T Nation

Obesity and Food Politics


For decades now we've been fed the idea that fat is bad and that grains are good; meanwhile, childhood and adult obesity is at an all time high while consumption of fat is down and consumption of grains (and foods processed from grains) is up.

What gives?!


Fat is bad because.. well... fat is bad, m'kay?


Umm....that whole thing is a lie and what happens when you let policy be dictated by business and lobby interests.


Garyy Taubes is right about carbs but doesn't know shit about the effects of training on insulin resistance.
He is basically 10 years ahead of the mainstream and 5 years behind T-Nation.


As far as the politics is concerned, there is a massive subsidy on grain through state and federal interference well as a huge regulatory burden on producers of grass fed meats.

Basically if the government didn't actively displace the market in food production, Americans could all be eating a diet mostly consisting of grass fed meat without a shortage of food.


He basically doesn't know anything but what he finds in scientific papers. He makes his living holding scientists to account. His beef is with the "calories in, calories out" bullshit science.

As far as T-Nation's expertise on "training effects on insulin sensitivity" that might be an overstatement on your part. Clearly, T-Nation gets their info from the same scientific community Taubes is querying.


Agree, but it isn't that simple.

Without the government subs the grains grown here would be more expensive than importing them.

Nabisco, Craft & Wonder Bread would import. People would stop growing domestically. Then WWIII comes along and the country people were buying from gets nuked or joins the wrong team and blammo, no bread in 'mer-ka


No bread in America might actually be the best thing for it. Replace all those grains with grasss, cows, pigs and chickens and we all eat delicious, fatty steaks, jamon, and pastured eggs.

Let's not even get into the unsustainable growing methods that are used for corn and soy.


I believe the market will have the last say on this and that companies like Conagra, ADM, and Monsanto are going to have to adapt to it or be taken out by their dissatisfied consumers - regardless of their special government granted privileges. Parents, once they learn the truth about what is making their children fat, sick, and chronically sedentary will quit buying the poison that are doing it to them (nearly all seed based products I would put in this category).

In the meantime, watch for plenty of propaganda from big-agra about how healthy these foods are and that the real problem is....wait for it....a problem of "eating too much and exercising too little".


Lifty, in this odd, odd circumstance, I completely see where you're coming from and agree. StormTheBeach wrote an entry in his blog about why whole grains are a bunch of shit.



I just got a Kindle Fire and the first e-book I read on it was 'The Low Carb Revolution', which was a real eye opener (and entertaining). The author references Taubes and others. I thought I knew everything about low carb, but I learned much about hormone function and the current American grain. Today's grain is NOTHING like our grand-parents grain. It's been genetically engineered for high yield and addictive qualities. The book also gets into habit changing as well. Interesting, quirky and useful read.


Regulation in the market place, specifically food, is circumvented, thus causes more detriment to the populace than the regulation intended to fix. The regulation and the regulators thus invite specific interests (big agra) to lobby and thus shape the enforcement of these regulations.

You now have subsidies to large scale producers for market distorted products. One look in a public school cafeteria tells me all I need to know about the sagacious government getting involved in food choice.


It's funny you mention school cafeteria food. The whole reason I even started researching this stuff is because of what I learned kids get fed from a family member who happens to manages an entire school district's lunch program. Nearly every food product is made of corn or wheat and jam packed full of sugar, to boot.

I've been aware of the "low carb" phenomenon for more than a decade now but like Sweet Revenge wrote above, I had no idea how much of a problem grains could be. I would extend this caution to all foods based on seeds just to be safe. Maybe not totally exclude all of them but severely restrict them.


What exactly does "based on seeds" mean?

You're talking even like tomatoes, cucumbers, and apples which supposedly keep the doctor away?


If you want to learn about school cafeteria programs watch weight of the nation part 3


Practically everything they serve to kids is disgusting. Pizza, sugary drinks, tater tots, fries and chicken nuggets.

It's fucking disgusting.


That's how it is at my school.



No. Actual seeds that are processed into food - grains, legumes, and nuts.

The seeds in fruits and vegetables that we ingest pass right through us and do not present a problem as far as toxicity in our system. Plus, the quantity consumed is so low compared to the aforementioned food items.


Though, now that I think about it, the seeds in chili peppers hurt on the way out. :slight_smile:


A big problem though is that despite a lot of information being available most people don't look at it. Until people become educated you won't have market pressure to alter current practices.


There is a trend for healthier food.

I don't have studies to cite, but the "no trans fat" type labeling tricks + high fructose corn syrup commercials indicate that people are learning.