Saturday, August 23, 2008

Famous Olympic Champion vs. Notorious Food Cop

Consider Michael Phelps. Eating a diet loaded with so-called “junk” foods (white bread, fried eggs, and pasta by the pound), the famous Olympic champion downs an astonishing 12,000 calories each day. However, at 6’4” and 195 lbs, Phelps is far from obese or unhealthy. The swimmer’s big appetite and lean physique seems to contradict the dietary rules eschewed in obesity policies. The explanation is balance. Phelps offsets the energy he eats with the energy he burns.

Food cops, like Michael Jacobson from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and other “obesity” experts single out “junk food” as the culprit behind our burgeoning behinds. Pushing a food-only approach, these sticklers lobby for highly restrictive public health policies that leave no room for common sense (and diets that leave no room for dessert). But the nutritionally risqué diets of Phelps and other top-performing athletes show that any food can be part of an active lifestyle.

Click on the "Michael Phelps vs. Michael Jacobson" graphic above to enlarge.


At 8/23/2008 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're off base here prof - stick to economics. Junk food is a big problem - most kids today have little activity. And the long-term damage from junk food can take decades to show itself.

At 8/23/2008 11:49 AM, Blogger Shawn said...

..."any food can be part of an active lifestyle" being the part of the article you're missing, Kevin.

At 8/23/2008 12:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know what else is bad kevin?

Alcohol. Maybe we should restart the prohibition.

Hooking up with random strangers is bad. Maybe we should make a law prohibiting pre-marital sex. THINK OF ALL THE STDs we could eliminate!

Not getting enough exercise is bad. Maybe we should make exercising a law.

Not reading at least one book every year is bad. Maybe we should make reading a law.

Not calling your mother at least once a week. Maybe we should make calling your mother a law.

Not taking out your significant other to a nice dinner. Maybe we should make that a law.

Not buckling your seatbelt. Maybe we should....oh yea, we lost that freedom already.

There are a lot of things people SHOULD do. But it doesn't mean that it should be a law to do it. Its called freedom. And freedom means having the right to make choices that others might perceive as bad as long as they don't harm anyone else.

At 8/23/2008 3:14 PM, Blogger Dave Narby said...

Since many of these laws were passed to protect our (the public's) health, then I vote we lobby congress to simply cut to the chase and...


That should fix the problem!

At 8/23/2008 6:06 PM, Blogger Matt S said...

wow, let's contrast extreme food cops with olympic champions.

I've never heard of this guy... maybe I'm too young, but I don't think he can be that notorious if the only time I hear of him and his diet plan is when you need to make a cheap point.

At 8/23/2008 9:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point here is that the obesity experts do a fine job blaming junk food while totally ignoring the contribution of lack of physical activity.

Let me speculate on a reason - the obesity experts attack junk food because it fits in their anti-business world view. There's no business to demonize if these "experts" went after the physical activity cause.

And guess what - this "Center for Science in the Public Interest" and their ilk are a big business themselves built to attack business under the guise of "public research".

If you don't believe me, go research where their funding comes from.

At 8/23/2008 10:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not calling your mother at least once a week.

*sigh* damnit.

At 8/23/2008 11:40 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Junk food is a big problem - most kids today have little activity.

Right, which could be, and should be, balanced out by more physical activity and less Nintendo. A little Wii, even would be A Real Good Thing.

If you're going to do something, then use peer pressure to encourage parents to make their kids go out and exercise. Join a boy's club. A sports team.

Stop trying to fix an attitude problem with legal mandates. THAT is an attitude which is way off base.

> Machiavelli999 said...

Machiavelli was right.

At 8/25/2008 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since most Americans generally avoid exercise at all costs, then the easiest way for Americans to lose weight is dieting.

Phelps extreme exercise regimen is hardly attainable for the average American.


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