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A sensible diet

Dean Ornish's opinion piece in yesterday's New York Times is a thoughtful response (lacking in sweeping pronouncements like "Carbohydrates are the spawn of the devil") to the latest "news" (the recent Times Magazine feature piece in particular) about what is or isn't a healthy diet.

Not every problem, of course, succumbs to an easy or effortless solution — the pharmaceutical industry's best efforts notwithstanding. That anyone would actually believe that "I can eat anything I want, so long as I don't eat [saturated fats / simple carbohydrates / red meat / more than a pint of Ben & Jerry's a day] and I'll be fine" just doesn't make any sense; it's a delusion born of wishful thinking and the desire not to actually have to make any real effort to take care of yourself.

The diet industry is build on this delusion, of course. It's scary how many people will believe what they want to believe, no matter how little sense it makes, but they do, and in great numbers — and there will always be someone trying to capitalize on the resulting market. So it's just a matter of time before the next dietary panacea comes along, and we can only hope that researchers like Ornish will continue to pursue some real answers, no matter how unlikely they are to spark a movement.

July 14, 2002 5:34 PM

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Copyright ©2001-2003 Matt Pfeffer

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