America today has become a battleground between the militant health nuts – those people you know who subsist on kale or caveman diets and ascribe to military-style workouts – and everyone else. In a uniquely American paradox, the more obsessed we become with health, the less healthy we become as a nation.
“According to a startling commentary in the journal Nature, by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, sugar poses such a health risk – contributing to around 35 million deaths globally each year – that it should now be considered a potentially toxic substance like alcohol and tobacco. Its link with the onset of diabetes is such that punitive regulations, such as a tax on all foods and drinks that contain ”added’’ sugar, are now warranted, the researchers say. They also recommend banning sales in or near schools, as well as placing age limits on the sale of such products” (Telegraph UK)
“Still, the numbers are substantial, according to according to a 2008 report in Vegetarian Times. Three percent of American adults, 7.3 million people, follow a vegetarian diet, and one million of them are vegans, who eat no animal products at all — no meat, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, even honey. (And 23 million say they rarely eat meat)” (NYT).
“On televisions across America, Tony Horton is selling a burning-sweat vision of physical fitness, and these days, a lot of people are buying. He is the pitchman and wise-cracking star of a brutal, make-it-stop workout called P90X, and he has won converts from Hollywood to Capitol Hill” (New York Times).
“The caveman lifestyle…involves eating large quantities of meat and then fasting between meals to approximate the lean times that his distant ancestors faced between hunts…These urban cavemen also choose exercise routines focused on sprinting and jumping, to replicate how a prehistoric person might have fled from a mastodon” (New York Times).
How can the idea of balanced health and diet be conveyed to a people looking for a quick fix?