Reading this article about moderation made me realize the lack of nutritional understanding. I very much see myself in the example from the article about moderation. But not because I treat myself everyday, which I don’t but in the way that I would see that as moderation, except for the wine night because I rarely drink. But I am also someone that grew up constantly put on diets by my parents. The summer between fifth and sixth grade I was sent to fitness camps. That’s just a nice way of saying fat camp. I have always had to be so careful about what I choose to eat and how that what I choose affects my body but right now in my life I have so many more important things than worrying about restricting myself when someone brings something to the office or my roommate makes cookies. I’ve spent 75% of my life living that way and it sucks to be honest. It really does. But that doesn’t mean I only eat unhealthy foods, in reality I love to cook fresh vegetables, proteins, and keep my carb intake low. To me, that is moderation. Moderation is portion sizes and not always having a sweet snack on hand at home or at work. But everyone sees moderation differently which is where we hit the nutritional understanding snag. Not everyone sees or understands moderation the same way and as people working in public health, judging those who do not know or understand it the way we do is the opposite of our job.
The three resources that I found most enlightening from the Food Matters page were “The Whiskey Boom’s Dirty Little Secret”, “Healthy Eating Index”, and “The Snackification of Everything”. From the first article, something new to me is that most whiskey companies do not make what they bottle. If the label says “bottled by [name of company]” or “produced by [name of company]” then the company put the whiskey in the bottle after the whiskey was produced elsewhere. Most likely, the whiskey was “actually made at a massive plant in southern Indiana, where each barrel holds about 63 gallons of aging bourbon,” (Reid, 2014). New information that I learned from the second article is that not all people have access to the same foods. For instance, a person living in Nebraska may not have as much access to fresh fish or sushi as a person living in Seattle. This is mainly due to socioeconomic factors and living location. In order to apply this to real life, the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) came up with a scoring system called “The Healthy Eating Index” to rank foods and meals. Something new I learned from the third article listed above is the newfound prevalence of snacking. The article says that “only 10% of Americans snacked three or more times a day in the late 1970’s, the figure had risen to 56% in 2010” (Akst, 2014). As I am currently in several Nutrition classes, I am very aware of the poor eating habits of Americans, however, I was not aware that many of these habits can be linked to snacking. This article goes on to say that snacking perhaps became so popular because the public likes the idea of a noncommittal relationship with food the way that they like the idea of a noncommittal relationship in other aspects of life.
None of this information is particularly concerning health wise other than the information on snacking. Mostly, these articles were very informative and made me feel as though I could make better decisions in the future. I would gladly tell me friends not to buy the more expensive whiskey and bourbon as it is basically the same as the cheaper stuff, and perhaps I would enjoy a debate over the idea of snacking and its relation to my generations favoritism of brevity over longevity. However, as I have just turned 20, I do not see myself having kids for a while, once I do I am sure I will find the Healthy Eating Index helpful. The one policy decision impacting people’s choices and health outcomes is the Healthy Eating Index. I am interested in Nutrition, and the fact that there is a way to measure the nutritional value of the foods that kids are ingesting is very important especially with the number of obese children on the rise. If people were less informed than me about these topics, they may be surprised. Some of my friends who enjoy expensive whiskey and bourbon may feel cheated as they have been paying more for the same quality of their favorite alcohol. Those with kids, especially overweight kids, may feel the need to research more on the Healthy Eating Index to best help their child. And those who are prone to snacking or to replacing meals with snack food may be interested in the snacking culture and may enjoy reading how it applies to American culture now.
Akst, D. (2014, December 19). The Snackification of Everything. Retrieved November 07, 2017, from http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-akst-snacks-20141221-story.html
NCCOR. (n.d.). Retrieved November 07, 2017, from http://www.nccor.org/projects/hei/
Reid, C. (2014, December 31). The Whiskey Boom’s Dirty Little Secret. Retrieved November 07, 2017, from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-whiskey-booms-dirty-little-secret/
I was shocked after reading this article. The opinions presented in this were very different from what I am currently taught in class. Jonathan Ross, the man who wrote this post, talked about how everything in moderation is not the answer and does not work. However, my professors preach almost the exact opposite.
For those who do not know, I am a nutrition major going into my last quarter of my bachelor’s degree. A specific professor sticks out to me. I remember her saying, “yeah sure, my guilty pleasure is nachos. But I don’t eat them every day. Moderation is key you guys.” And this spoke to me. Ross explains that those who practice moderation eat one treat each day. In that sense, yes of course moderation would not work because that is not what the moderation nutrition professionals speak of.
I can’t say that I see myself in this type of moderation. I eat generally very healthy foods, and try to include my greens into at least one meal a day. I pay attention to what I am putting into my body and how I feel after eating specific meals. However, if I would like to have a bagel for breakfast or a coffee with my lunch I will do so. I must mention that while doing this, I do not go overboard on the cream cheese and I’ll ask for a little less caramel in my Americano. That way I am still very attentive to the food I am consuming even if I did indulge on those things. The moderation Ross speaks of would not allow of this. If your friends ask you to go out and get appetizers are you not going to go because you already had a coffee that week?
This is where I disagree with his idea of “everything in moderation doesn’t work.” As an ‘almost’ nutrition professional myself, I think it is essential that we teach people to listen to their bodies rather than an outsider who does not know how their insides feel. If you order fries for your appetizer, just stop eating them when you become full and take them home in a box for another day, or for your roommate to eat. You do not need to finish them off. Also, just pay attention to the fact that you ate fries and maybe have a green salad with lots of veggies and chicken for dinner instead of another highly caloric meal.
I don’t feel like my practice of moderation is increasing my risk of chronic diseases what so ever. I think I am very aware of my body and very aware of that fact that what I put into my body will either impact me positively or negatively. As we know, harmful foods do not make the body feel refreshed and healthy, but rather sluggish and sick. A helpful tip to give people is to recognize how certain foods make them feel and how moods are impacted by food. That is what I would tell a consumer, rather than scare them into believing that eating a slice of cake is going to ruin their health immediately. Food is such a private and sensitive topic that I think the best thing we can do for the public and for consumers is to encourage them to create a happy and healthy relationship with food and eating. In my opinions, the article, written by Jonathan Ross, does a poor job of this.