Saturday, June 4, 2011

Optimal Nutrition, the "My Plate" way

The government has, once again, tinkered with a beloved American institution, turning it completely unrecognizable. No, I’m not talking about the Constitution, I’m talking about the food pyramid!

Do I really care that they got rid of the food pyramid? No, not in the least. I hated the food pyramid; I always thought it was dumb.  Oh, I need to eat more fruits, vegetables, and grains, and less meats and fats?  Brilliant!  Besides, how can we trust anything that says tomatoes are veggies when, botanically, they are fruits?

Now we have this "my plate" illustration that's supposed to help me better choose what to eat by illustrating the approximate portion of the plate each group will occupy.  Newsflash; this is what *my* plate looks like:

Ok, so that's not what my plate really looks like because I have this thing called a "self-image" that's trying not to be a fatso.  Perhaps if I didn't have to worry about things like caloric intake and saturated fats and the like, I could indulge myself as shown above, but I don't.  Just for reference, here's the real "my plate," like it's supposed to look:
It's pretty straight forward, and I'm sure it appeases all the major food producing groups (except for sugared sodas, but we're about to tax the hell out of them, so what do we care what they think?).  Do I think it will actually help anyone to lose weight or eat healthier?  Not in the slightest; do you?

Don't get me wrong; I applaud the government for trying to improve the health of its citizens; after all, if we're going to legalize the government's financial stake in the health of its citizens, we might as well try to encourage healthful behavior before we have to legislate it.  But I digress; it would be nice if 50% of Americans weren't obese or overweight.  However, after decades of approaching the problem from this end, I think we should admit that we need a new approach.  Instead of encouraging healthier eating behaviors, I think we should make it socially acceptable to discourage unhealthy eating behavior.

What am I saying?

Take a moment - Goonies was released in 1985.  Chunk was considered the "fat kid."  Look at that picture again.  Would he be the "fat kid" today?

I know it's cruel, and I know that our societal norm of "being a pussbag" would be offended, but I honestly think that no amount of encouraging people to eat healthy will adequately address our obesity epidemic.  I think that it's time for kids to be able to make fun of those who are different again.  Hell, I was way overweight until I realized just how super-fat I had become.  Maybe if I had someone who cared enough to make fun of my weight, I wouldn't have gotten that big in the first place?

On a completely unrelated topic, The Billy Blog would like to take a moment to note the passing of a legend of the small screen, James Arness. I’m sure that if you recognize the name; you probably remember him from “Gunsmoke” as Marshal Matt Dillon, even though he was in a wide range of other projects, ranging from being 'the thing' in “The Thing,” to a few John Wayne movies. Growing up, my family didn’t have cable, so my siblings and I got to watch a lot of network reruns; consequently, I did get to see quite a bit of “Gunsmoke” in my younger years. To me, Arness wasn’t just an actor, he *was* Matt Dillon – and Matt Dillon was the law, justice, toughness, kindness, and the fastest draw, all in one brothel patronizing peace officer. The best part about Marshal Dillon? His first name was Matt, making it even cooler to grow up with that name. True story. So thank you, James Arness, for the many years of entertainment you have provided us.


  1. Wish I could stick to a diet!

  2. I honestly think there are a million different factors as to why we are all fat. I think your tomato is a fruit argument is a bigger problem than you realize, and a main issue with why this thing is a good idea, but ultimately doomed. I have this theory that most Americans view a potato as every bit as veggie as lettuce. Sure both can be loaded up to unhealthiness, but one is a starch and one is fiber. It's hard to argue with 50-60 years of hamburger and fries is a viable meal programming as a society.

  3. I think I'll stick with the first plate.

  4. I'm a huge fan of the first plate

  5. The notion of legislating people's behavior "for their own good," even if they choose to kill themselves with poor nutrition... wow. That's pretty much the definition of governmental overreach.

  6. Why are we fat? we eat more energy than we use, so our body saves the excess in form of fat.
    Repeat the process over the days, weeks, months, and you are fat.