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Diet & Nutrition Message Board

Diet & Nutrition Board Index

OVEREATING might be an issue but it's not meat:

France (100.4 Kg/person/year,) Italy (89.6), Spain (112.4) all ate more meat than the UK at 77.5 in the year 2000.
Of course the United States at 112 Kg./person is right up there but still no more than Spain and barely more than France...
And of course, MANY regions of the Eatrth eat far more meat than the Mediterranean area.
(I happened to notice Ukraine in the 30 Kg./person/year range.)

What IS a likely result of the heart disease , diabetes and obesity in which the U.S.A is steaming full speed ahead, passing country after country is the U.S. calorie intake. Hold your hats: the U.N. figures for 2004 show that the average aAmerican consumed [B]3,790 calories/day.[/B]

So it's not the WHAT of the American diet that makes it compare wretchedly to diets of other countries, Mediterranean or not, but quite likely the HOW MUCH.

[B]I found that number, 3790 calories, to be STAGGERING, and almost unbelievable. Is there any wonder the obesity epidemic is out of control? The world eats 2900 calories/person/day on average.[/B][/QUOTE]

Completely agree with you. That number is just awful.

But I do think it's just one piece of a pretty big puzzle that's gotten the obesity problem where it is, which, interestingly, the MD (s) -- plural if it makes you feel better -- seem to really address.

Stress. We're way stressed out. We've stretched ourselves and our children way too thin (no pun intended). There's hardly any relaxing time in anyone's day anymore. One of the benefits of a MD WOE (or lifestyle I prefer to call it since it is so much more than just a WOE) is to take off some of that stress. Just do it. I personally reduced a bit of my work hours. Does it mean I won't make as much money at the end of the year? Yup. But all things considered, I believe my health is more important than an extra 12K on my 1099s.

Activity levels. Americans put a huge importance on convenience. We need to get it done quicker and easier -- and preferably sitting on our butts on the computer. I can't believe how many of my friends no longer go to the mall. Why? Because it's soooo much easier to just SIT DOWN at the computer and buy everything online. Just that one simple act negated the opportunity to burn, what, 100, 150 calories? Get some fresh air? Spend some quality time alone or with friends or family and maybe reduce some STRESS? (I suppose shopping is stressful for some). But I could take this example and put it in so many places. How many people do you (not you specifically, Lenin) know who go to, say, two or three markets every day to buy what's fresh? How many people do you know who take those fresh ingredients and implement them in tonight's meal? Guess what? Fresh cooking ain't quick. You're looking at at least a couple hours of -- OMG -- standing on your feet, sweating and burning calories.

And I do think it matters what goes into the body. Maybe I need to reread the OP, but I didn't gather it was only about weight loss. Put healthier, fresher foods into your body, you will feel better. Feel better, odds are you'll be more active. Be more active, odds are your stress levels will go down and, yes, you'll lose weight by burning more calories and eating better.

Again, I've got questions about those numbers. The year 2000, wasn't that during the mad cow craze in the UK? Also, you really need to remember regions of these countries. I will guarantee you that Tuscany doesn't eat as much red meat as Sicily. All part of Italy, tho. It's like saying Americans ate five pounds of avocado every year. Lenin, you're in the NE, I believe, right? Do you eat five pounds of avocado every year? How available are these things? How fresh are they? How expensive are they?

Well, they're free for me. I have avocado all year long in my backyard. To just lump everyone's eating habits into a giant average that doesn't take into account region, availability and cost isn't a fair average.

Another example is Florida. We have north FL, which is very rural and still a part of the "deep South." Then we have south FL, which is what some affectionately refer to as either southern NY or northern Cuba. The diets differ vastly between these regions of the same state! I'd never eaten a boiled peanut until I went to the northern part of the state, nor a grit, nor a collard green, nor "real" fried chicken (not okay on the MD, but a treat nonetheless). Folks in north FL don't have the vast access to citrus that's available in the south. An example: I'd never bought a lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit living in s. Florida. They're abundant and free in everyone's yards. In n. FL, however, it freezes, and these things aren't as readily available as they are in s. Florida. You actually have to go to a store to find these things.

There are similarities when you look at the diets of the Mediterranean, even looking at one country that borders on the Mediterranean.

I'm not going to argue with you. I've always respected your opinion and really can't think of an instance where I've disagreed with you. I know we feel the same way about overly restrictive diets and eliminating certain food groups. I eat for my health, as I thought you do, too. I guess I'm just surprised that a WOE that actually goes back to the "old school," that focuses mainly on daily cardiovascular activity, reduction in stress, eating whole foods with the strongest emphasis on fruits, veggies, grains and legumes -- with less emphasis on saturated fats -- and, probably most important, teaches us to enjoy foods with friends, family and loved ones gets an "eye roll" and the label of "fad" from you.

But that's cool. I like it. DH & I have lost weight with it, turned our cholesterol around, our BP is back to normal, our stress is dramatically reduced, and we did it without medication. The only things we've eliminated from our diets are high-fructose corn syrup and partially-hydrogenated oils. We've put certain food groups more in the spotlight than others, but we're able to enjoy everything on the food pyramid.


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