General Diet Plans and Questions - The 'protest' diet

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10-26-2013, 07:05 PM
This isn't a diet per se but it has been an important part of my weight loss journey and it has informed and impacted my food choices. I've watched many documentaries on obesity epidemic such as the men who made us fat. I personally feel that corporations have social responsibilities. They benefit from infrastructure and trained workforces. And so much more. I don't like tax avoidance and I dont like the intentional paying of wages just low enough that fast food workers go on public assistance. It just came out that McDonalds alone costs us 1.2 billion a year doing this while their profits are at all time high.

I personally see in America a food industry gone insane abdicating all social responsibility. So for me that is just added incentive to choose good healthy food and support local farms and socially responsible businesses. I am thankful to have the means to do so. Again this is just very personal but a little bit of anger at the entities that have put profits over everything helps me personally to keep making good decisions.

10-27-2013, 11:52 AM
I agree with you about tax avoidance and low wages and I think you are making a good choice with healthy foods and supporting local farmers to get fresh produce. But I feel that playing the blame game about your weight is detrimental to your success. One of the first and very important steps is to take personal responsibility for your eating and weight issues. They may be providing the food, but the choice to eat it is ultimately yours.

You have done well so far. I wish you success.

10-27-2013, 02:52 PM
But there is a lot of blame to go around. However I have to take control. However being 'angry' at the social irresponsibility helps fuel my motivation. That was my point. I also think it is healthy to understand the social economic context we live in. VERY healthy. I think most people would benefit from context in weight loss journeys.

10-27-2013, 04:11 PM
I think as a culture we emphasise personal responsibility (with or without using it), but wash our hands almost completely of group responsibility (seeing it as the worse form of socialism or worse, communism).

I think whenever a problem has impacts on everyone (as obesity does), it has to be addressed on multiple levels from every vantage point possible.

None of us live in a vacuum, and obesity is often treated as if it were (your problem, you fix it on your own, preferably in private, and if you need help, or even want to work on it publically or in a group, you're just a weak, disgusting, contemptible, waste of flesh).

We don't treat obesity like other social problems. Historically, STDs have gotten more respect (and more research funding).

So we expect people to have more control over what they eat than over their sexual behavior?

We expect children to grow up to have personal responsibility over their weight when almost everything they learn contributes to the problem AND seeking help is still considered so shameful and unnecessary that support communities thrive far more on the internet than in real life.

Why doesn't every community provide common and affordable support for diet and exercise efforts.

Obesity is by far the greatest health and financial threat to our nation. Far more widespread and damaging than cancer, substance abuse, STDs, illiteracy, mental illness, and unplanned pregnancies (and probably all these things combined).

So why do even the poorest communities have affordable and relatively easy access to help and support with these issues, but if you're obese, you're SOL?

Why is nutrition not taught in our schools on par with it's importance?

Why are schools removing PE?

Why do school lunch programs require up to 1.5 cups of vegetables, but mainly (sometimes almost exclusively) use french fries and tater tots as that vegetable?

Why are so few whole fruits and vegetables being eaten across age groups and socio-economic classes?

Subsidies on growing corn and other high-calorie foods were originally implemented to respond to the social problem of malnutrition caused by undernourishment caused by food-calorie shortages) to provide low cost calories.

So now that obesity is the leading cause of malnutrition, why haven't we discontinued calorie/grain subsidizing and started subsidizing low-calorie, non-starchy vegetables and fruits?

Why aren't doctors trained in nutrition and weight management?

Personal responsibility does not absolve any of us from social responsibility. In fact, both strengthen the other...

but as a culture we tend to believe that understanding social influences and seeking help is less acceptable and less necessary for obesity than it is for anorexia, stds, substance abuse and sometimes it seems just about anything else.

It's easier to find free smoking cessation and even sexual addiction support in many communities than free or sliding scale weight loss programs.

10-27-2013, 04:43 PM
Thanks Kaplods. Amazing post. For those young and yet born, I hope we see the changes you listed. For those of us now trying to regain and or improve our health we have to make better choices now. Being reptiative but the social context fuels my good choices and motivation. Doesn't mean I don't benefit from good choices and come to harm with bad, but it does help me to keep making the good choices.

10-27-2013, 06:11 PM
Kaplods, I agree that you made so many good points. There are a lot of things that aren't going to change unless the people change their attitude. In many cases it's a business decision. They want to sell what people want to buy. You can't force someone to eat oatmeal when they want a donut. If people quit going to Dunkin Donuts they will close. The same with McDonalds. They're always crowded with kids and their parents. The kids don't go there alone, their parents take them. I admit there are some people who don't know what good nutrition is, but most people know, but don't choose the healthy diet. This is what I meant in my post.

Our school system here has added more veggies to the menu, but the kids are throwing them away. Kids will eat what their parents eat. If the parents are bringing unhealthy foods into the house, that's what the kids will learn to like.

Many schools have discontinued PE due to budget cuts. But kids don't have to be in PE class to be active. They can do well outside, riding bikes, playing on the playground. Instead they are sitting in front of the TV or playing with electronic devices. Once again, the parents are providing those devices. My community has playgrounds for the trails and walking trails open to all. The high school track is open fur public use during off hours. The library is available for books on nutrition and health. I know that resources aren't readily available to everyone, but if someone really wants it, they will make the effort to find help. There are a lot of things about society that we can't change, but we can change ourselves.

These are the types of things that I mean when I say that the people must take personal responsibility. I'm sorry if my comments offended anyone.

10-28-2013, 09:39 AM
Here comes the part where everybody yells "personal responsibility!!!" Nobody who is overweight discounts personal responsibility. We spend plenty of our lifetime hating ourselves, feeling guilty over the choices we made/make. We all know what we do to contribute to obesity. Even those who are in denial, they know!

That said, there are things that are being done to us that make good choices all but impossible. We have good choices, but there are so many bad choices as obstacles in our way that make it easy to reach for the easy stuff. Financial reasons, no time, no energy make us all susceptible to poor choices. We can have the best intentions, but when you have a 45minute break between one job and the next the last thing you want to do is sit around chopping lettuce or worse..... spending $9 for a salad. Isn't it just easier to go through the drive through and order from the dollar menu? It saves you time, money and energy and it sates you.

There are a lot of things that have to change and you're right, education is one of them. As a teacher I've seen physical education be non existent in inner city schools, for real they only get PE once a week for 45 minutes. That's criminal. And I've seen first hand those sad little looking fruits and wilted vegetables on the lunch trays, nobody eats them. We need to be incorporating the vegetables inside the dishes, like casseroles or something.

And protesting is a good way to think of it, not as a blame game of course but with full understanding that we as consumers vote with our dollars. Can it be done? Yes, nothing is more powerful than a consumer. Bolivia was very successful in ousting McDonalds.

10-28-2013, 09:48 AM
I'll list the factors that I feel contributed to my weight problem:

- School... even though as a kid we had physical education every single day I still didn't reap the benefits from it and I blame the teachers for that. Because they spent all their time grooming their athletes and ignoring kids like me. Athletics are huge in school, for whatever reason teachers loved to hang out with kids who could do a lot of pull ups. They paid no attention to the kids who were scared or unathletic or overweight. Nobody encouraged me, nobody contacted my parents to tell them that I refused to run, there was no real grades given in PE and the first chance I had not to participate I took it. Shame, not on me! Shame on them, had they paid me any mind then I would've done well I think. I know this because I'm athletic now and I love challenging myself, I'm sure that spark was there when I was a kid but nobody cared enough to instill it in me. My parents didn't force me to be in sports either.

- Help yourself at the dinner table! This is when my Mother brought out the platters of food and allowed us all to eat as we wanted. My mother is naturally skinny and has good sense of portion control and naturally gravitates towards healthy foods. But did she pass on this knowledge to me? Nope. I wasn't taught about what a portion is or what a balanced meal looked like, not because it wasn't there but because I was allowed to eat as much of it as possible. I'm being careful about this with my own family now, I portion out their plates and go heavy on veggies, light on carbs and make sure everything is balanced!

- Sugar - we were allowed to have sugar whenever or wherever. We were never taught to say enough is enough. I'm sorry, but you cannot give a child complete control over what they eat, there needs to be boundaries.

Obviously not everyone succumbs to these weaknesses, lots of people I know grew up just like I did and are healthy and fit. So I can't say it's all my Mom's fault, I'm just saying that when you grow up without boundaries it's not so easy to put boundaries on yourself later when the damage is arleady done.

10-28-2013, 12:20 PM
Not offended at all. Context is vitally important. But for those of us overweight now with serious consequences in the offing we have to make good choices NOW. Can work for social change but cannot afford to wait for it. Assuming we are fortunate enough to be able to afford healthy changes. Even when, hopefully, the context gets better someone still has to make good choices.

I do have to disagree with you about companies giving people what they want. This is a pet peeve of mine so I hope you are not offended. This is in large part not true. Advertising is a multi multi billion dollar industry precisely because it is trying to sell people most often what they don't need.

It was well documented in The Men Who Made Us Fat that the food industry led the charge for more snacking. It pushed and pushed and pushed to change a whole nation's habits. Now are people passive guinea pigs? No. But the Food industry in particular is masters not so much as getting people what they want but massively pushing what makes them the most money and profit.

Do people 'want' super sizing? Well the Food companies certainly make it as attractive as possible by dropping the unit cost of food down a lot. I know I sure as heck don't want the fast food around me. But within a couple miles radius of my house that is literally all there is. And with best intentions but having 2 jobs one kid and one elderly meals don't always happen at home.

So no, by far, are companies just responding to what people want. I wish that was true. They are actively engaged daily in trying to shape what people want to what profits them the most. That is why we have advertising in large part. And children's TV advertising in particular, etc.

Mrs Snark
10-30-2013, 10:35 AM
Interesting thread. I agree with alot of your points diamondgeog.

I eat a "protest" diet myself, I'm an ethical vegan.

11-01-2013, 03:36 PM
I was thinking that there are also some cultural american norms that have gotten us into bad habits. For example, it seems to be a law to eat a sandwich with french fries or potato chips. Isn't the bun enough carbs? The whole protein-carb-vegetable ration on an average plate is also not necessarily what we all need nutritionally, yet there it is, persistent as ever. Some of the food associated with american holidays is also very questionable. Burgers and dogs for July 4th? Why not salmon and quinoa? The superbowl is a huge holiday, buffalo wings galore!

Cultural norms run deep. I remember moving to the states when I was in grade school. Everyone at lunch had white bread sandwiches and I had greek food (I was just like the little girl in My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and everyone said ewwwww!!

My husband usually makes himself a big sandwich to take to work with him if there aren't any leftovers for lunch. He uses a half of a large loaf of bread. The other day he took some beef & broccoli stir fry to work and forgot the rice so he ate it without. He came home tooting how good he felt that he hadn't eaten any carbs. He's not into dieting so he thinks he's invented low carb eating haha! We get into bad habits and it takes a miracle and some fairy dust to change them.

11-01-2013, 05:53 PM
Some of our bad habits were once good ones.

When people had to work hard. And calories were scarce (or expensive, often available only to the rich), loading up on carbs and eating until full, even very full, made good sense.

We still rely on habits (and instincts) that no longer make sense.

We have to unnaturally simulate what once was the natural order for humans (and still is for all of the wild primates of the world).

We have to act as if calories are scarce and as if we had to work hard to get them. We have to fight the instinct to conserve and store energy for lean times (which never come).

llow-calorie, stalky vegetables and leaves are the "fast food" of the wild. Abundant and easy to find, and low-cost and so low in callorie and high in fiber, that eating all day is virtually necessary.

Our "bad habits" are often thinly disguised versions of instincts that would keep us alive in a natural world.

Unfortunately, the world we've created and are creating is becomong less and less natural by the minute.

I don't wonder why so many of us in the modern world are overweight, but why so many aren't. How have the slim ones adapted to this very unnatural environment.

I suspect that early humans, or even our great, great grandparents would become very obese, very quickly if suddenly transported to the modern world and were forced to fit in to our cultur (if they could "hunt and gather" only from the modern grocery stores and restaurants and had to work a modern job).

Unfortunately, it's incredibly difficult to fight instincts and ingrained lessons that have been passed down from generation to generation from times when the behavior meant survival, and now means slow death.

I don't believe corporations are evil. They're made up of people doing what people have always done with food: use it to make food products that allow the maker and the user the freedom to work less and eat more - a "good" system that has become "bad," primarily because the last thing ANY of us need is to work less and eat more.

Learning to eatvless and move more is further complicated by the instinct to avoid pain, discomfort, and inconvenience.

I think changing our environment is the only viable solution, and we have to start with our own personal environments, because it will take decades of concerted effort to change the larger community.

11-01-2013, 08:39 PM
I agree with you Just today we cut back on snap to the poor elderly and vets children cutting 21 meals per month out.Why can't ramien noodles be lower salt? We should be ashamed. I expect many children to be hungry

11-03-2013, 08:46 AM
I don't wonder why so many of us in the modern world are overweight, but why so many aren't. How have the slim ones adapted to this very unnatural environment.

I think the majority of humans are more able to adapt than some of us. Because they have adapted to the needs of their body and can somehow regulate their energy intake/output. We really were designed to do that. I think that by doing so they have created a genetic link that has been passed down to their children.

11-19-2013, 04:35 PM
WOW. More excited than ever to be involved in 'protest diet' activity. Please view these extremely powerful and enlightening videos. Healthy food and changing the food system may mean the difference between survival or not. And not just for kids, for all of us.

11-20-2013, 07:26 AM
I agree that there needs to be more social responsibility to go along with the personal but that will never happen in the U.S. at least. People are very obsessed with the delusion of freedom that we have here that they are unwilling to sacrifice anything for the greater good.

Just look at the soda tax issue in New York, same thing. People don't want to be controlled even if it is for the collective good. And I really wonder if this trans fat ban will hold up.

I love the idea of a protest diet, and by being on Paleo I do it by default, but I am not sure it is something that will catch on.

11-20-2013, 09:27 AM
But there is a lot of blame to go around. However I have to take control. However being 'angry' at the social irresponsibility helps fuel my motivation. That was my point. I also think it is healthy to understand the social economic context we live in. VERY healthy. I think most people would benefit from context in weight loss journeys.

I agree 100 percent especially since we have no choice in GMO's

11-21-2013, 02:38 PM
Awesome read:

11-21-2013, 03:08 PM
Kind of similar to kaplod's scenario of great, great grandparents being jettisoned in. According to a 2004 study, 55% of immigrants just moving here were of average weight BMI, but of immigrants that lived here for 15 years, only about 40% were of average weight -- which mirrored the % of average weight US-born population at the time. Same with obese BMIs. Less than 10% of immigrants newly arriving were obese, but > 20% living here for 15 years were obese, again mirroring the US-born population.

This leads me to believe that the environment in the US is conducive to weight gain. Yes, individuals need to manage their own selves, but society needs to change, too, if we want to reverse these trends.