luke–It is as simple as "calories in vs. calories out." CNN recently reported a nutrionist who demonstrated that you can lose weight eating twinkies, little debbie cakes, cheetos, and mountain dew. He simply ate a 1800 kcal diet with the junk food, and lost 27 pounds in 60 months. Google twinkie diet if you want to verify this. The paleo/primal diet's association with insulin has been largely debunked, and there are no good data to support that the paleo diet will improve insulin resistance or burn fat. If you ate 3,000 calories of paleo food, and get no exercise, you'll still fatten up.
      I have yet to see an obese person who regularly eats less than 2,000 calories a day.

      January 5, 2011 at 12:48 | Report abuse |
    • PrimalOne

      Have to disagree with you here Bob, Luke is completely right in my experience. When you don't eat carbs you don't crave them. If you don't crave them you don't overeat. Eating 2000 calories including one or two twinkies would have me craving more carbs, hunting the kitchen for the rest of the twinkie box (I know, I routinely ate entire boxes of them years ago) but I have to tell you eating what I do these days (meats, sardines, cheeses, nuts, eggs, spinach, etc) I can barely managed to get 1800 calories in, I'm just so full. This tells me that we're adapted to eat real meat, real animal fats and few carbs (like the Inuit and the !kung). Carbs are a quick burning fuel, if you eat them all the time and don't run a marathon right afterward, they'll turn right into fat and make you sick. At least, they sure did for me.

      January 5, 2011 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      Show me a person that eats 50-60% of their calories in fresh fruits and vegetables who is fat. You won't find one.

      January 5, 2011 at 13:25 | Report abuse |
    • Dustin

      Luke and PrimalOne are correct. I work in a clinic who works with diets of patients with type 2 diabetes and its really is true that carbs fuel craving for more carbs. High insulin creates hunger for sweets/carbs. Even Type 2 Diabetic patients that adhere to the "primal" diet you speak of (which is almost exactly what we teach them to eat) lose significant weight, and even on occasion come off of insulin. We routinely see A1C numbers drop over a point or two in 6 months or less. Patients who continue to eat unrefined carbohydrates (and even refined ones as well) keep progressing to needing insulin. Once they are on insulin it becomes very hard to lose weight, as the insulin fuels further hunger and highly increases the propensity to gain weight.

      January 5, 2011 at 20:42 | Report abuse |
    • Eric Roberts

      Dustin, thank makes sense...I am a type II diabetic. I was without insurance and unemployed for about 6 months a couple of years ago and did without my diabetes meds for that time period. I actually lost about 30 pounds during that time when I wasn't taking insulin. Yes, my glucose levels were out of control, which was really bad, =but that does l;end credence to the higher the insulin levels, the higher the cravings for carbs and the associated weight gain. I also have major issues losing weight. Part of it is my physical limitations. I have knee, hip and back issues related to injuries incurred in the Army, so my ability to exercise is very limited, but even if I drug it up and take a butt load of pain meds and exercise like a mad man, I really don;t lose a lot of weight. I am wondering if that is related to me taking insulin?

      January 6, 2011 at 13:22 | Report abuse |
  4. Ziggy

    Face it, life in the US has changed dramatically since WWII. One of the changes is the decline of home cooking, i.e. from scratch, in other words "mother is not in the kitchen". This is actually happening globally as well in developing countries, the price we pay for "progress".

    January 5, 2011 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • charles s

      Absolutely true. Home cooking takes time and since both spouses work must work full time, home cooking gets pushed aside. It is really hard to work full time and do home cooking. Even if most people do not eat at restaurants, many make do with frozen dinners and other frozen/canned food. Cooking with fresh food and food preparation takes a lot of time.

      The food served our children in school is pretty bad. It has been proven that serving more fruits and vegetables helps children learn better. The place to start is to encourage schools to teach about food and how to make it. Americans have such a long way to go.

      January 5, 2011 at 14:48 | Report abuse |
    • LEB

      And Dad not picking up the frying pan more often. Can't blame just Mom for this one.

      January 5, 2011 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
    • Lasciel

      Home cooking is not as complex as everyone wants to make it. My spouse and I both work full time and yet cook at home using fresh ingredients 97% of the time. It does not take any longer than cooking a frozen meal. And, it doesn't require a lot of planning. I usually come home with no idea what I'm going to make, look in the fridge/pantry to see what we have, and have a meal ready in 20-30 minutes.

      January 5, 2011 at 16:54 | Report abuse |
    • Rebel With a Fork

      I think that is the whole problem. Our bodies were not designed to run on chemicals. When you eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, etc. it's pretty hard to eat 2500 calories. I need to, and its darned hard. I'm an active 54 year old, and I wear a size 2. Which debunks the age weight gain thing. The reason people gain weight as they age is that they stop doing things.

      And cooking is a breeze. You just need someone to show you their secrets. I have hundreds of great recipes that are on the table in no time. The name of the website is listed above if you need help.

      Other points made here –
      Food is not as healthy as it used to be is true. Add supplements.

      Type 2 Diabetes can look like its cured as long as you eat a heatlhy diet – however, once you stop, it is right back. So its not cured. The same thing is true of asthma. As long as you are taking care of yourself, you appear to be cured. Would you say its in remission? I don't know.

      Stop eating chemicals. Eat real food.

      January 6, 2011 at 00:19 | Report abuse |
    • kaleigh

      Home cooking is not needed for healthy eating. In fact, cooking destroys most of the valuable nutrients and enzymes that our body needs. Eating a mostly plant-based diet with nothing processed and very minimal cooking is far and away the best road to health and weight control.

      http://www.thegreenspiral.com

      January 6, 2011 at 11:49 | Report abuse |
  5. juvi

    I always question these types of surveys. I mean, really how honest do you think people would be when asked, "do you eat healthy?" "Hell, no I eat like a pig!" "French Fries are made from potatoes, that's a vegetable, right?"
    I agree that most prepared items are oversized and you do have to read the labels carefully, because even healthy sounding items can be filled with junk. I do eat very healthy and it is hard work, especially if you do any traveling or eat out at all.

    January 5, 2011 at 12:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Juls

    Food made in/for the US, in general, has more sugar than the same food made in/for other countries.
    For one example, take a look at the label of Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice bought in the US, and one bought in Canada. Same company, same brand, same flavor. The one purchased in the US has more sugar.

    Although the US is getting better with this next one – many, many. many foods still are made with partially hydrongenated oils. This man made substance is so incredibly bad for you I can not believe it is still legal in the US.

    Cutting down the sugar in foods and completely eliminating trans fatty oils from food will go a long way in helping with the weight crisis.
    However, it does come down to calories in vs calories out. People have NO idea what a serving size is. For example, you buy a bonless, skinless chicken breast thinking how healthy your choice is. You even brush a little olive oil on it and bake it.
    What many don't realize is you are eating over 2 servings with that one piece of chicken . 1 boneless, skinless chicken brest is about 7.5 ounces. 1 serving is about 3 ounces.

    January 5, 2011 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Johnny Sako

    Give me that filet o fish, give me that fish !!!

    January 5, 2011 at 12:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. MJB

    I would like to see more of the farmers markets back. Of course yoo can't just walk to them as they are far away at the present. But, I certainly would buy my food like every couple of days. Fresh stuff and would save money also. But those days will never come back. We buy in bulk and through alot of it out. We have co-ops here in AZ. Every 2 weeks we pay $15 and get 2 baskets one of Veg and the other fruits. Really nice and can't beat the savings.

    January 5, 2011 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LEB

      Seems to me that there are more farmer's markets around than there were a decade ago. Have you looked into CSAs or farm co-ops? We get a bi-weekly box of produce from a local organic farm (they grow produce as well as get produce from other organic producers), and it's only $35 for a full box. Plus the convenience factor is nice.

      January 5, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
  9. Todd

    The short answer is, buy organic or from farmer's markets. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats (chicken, fish, bison) some nuts, some grains – but try to limit overly processed grains, skinny dairy (skim milk), snack on airpopped popcorn, fruits, some nuts, and almost no sweets.

    And exercise.

    That answer is short, but NOT easy.

    Stay away from fast foods, stay away from processed foods.

    Stay away from fatty foods (not including fish)

    January 5, 2011 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Dizzyd

    I agree with eating more fruits and veggies and less processed foods, but where I think we go wrong as a society is all our focus regarding health is on weight loss. I mean, ppl get upset if they gain 5 lbs.! And there's all these commercials for diet drugs and the ppl in the 'before' slot (the fat one) look like they could stand to GAIN a few lbs.! I'm not saying don't eat right and exercise, just don't confuse REAL health with trying to lose weight 'cuz you can't fit into size 0 pants!

    January 5, 2011 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. EATLESS

    I was just complimented that I look like a fitness instructor in my Zumba class. Do I eat healthy? Probably half the time, I do like sweets and carbs and I def. eat them on a daily basis. Yet I have maintained a healthy weight and bounced back to normal pretty much right after having a baby. My secret is moderate size meals and pretty intense excersise 3 – 4 times a week. So forget all the fad diets, eat less and move more 🙂

    January 5, 2011 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gala12

      It doesn't work for somebody insulin resistant or you probably have to wait till after 40. I am telling from my personal experience. No amount of exercise will offset that sweets as time goes by. If you add more you will increase probability of injuries. I am 50 right now, eat no grains, no sugar in any form, very limited fruits. No limit for meats, veggies, fat. Yes, I exercise am my health is perfect.

      January 6, 2011 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
  12. Lmitch1978

    A tomato is a fruit not a vegetable !!!

    January 5, 2011 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Valerie

    So many experts here, yet so many fat and out of shape people walking around!

    January 5, 2011 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Randi L Levin

      Valerie in partial answer to your question:

      Because too many professionals are promoting healthy as expensive, difficult and/or time consuming. Instead of counting calories, nutrients, eating this not that, most people in need turn off these messages mentally. And you know what counting calories and nutrients are not the answer, as these lead to obsessions with food (evident by the rise in eating disorders.), rather than an enjoyment that provides life and flavor.
      Yet if they just ate naturally-from scratch, rather than relying on a manufature to feed themselves and thier families with–then serving sizes can be controlled, weight loss accomplished and money can be saved. But as more and more promote that healthier food COST MORE< they stray away from it!

      January 5, 2011 at 15:01 | Report abuse |
  14. PB

    The calories – calories out formula is true, but to put such a simple scientific principle actually into practice is not so simple. As someone else stated, there are factors such as stress, money, emotions, and general lifestyle factors that prevent most obese people from doing what sounds so simple; eat healthy and exercize. Willpower is easily conquered by stress, lonliness, and emotional pain. Before I started Weight Watchers, I used to hate myself for giving in to temptation, but I did it over and over again. I finally was in the right place emotionally to find a plan and stick to it. I wish people would stop being so critical of the obese...the criticism, hate, and disgust we face make the problem worse.

    January 5, 2011 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JDT

      ... while the obese cause me to pay more in health care premiums.

      January 5, 2011 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
  15. Yum

    That plate of cookies looks SOOOO good.

    January 5, 2011 at 15:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gala12

      Just for somebody addicted for sugar. Not for me.

      January 6, 2011 at 11:45 | Report abuse |
  16. mkass

    This study validates the fact that the food industry and big agriculture have been intentionally confusing the public about nutrition for years, decades in fact. These companies thrive on making us fat and view this as essential to fattening their wallets. http://organicconnectmag.com/wp/2010/07/marion-nestle-how-the-food-industry-hijacked-nutrition/

    January 5, 2011 at 15:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. questionauthority

    The general public knows they are unhealthy. They also know they don't eat healthy. What they dont know is how much of a toll it is taking on them until it is to late. People feel ok for the most part the first 40 years of their life eating fast food, red meat and sodas. By then its too late. They have developed a lifestyle that is near impossible to change because they are fighting the established culture they themself have created with the choices they have made. I dont blame anyone for this. Its human nature. It probably is the same for many animal species as well. Give a bear 1000 jars of mayonaise and he will eat all of them before he moves on to berrys or something that he has to expend energy to catch.

    January 5, 2011 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Miichael Goldberg

    I must weight in on this and say that There is some misinformation going on.

    1. I do believe that we as a Nation need to excercise more as a Nation.

    2. We must make better choices as well in what we eat

    3. The Spirit Happy Diet is a good one and does work very well with blood sugar and weight issues. Many are using it here in England. They are a Christian based organization in Europe

    4. Michelle Obama is doing a good job so far in getting the awarness out to the public

    January 5, 2011 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Cole

    I just don't think most people get it, and the posts here reflect that. There were some good posts earlier on (Chris and Bob), but then... Well, most just don't get it. When it comes to weight, it's about balancing the calorie equation. This is most obvious with some endurance athletes who eat loads of processed junk foods but aren't fat because of the massive calories they burn. Yet, here we go with all the people pointing fingers at companies and whatnot.

    For some, they're overweight because something's wrong with their body (thyroid and pancreas are a common places to start). But, that's a small % of people. For most of us, if you're fat, it's 100% your fault. You're fat because you eat too much and aren't active enough. So, stop pointing fingers and get to work.

    January 5, 2011 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Stan Chraminski

    Agree with Cole. Need to exercise and watch your diet, especially total calories, to succeed in health. Higher metabolism from exercise lets you eat a little more so you don't feel like you are starving yourself. Diet just needs to be balanced with mix of items, fresh when possible. In restaurants skip the sauces, mayo and other high fat and calorie junk, and food is reasonably healthy. Portions are too large so split them or take rest home for another meal. It's not rocket science but just takes the discipline to change your lifestyle and cherish the one body you are born with versus overindulgence that causes health problems. Sure, it's not as much fun, but living longer and healthy is its own reward.

    January 5, 2011 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. walleye46

    Everything in Moderation. You are what you eat.

    January 5, 2011 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Rapturus

    DIABETES HAS BEEN AROUND LONGER THAN 40 YEARS YOU DUMB PSYCHO! MY DADDY DIED AT 53 WITH IT, HIS ENTIRE LIFE! I know what my grandparents did, they ate fairly healthy, raised chickens and had a garden. You can not blame food alone, because people born with diabetes didn't EAT bad before being born. Onset diabetes can, too be explained, genetics of diabetes can put a person at risk, even if they weren't born with it. The cold hard fact of life, is it that our brains are wired for things, people eat a lot when they're depressed, and many other things like that. In the world of today, that is how the brain has adjusted. Medications can also cause people to be over weight, but that doesn't mean they'll be diabetic. Its as simple as, oh, sorry dumb religious idiots, EVOLUTION! It happens, learn to accept that, and it doesn't always make sense. Lizards, dinosaurs, many other creatures predate mammals, why are they not the dominant species? Also, healthy foods are made more expensive and weight loss programs are ridiculously high, and/or their foods taste horrible. As far as I know, no insurance, medicare, or medicaid covers these programs, if they did maybe people could get healthy. Gyms are expensive, but if someone needs to join one, they might be covered on private insurance, but not government. Fast food should not be gotten rid of, possibly required not to use frying oils with high fructose syrup, but many people eat fast food several times a week and aren't even overweight.

    January 5, 2011 at 19:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Some with a BS in Chem

      Are you dumb? How on earth is Corn Syrup an OIl?

      January 5, 2011 at 20:54 | Report abuse |
    • Some with a BS in Chem

      Oil^

      January 5, 2011 at 20:58 | Report abuse |
  23. PeopleOfSize.com

    It is quite fascinating how many average people are sure they know the cause of weight gain, when medical science is still in its infancy in terms of understanding the complex nature of weight and genetics and lifestyle, including food processing and issues like the rebound the body goes through when food is restricted. Health and weight are not necessarily correlated either. There are unhealthy small people and healthy large people. Furthermore, there are numerous diseases where the cause and effect is not certain – is it the weight that caused the disease or the disease that caused the weight? Whatever the truth is, which will likely time a lot of time and science to determine, nasty and bigoted comments are not helpful to anyone.

    http://www.peopleofsize.com

    January 5, 2011 at 19:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. gem

    Those cookies look delicious.

    January 5, 2011 at 19:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. sw

    studies that use self-reports are moot.

    January 5, 2011 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Green1955

    People make so much fuss over being overweight. My whole family including myself, my wife and 2 young children are considered morbidly obese. We don't exercise and we eat what we want and as much as we want. Jesus put us here to enjoy this life not stress out over what to eat or how much. If you believe in Jesus he will take care of you and reward you in heaven when you die. Frankly, I find people who eat healthy and exercise to be arrogant and narcissitic.

    January 5, 2011 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eric Roberts

      I think they call that rationalization...

      January 6, 2011 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
    • MyName

      If your children are obese, you really should throw out the junk food and help them learn to eat healthier. Small steps at a time.

      January 7, 2011 at 06:18 | Report abuse |
    • Broseph

      LOL.

      January 7, 2011 at 22:19 | Report abuse |
  27. Bob

    People are fat because they drive their cars everywhere and walk less... People are fat because they sit on the couch munching chips while watching the boob tube hrs a day.. People are fat because they eat too much processed foods and not enough fresh fruits and veggies!

    January 5, 2011 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TiddlyWink

      Way to go, Bob. Set them straight.

      January 6, 2011 at 01:57 | Report abuse |
  28. dawnhansen

    Have you ever heard of a place called "123 Get Samples" on the web, they give out a free samples of major brands to promote their products. I just got mine.

    January 6, 2011 at 00:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. new believer

    Follow John Mcdougall's advice on health and eating and only eat REAL food, a healthful starch-based diet. That's what your body craves anyway so it works out great!

    January 6, 2011 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. JSC22

    Being honest with yourself and becoming aware of your current situation are the first steps in making a change. Whether its a change to become financially independent, learning to ride a bike or getting healthy. Start becoming aware with easy health tips from this fantastic blog: http://blog.mydiscoverhealth.com/

    January 6, 2011 at 14:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. bobby

    I usually eat whatever I want, but have never gained an ounce. I usually do eat healthy except on occassions eating a greasy burger. For some reason though I cant stand eating sweets. Sugary food is way to sweet for me and makes me feel sick. Mabye thats why i never gain weight?

    January 6, 2011 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Dennis

    @Chris: I disagree with your statement that people eat too much of the wrong stuff; but agree with everything else you say. I am just like you... I have a terrible diet (I prefer to call it the best diet in the world), consisting of 100% junk food and candy. People talk about carbs, hell I don't even know what foods have carbs! Yet I am 5'8" and weigh 153 lbs. I love it!

    January 7, 2011 at 20:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. herbz

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    January 11, 2011 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Dana

    Luke is right and Bob is wrong (see comments). I'm a fat person who regularly eats less than 2000 calories a day. It's not even on purpose. I'm low-carbing, so my insulin's not constantly high, and my weight's headed slowly downward. I'm not strict enough about it or I'd make better progress. And the main issue is I need to eat more. When I track food but don't plan my meals, I can log anywhere between 1300 and 1700 calories a day. But I'm still fat. You wouldn't know to look at me that I was working on weight loss. And that's the trouble with judging people by their weight. There are fat people undergoing weight loss, fat marathoners, fat triathletes and all manner of fat people who defy stereotypes. If you talk about us like we're not even here and never ASK us what WE think and experience, you're not going to know.

    I really think I'm having trouble losing faster (and studies show it doesn't matter how fast you lose, by the way, it can still be sustainable weight loss) because I'm not eating enough, so my body isn't getting enough of the nutrients–NOT calories, a calorie is not a nutrient–that it needs for my metabolism to work at its best. I've seen where researchers were able to produce weight loss in an overweight population simply by putting them on a multivitamin. I can see how that would work. We're not engines, we're organisms. We need proper nutrition or we don't work right. Cutting way back on your food intake guarantees you won't get proper nutrition.

    By the way, the guy who did the Twinkie Diet posted his stats on Facebook. He lost too much muscle mass and not enough body fat–by the time he reported "success" in his weight loss, his body fat percentage was just a hair under "obese" level for his age and gender. The goal here, people, is not to lose "weight" but to lose FAT. If you eat crap or you eat too much carb and not enough fat (fat carries vitamin A which helps thyroid function–metabolic issues–and protein assimilation, which helps spare muscle tissue), that weight you're losing is your muscles, organs, and bones going bye-bye out the window. Not the result you want, am I right?

    Speaking of fat. Can we please get off this notion that natural dietary fats are bad for health? Oils are one thing, we eat way too much seed oil (including soybean oil) in this culture and it's showing. Poor fatty acid ratio is one of the factors implicated in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, etc. But I actually saw an improvement in my blood sugar control (I'm not diabetic but I seem to be at "wonky blood sugar stage" right now), an improvement in my mental health status and a serious reduction in hunger between meals. My cholesterol ratios could have been better when I got them tested in July but were still within normal limits, and my triglycerides were satisfyingly low. Butter and coconut oil are my mainstays in cooking. I'm not gaining, so you do the math.

    One more thing. Can we also stop pretending that only the fat people are unhealthy? You can get metabolic syndrome and diabetes and heart disease without ever going over normal BMI. It's not "genetic"–you're eating wrong! But you don't believe that, because you're not fat, so you treat that blood pressure or that cholesterol with drugs instead. When you're on your deathbed missing your feet and half-blind, you'll be mystified as to why. So quit looking at the fatty in McDonald's, and look to your own life. My best friend thinks she's fine even though she still drinks full-sugar soda because as she put it "I don't weigh 300 pounds." She has hypoglycemic episodes, can't eat fewer than three meals a day without being crabby and is having trouble conceiving. And she *is* bigger than she was in her twenties, even though she is likely still in normal BMI range. But you can't tell relatively slender people anything, thanks to this hate campaign against fat people. So you fat-bashers in your infinite wisdom have got the blood of people like her on your hands as well. Be proud of yourselves.

    January 12, 2011 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Steviacane by Imperial Sugar and Natural Sweet Ventures

    Hi Madison,

    Great post! Most experts tell us that a healthy diet includes less added sugar, so why didn't the "more than a third (of the participants) indicate that they did not limit fats or sweets?" Probably because it's hard to sacrifice taste.

    It's tough to make those drastic changes all once, but you don't have to suffer ... there are some great sugar alternatives available, such as Steviacane, that has approximately 1/2 of the glycemic index of sugar and 1/3 of the calories. All of which help you maintain a healthier diet as well as reach those new sugar intake guidelines placed by The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

    January 12, 2011 at 21:30 | Report abuse | Reply
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