More on "What to Eat"

I finished Dr. Marion Nestle's book, "What to Eat" some time ago, but got distracted by several other books and articles in various publications I read. Now I'd like to return to her superb volume and make a blanket statement to begin with. I've been concentrating on books, articles and online sources, in the wide field of food, nutrition and dieting for well over a year now and have found and read a number of excellent publications . If you were limited to reading only one book in the area, I'd strongly suggest this one.

That being said, I'd like to devote a few posts to the book and my reactions to it.

Nestle expanded my concept of who benefits from our having an overabundance of food available, and eating much more of it then we should (remember two thirds of Americans are overweight. and half of that group, one third of our total population is obese). So of course the food industry, in all its manifestations, food production, sit-down restaurants and the plethora of fast-food outlets, benefits directly from our overeating.

What I hadn't thought of as collateral beneficiaries were the whole diet industry, our expanding number of health clubs, our pharmaceutical firms and even my colleagues in medicine.

Then there's the stock market angle. A number of those entities I've listed (a list I've obtained from reading Nestle's book) are actually publicly owned and have shares traded on the stock market. As such, my take is they need to demonstrate constant growth, or at least a pattern of growth, to maintain share value.

Nestle also emphasizes changes, over the last thirty years or so, in our eating patterns. We are encouraged to snack from an early age and most of those snacks, unlike my occasional piece of fruit, are empty calories. More calories ingested equals more weight, unless you're also burning more calories.

I'm now six and a half weeks out from back surgery and won't be able to return to our own health club for another ten days. So for now I'm walking, and going a little further each day. Today I walked for seventy-five minutes. I wasn't moving very rapidly and I didn't calculate how many calories I burned. I didn't care really; it was a beautiful morning (I started at 7:45 AM) and I enjoyed the walk. I chose a different route than I've taken in past days and saw some different scenery.

A major part of losing weight is to think about what you're doing when you shop, when you eat and when you chose how to spend your time. I may watch a TV show from time to time, but I'd rather spend the same amount of time exercising.

How about you? What choices do you make in these areas?

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