We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Mark Edmundsen has written a piece at The Chronicle about one of my favorite bugabooos in Health Now: A Provocation. Here's a quote:
Francis Fukuyama glances at this matter in a passage from The End of History and the Last Man. "In America today, we feel entitled to criticize another person's smoking habits, but not his or her religious beliefs or moral behavior. For Americans, the health of their bodies—what they eat and drink, the exercise they get, the shape they are in—has become a far greater obsession than the moral questions that tormented their forebears."
I entirely believe in the value of remaining fit, strong, trim, sexy, and attractive but it is the fetishizing of health and the common delusions about food that annoy me the most. In the end, we are not in control of our fates. And I hate brown rice, don't know why anybody would eat it willingly. The Chinese won't eat it.
I am fond of exercise for its own sake, lucky me, and I have a healthy appetite but it's reasonable. It's easy for me to follow a moderate health regime because I enjoy it. Personally, I don't think I'm trying to live forever. But I do hope to be vigorous and comfortable until my death at 80 or so is a surprise to all who know me. Something of the kind happened with my father.
From what I have read and seen, we have some influence over our long-term health. But a radiologist once started a speech by saying, "The death rate is one per person." I think I am concerned about loss of life, not death itself -- a crucial distinction.
Here's my take on such busybodies: A lot of people think that because THEY are paying for a part of MY health care using THEIR taxes, which go to fund Medicare and ObamaCare, THEY are entitled to tell ME how to live MY life. I didn't ask for Medicare coverage. It was forced on me. I didn't ask for socialized health care. Others mandated it. So don't tell me how to live my life. If you don't like what I do, then get rid of your mandatory federal programs, make them voluntary, and I'll opt out of them. In the meantime, buzz off and mind your own business.
There's the rub, Agent Cooper. Apparently things like using marijuana or even cocaine should not be your business, according to Tante Nan, but by golly your use of tobacco, your intake of fiber and your laps around the block are Tante Nan's business.
How about none of it is really anybody's business?
I'm also concerned about "compliance" objectives and whether my "care manager" is going to notice I have been scrupulously avoiding some of the "screening" they want me to have. Until I have a complex medical problem, I'll be my own care manager, thanks much.
(Tante Nan is French for Aunt Nanny, their own mixed-feelings name for the welfare state.)
Eat a varied diet, avoid fad diets or diets that exclude groups of food and your diet will be healthy.
For most of us our life expectancy is genetic. If you do not have a disease that requires a specific diet then following a specific diet will not help you live longer or healthier.
White rice is delicious and compliments the foods it is served with. Brown rice is more gritty and strong tasting and fights the foods it is served with. There is nothing in brown rice that I do not already get from my varied and diverse diet.
Excercise/work is good for you, our bodies benefit from regular excercise. However excercise/work can also harm your body and cause long term injuries. Moderation is the key if possible.
And don't eat according to "the food pyramid" which is woefully unballanced and will cause you to ingest far more carbohydrates (and especially sugars and starch) than you need.
That thing is the cause of most of the "obesity epidemic" and the main reason why most of those who are overweight can't loose weight (at least not permanently).
"Low fat" does nothing if you replace it with high starch and/or sugars. We're told to eat loads of bread, fruit, and potatoes, and vegetables rich in starch and sugar, all of which ends up as sugar in our bloodstream, eventually triggering diabetes (or if you're lucky to catch it early, the precursor symptoms of hyperinsulinism and thyroid malfunction).
Sadly, the "diet gurus" who call themselves dieticians, diet experts, and sit on government panels, all telling you what to eat, are so set in their ways by decades of misinformation here (which started by the crash programs to increase wheat production during and post-WW2 when it was agreed to "never again" let countries experience famine and free a larger portion of the population for military duty by mechanisation of farms, which is easy with wheat farming) that they'll villify anyone who dares promote science and has a different perspective, one that advocates a more ballanced diet rich in protein instead of carbohydrates.
We're told to drink lots of milk and eat lots of dairy products for much the same reasons, yet all of those are rich in sugars as well (though not as rich as a similar volume or weight of fruits or starchy vegetables).
Things like South Beach, Atkins, et. al. are based on that premise, ballance in diet and taking control over your kitchen by using fresh ingredients rather than prepackaged stuff (all of which is exceedingly rich in starch, sugars, and other cheap filler material, the processed food industry has a definite reason to dislike people eating a diet low in carbohydrates).
When people talk about these diets however, they usually only mention the first stages which are indeed almost devoid of carbohydrates. They never mention that those stages last only 2-3 weeks for most patients/users, and after that carbohydrate intake goes up (though never to the levels the industry and government food gurus would want).
A lot of the "obesity epidemic" is statistics and definition.
Based on the bell curve, if you lower the BMI index for obese or overweight just a short way, you'll catch a lot of people. If you increase it slightly, you'll release a lot of people.
The relationship between body mass, body composition (fat vs muscle), diet and health is a complex, probably coupled, probably non-linear system. We understand it poorly. A lot of how your body looks seems to be out of your control, although not all of it.
Most people dislike the appearance of a very fat person and I acknowledge this trait myself. But that's no reason to drive government policy or even recommendations.
Brown rice is just fine and recent research associates white rice (but not brown) and other carbohydrates with the metabolic syndrome encompassing diabetes and heart disease. I am not advocating any law in response to this, just reading the research and trying to live a healthy life.