Rant 55: Predictions for 2010s

January 2nd, 2010  |  Published in 2010 rants, Stumpblog  |  39 Comments

Happy New Year, possums!

Why not start things off right with an awesome Stumptuous 2010 calendar?? HELL YEAH!!

OK, Stumplady is putting on her prognosticatin’ pants and giving youse the Predictions for the Decade.

1. You will fail at your New Year’s Resolutions this year — and every year — unless you figure out the real problem and focus on the process, not the product.

Why are you out of shape? Why are you poorly nourished?

It’s not “willpower” — it’s the current structures and systems of your life.

Your relationship with your body mirrors your relationship with the other domains of your existence. Your body reflects your current values and priorities as well as your environment — social and physical.

  • Fix your surroundings and relationships.
  • Bump fitness and nutrition up the list of values and priorities.
  • Find the limiting factors that are holding you back, and remove them.
  • Examine the structure of your physical environment and daily routines to find the elements that sabotage you (or help you).
  • Get away from soul-sucking people, things, and situations. Go towards people, things, and situations that bring you joy and give you energy.
  • Question your underlying assumptions about how this whole project works and why it matters.

Not saying you have to solve it all, but if you don’t address the root cause of whatever’s bothering you, you’re doomed to fail.

Another fitness writer talked about a woman he knew who planned lavish, indulgent, junk-food meals while she was “on a diet”. In other words, this is a temporary fix, and then things will be magically different and I can engage in poor choices with impunity. Nuh-uh. It doesn’t work like that.

Be brave.

Get some big garbage bags — real or metaphysical — and start throwing shit out, whether that’s energy vampire people who don’t support you, crap “food” that poisons you, or assumptions and mindsets that are fundamentally self destructive.

Question everything until you peel away all those onion layers to find out why you are in the situation you are in.

Hint: it’s not because you eat carbs.

2. Everything will be two diseases.

My theory is that in fact all diseases are the same disease, and there are really only two kinds.

  • diseases caused by a foreign pathogen or external accident — parasites, viruses, a safe falling out of a window on to your head, etc.
  • autoimmune diseases, where your body attacks itself

Dig this shit: in the last decade-ish, we have discovered that the following health problems (and by no means is this an exhaustive list) have autoimmune features:

  • cancer
  • heart and cardiovascular diseases
  • diabetes
  • gastric esophageal reflux disease (GERD), aka heartburn
  • digestive problems, including inflammatory bowel, celiac, leaky gut
  • autism
  • mental illness
  • neurodegenerative disorders, e.g. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s
  • obesity
  • skin disorders such as rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis as well as acne vulgaris

My theory is that the autoimmune list above signifies that everything is the same disease.

And often, disease #1 can become disease #2.

For example, a viral or bacterial infection can trigger a cascade of events where the immune system starts beating up on itself. For instance, this is how death often occurs in respiratory infections — it ain’t the virus or bacteria that gets you, it’s your body’s response that makes you drown in your own lung butter.

Or, an injury can trigger chronic pain that does not disappear when the physical damage does. (Back pain sufferers, you know what I’m talking about. Your spine’s tissues have long forgotten about the actual owchie but your brain is hoarding the memory of that pain like a cat lady hoards old newspapers.) Speaking of that, we will become more insightful and sensitive about dealing with pain, and regard it as a complex mental-emotional-physical event.

As my judo teacher likes to say, It’s all the same fucking throw. (Our class is somewhat… informal. Kano wept.)

In other words, the fundamental principles and features apply — and if you have one thing, you often have other things too, whether you see them or not.

The body is a system — a very complex, self-regulating, sensitive system.

Think about it. Let’s imagine your body as a neighbourhood.

It has roads and railways — let’s call those blood vessels and our GI tract. It has a communications system — let’s call the electrical lines nerves and the postal system our endocrine system. The plumbing is our lymphatic system. The houses are our organs.

What happens if a road gets blocked by construction?

  • There’s a big snarl-up at the point of blockage
  • Everything gets diverted
  • Regular systems can’t work as well — the mail carrier has to change the route; messages may not get delivered as well
  • Digging under the road screws up the plumbing
  • The people living nearby can’t sleep because of the construction noise and horn honking; they bitch to their neighbours and write crabby letters to the local paper
  • Etc.

One little road blockage affects the entire neighbourhood.

  • Do you really think your liver doesn’t notice if your heart is clogging up with tiny chicken wings and beer bubbles?
  • Do you really think your blood vessels all over your body don’t care if there’s a nasty chemical running amok in the plasma?
  • Do you really think you can sneak that shit past your digestive system while it’s looking the other way?

No, my friends, the body is a very chatty, gossipy, omniscient being. It knows when we’re sleeping. It knows when we’re awake. It knows when we’ve been bad or good etc. It’s like Santa and God together.

3. We’re going to realize that stress literally kills us.

stressed-outSure, we know stress is bad. But did you know that physical, emotional, and mental stress can actually rearrange your DNA?

Problem is, modern life is more stressful than ever before, and it’s showing no signs of abating.

A global high-tech world means that along with the usual woes that have always plagued humanity (food, shelter, getting out of bed in the morning, getting and maintaining sex, mean people with pointy objects and thundersticks, malevolent power-grubbing bosses, etc.), we have new ways to stimulate ourselves, to which our physiologies (see #6) have not yet adapted.

For example, chronobiology will show us how the natural cycles of life — daily and seasonal rhythms — can be disrupted by our current structures such as shift work, artificial daylight, etc. and how this affects our metabolic health, including nutrition and exercise.

And multitasking just makes you worse at stuff. You think you can talk on your cellphone, read a map, juggle a coffee, and whip down the freeway, but you can’t. In fact, you’re doing badly at all of those things.

Speaking of coffee, your 4-venti-a-day habit is probably frying your adrenal glands.

Adrenal fatigue became the buzzphrase of the late 2000s. While it’s not yet recognized as an official disorder by the medical community, it makes sense that there’s a continuum between “total adrenal explosion” and “happy adrenals”, just like there are subclinical manifestations of several metabolic disorders.

Natural health practitioners are pointing out that just maybe all that stimulation isn’t so great. (See #10.)

In the next 10 years, we’ll start to see the long term effects of over-stimulation by chemicals. “Fat burner” supplement consumers, are you paying attention? Or are you too distracted by the xanthines slamming into your adenosine receptors?

4. Our tummies have brains.

Say hello to my leetle friends!

Say hello to my leetle friends!

And boy are they pissed.

The GI tract, long ignored as a poop-filled garden hose, is getting its revenge. The enteric nervous system and the rich, diverse microbial colonies of our gut may in fact be responsible for much of our immune system and  subconscious sensory activity.

Celiac disease now affects 1 in 100 people. Food intolerances are on the rise — whether this represents a higher rate of diagnosis or incidence is hard to know, but I’m guessing a bit of both.

We’ll start understanding the havoc that we’ve wreaked on our tummies with the Western diet in a more profound way, and autoimmunity of the gut will become understood as a fundamental component in a variety of other health conditions. (See #2 above.)

And by the way, the liver will replace the heart as the disease organ du jour. We focused a lot on heart disease starting in the 1980s. However, disordered liver function underlies an immense number of metabolic diseases, and in a sense it’s the canary in the coal mine. Put your money on the liver as a key player, while the heart’s disease celebrity career is going the way of Vanilla Ice’s.

Gut instinct, indeed.

5. The lipid hypothesis will go the way of Jazzercise.

You’d be tempted to think that Gary Taubes was the first to throw the bullshit flag on the twin statements of “Dietary fat makes you fat” and “Dietary fat makes you diseased”. But in fact, scientists were figuring this out in the 1920s and 30s.

The lipid hypothesis — the idea that dietary fat makes us fat and sick, and that we can perceive this disease state by looking at lipoproteins, and that we should all live on statin drugs — will die. Statins will be the new Vioxx but we’ll only figure this out when we wonder why our muscle tissue is dissolving.

Saturated fat is not the enemy. Nor is dietary cholesterol. Humans evolved to eat this stuff. However, they did not evolve to eat high fructose corn syrup, Frappucinos, and Ho-Hos. (See #6.)

Viva pork belly and organ meats! (But make them organic and pasture-raised. See #7.)

6. Evolutionary biology will become a guiding force in helping us understand ourselves.

cavewomanWe are, after all, animals. Our physiology is 10,000 years old or more, and we’re closer to yeasts than we’d like to admit.

Yeasts exposed to sugar age just like humans do. Less sugar = longer life.

Once we understand ourselves as hunter-gatherer hominids, a lot of stuff makes much more sense.

Our diseases (see #2) come largely from trying to do 21st century things with 10,000 year old bodies. (See #3.)

Epigenetics will become big news. We smugly thought we figured it out when we figured out DNA.

As usual, every time we say “Well, that’s the end of that question”, we find out we were wrong. (Why don’t we learn? Well, maybe arrogance and the desire for completion is also part of our DNA.)

And here, by the way, I don’t mean evolutionary pop-psychology of the type barfed up in mass media, e.g. “Men like to go in their cave” and “Women like potpourri because it reminds them of gathering berries”. I mean, like, real science with actual evidence and stuff. Pop-psych simplifies and stupidifies the world; real science makes it more complicated and interesting.

7. Farms will become both more and less personal.

Industrial conglomerates will continue to expand and dominate the food systems.

But a devoted and growing group of food fighters will continue to advocate for small farms, organic methods, and local food production and distribution systems.

There’ll be more chemical shit on the shelves, but consumers will also have better access to CSAs, pasture-raised meat, organic foods, and farmers.

People will start asking more inconvenient questions about where their food comes from, but unfortunately, food manufacturers will continue to distribute their nutritional napalm into new and vulnerable markets. (See #11.)

cylindrical egg from Picture is Unrelated

And then, things will just get weird.

8. Aging will continue to be a key focus for medical research.

The Boomers are shuffling into senescence, so there’ll be a lot of money thrown at research into age-related diseases.

We’ll come to realize that a lot of “normal” aging is simply disuse and neglect. We’ll realize that many chronic diseases are connected, and ultimately part of the same underlying phenomenon. (See #2.)

People will expect to stay active and sexy with a good quality of life. They will not go gently into that good night.

This will lead to some pretty awesome bionic replacements, major advances into understanding cellular damage, a plethora of invented medical conditions and “cures”, and us having to contemplate Hugh Hefner still gettin’ it on.

Unfortunately we won’t put as much attention into making sure kids don’t die early from inactivity and poor nutrition (see #9), and aren’t whacked out on drugs that fry their little brains (see #3 and #4).

9. Healthwise, the U.S. will implode.

Sorry guys, but no matter what happens with that healthcare plan, the Titanic has hit that iceberg and you’re rearranging deck chairs.

  • An entire swath of generations is now obese and developing serious metabolic diseases.
  • Those 45-odd million uninsured folks aren’t going to get better overnight.
  • Children are walking around with type 2 diabetes and heart disease, stoned on Ritalin.
  • A growing population of seniors and the working poor are going to food banks.
  • Farmers are living in poverty, and much of the available cropland in fertile areas is drying up or saturated with chemicals.
  • The food regulation and industry lobbying system means that manufacturers are allowed to produce and distribute utter garbage for the populus to consume (and then produce ridiculous offenses such as high-fructose corn syrup commercials); pharmaceutical companies can advertise their wares to all and sundry.
  • The US scores poorly on many key indicators of overall health, such as infant mortality.

Between well-established social determinants of health such as the economic recession and unequal distribution of resources (see #3), the health-crushing geography of suburban life (and the housing crisis), atrocious food (see #7), the aging population (see #8), etc. your country is in big, big trouble.

I am always desperately saddened by the tales that Americans tell me of their healthcare system, and the delusions they hold about the rest of the world. (Death camps, people? Really?) I am still haunted by the boy who did not seek help for a broken wrist because he could not afford it.

Don’t worry, the rest of the world is catching up to you in many respects, but you’re leading the pack, and you’re the only affluent industrialized country without a centrally administered public health care system. Congratulations. You’re killing your citizens.

10. The idea of “___ resistance” will emerge.

We already know about insulin resistance, which is the inability of our glucose transport and storage systems to work properly when they’re constantly flooded with insulin and glucose from a prolonged high-carbohydrate diet.

We’re learning about leptin resistance, which occurs in obese people whose bodies no longer respond well to the effects of the hormone leptin.

We’ll start to realize that continual hormone imbalance is bad news. Like parents tuning out a screaming toddler, our body downregulates systems in order to accommodate receptors that are overloaded.

11. Nutraceuticals will be big news, big business, and often a big pile of bullshit.

We’ll learn, as Hippocrates instructed, to make our food our medicine and our medicine our food.

Except instead of interpreting this dictum correctly — that we should eat well and treat each meal as an opportunity to nourish and repair our bodies via Nature’s gifts in whole foods — most folks will simply turn to chemical-laden “vitamin waters” and acrylamide-laden French fries with “cancer fighting” chemicals, helpfully produced by large corporations looking to disburse more low-cost garbage into the collective gullets of the populace.

This is like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer, but saying “It’s OK, because the hammer came with an ice pack and a roll of bandages!”

If a manufactured product advertises its health benefits (low fat! low carb! high in calcium! trans-fat/cholesterol free! balances your Q zone! aligns your cosmic vibrations!), 99.9% of the time you should not eat it.

Voortman Cookies

For one thing, label claims themselves can be very misleading. (More examples)

For another, label claims may have absolutely nothing to do with the real problem. I ate a whole lot of high-sugar, low-fat Fig Newtons and Twizzlers when I was low-fatting my way up to 50 lbs overweight. Sure, they were actually low-fat. But in that case, so is a sugar cube.

Oh, and I keep rooting for curcumin (a compound found in turmeric) as Supplement of the Decade. I think this is the decade!

Over to you, 2010s! To quote Principal Skinner, “Prove me wrong, children! Prove me wrong!”

Responses

  1. Trishy says:

    January 2nd, 2010at 12:26 pm(#)

    “Your relationship with your body mirrors your relationship with the other domains of your existence. Your body reflects your current values and priorities as well as your environment — social and physical.”

    This is a fantastic and insightful way of explaining the problem, and I may try using this line (if I may quote you) to explain it to some overweight and out of shape friends who simply have not been able to accept the fact that the kind of bodily change they desire will not happen without a lifestyle change.

    I share the cynical (but accurate) predictions put forth in this article, and sometimes these things make me want to throw in the towel and go stick my head in a grassy knoll somewhere in Ireland. I have been thinking recently about how affluent, industrialized countries like the US are populated by people who can very often have anything they want (any job, any partner, any number of kids, any place of residence, etc.), and yet book stores boast shelves full of self-help books that try to teach us how to be happy. There is something seriously wrong with the Western lifestyle if so many people with such easy lifestyles (compared to the poorer countries of the world) still can’t manage to be happy.

    And BTW, I read about epigenetics for the first time about a year ago, in a cover story in Chemical & Engineering News, and I still explain the concept to everyone who gives me a chance. It is one of the most fascinating discoveries in molecular biology.

  2. Ingrid says:

    January 2nd, 2010at 8:13 pm(#)

    Great rant Krista!

    Since 2002 I have followed the “real food” mantra advocated by Donna Aston (Australian personal trainer & fitness expert), yourself, and others in the know. I recently discovered I am what is called a “success story” as I lost 40 kilos,(88 pounds), in 2002/03 and have kept it off and my weight stable by eating clean ever since.

    Donna has the philosophy that if you cannot pronounce the ingredients on the label, then don’t eat it! Good advice I say! Keep it simple, keep it real and fresh, use vitamin supplements when you need them and you will be able to handle most health issues if and when they arise.

    I am facing a hip replacement in the next few months as the joint has worn out through overuse, too much weight for 20 years and osteoarthritis (which runs in the family). Unfortunately for me the doctors do not believe the amount of pain I am in because I don’t look my age (50) and I look very well! My activity level has disintegrated to zero & the only thing I can do to help myself now (prior to surgery) is to eat clean and possibly lose a little more weight. Somewhat difficult when you have no activity level!

    Keep up the great work on your site… you are an inspiration and thoroughly entertaining to boot. Have a great 2010!

  3. Liz McGurrin says:

    January 3rd, 2010at 10:17 am(#)

    I love this post. I wrote on another blog once that the problem with change is that in order to change, you’ve got to CHANGE. So many people I know are grieved by extra weight, excess stress, constant fatigue, but are unwilling (or unaware of the need) to make a fundamental lifestyle change. Luckily, my parents don’t fall into this group, and they’ve been eating clean for four months now with excellent results! My dad had to run up a flight of stairs to deliver an urgent message, and was so excited that he had arrived at the top with energy to spare that he sprinted up the same flight of stairs later just for fun.

  4. Bug says:

    January 3rd, 2010at 2:49 pm(#)

    Why the “chemical-laden”? Isn’t it a fairly meaningless term these days? You might as well say “matter-laden”. Does “chemical” automatically infer “synthesised” these days, and is this a desirable trend? (says the BSc Chemistry drop-out)

  5. Sharon from Penn State says:

    January 4th, 2010at 12:32 pm(#)

    I really really really really hope number #5 comes true.

  6. Rhenium says:

    January 4th, 2010at 4:01 pm(#)

    #7 is rather silly, like saying “The next few years will have some good things occur, but there will also be some bad things happen”.

    Also, last time I checked all foods are “chemicals” (tip of the hat to comment #4) and also the FDA agrees “Products labeled “100 percent organic” must contain only organic ingredients with the exception of water and salt, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090521200017.htm

  7. Staci says:

    January 4th, 2010at 5:21 pm(#)

    I adore that you quotes Principal Skinner. Brava!

  8. Dan Hubbard says:

    January 4th, 2010at 10:25 pm(#)

    Awesome rant! Modern American society is the pinnacle of irony; so rich and educated, but dying from greed, stress, and depression. A victim of our own success. It is a downward spiral that is hard to escape, but not impossible. My concern is for my kids. Everyday is a battle to educate them and steer them clear of the multitudes of pitfalls of modern American society.

    Keep up the kick-ass blog!

  9. Mistress Krista says:

    January 5th, 2010at 5:52 am(#)

    How is #7 silly? It points to an ongoing paradox of our culture. And usually the future involves good and bad things. Like, duh.

  10. Wendy says:

    January 5th, 2010at 8:42 am(#)

    awesome site and awesome rant, krista. proud to be a part of your Lean Eating posse on precisionnutrition.com

  11. Trishy says:

    January 5th, 2010at 10:38 am(#)

    Calling “chemical-laden foods” a misnomer because all foods are technically chemicals is a bit uselessly picky. That’s like complaining about the term “organic food”, because all food is organic in the strictly chemical definition of the word (which is something that contains carbon). Yes, “chemical” does automatically infer “synthesized” these days, and this is not necessarily an undesirable trend, because it is a convenient way of distinguishing between two approaches to food production. Just like “processed foods” generally indicates “over-processed”, since almost all foods are technically processed. But when we talk about processed foods, we are usually talking about Lean Cuisine and frozen pizza, not pasteurized milk. Demanding that the mainstream public be precisely scientifically accurate about the terms they use to describe food will not educate, it will alienate.

  12. Rhenium says:

    January 5th, 2010at 11:10 am(#)

    Well if it’s already ongoing then it isn’t much of a prognostication . Predicting “computers will get smaller” doesn’t exactly stun the imagination either, so stating that the future will contain good and bad things does not quite a psychic make…
    I would have just put it in with number 11 really.

  13. Sudeck says:

    January 5th, 2010at 8:58 pm(#)

    Dear Krista,
    May I have your permission to copy and put part of your rant (nicely framed, of course) in my exam rooms?
    I believe many of my patients would appreciate your wording. I know I do.
    Thanks.

  14. Mistress Krista says:

    January 6th, 2010at 8:04 am(#)

    Sudeck: Absolutely. Stitch it into a nice needlepoint sampler, perhaps. :)

  15. Simon says:

    January 7th, 2010at 8:05 am(#)

    Awesome rant!! :)

  16. Rachel says:

    January 7th, 2010at 1:31 pm(#)

    Go the way of Jazzercise? Jazzercise is alive and well. http://www.jazzercise.com/index.htm I have friends and faily members who take it and love it. If it weren’t for Jazzercise, they might not be getting much exercise at all.

    It’s been said on this site that if you want to get in shape, you should do something that you enjoy, that you should *GASP* have fun. Not everyone wants to sling iron and give beatdowns. I think ANY effort to be active should be respected. Otherwise, we just end up discouraging people who don’t need to be discouraged.

  17. Mistress Krista says:

    January 7th, 2010at 5:11 pm(#)

    Rachel: I sit corrected. Henceforth I shall no longer slag Jazzercise, except to post this photo: http://cache.gawker.com/assets/images/gawker/2010/01/jazzercise.jpg
    There, I’m done! Much respect to the Jazzercisers.

    Although I simply cannot imagine why everyone does NOT love slinging iron and giving beatdowns. That’s my definition of fun! :)

  18. beccabei says:

    January 7th, 2010at 5:20 pm(#)

    Lovin’ all of this, especially 1, 5 & 6. I’m glad you clarify that you’re not talking about pop evo-psych as that would definitely lead me to doubt your rationality.

    I have bought myself a kettlebell and a couple of recommended books and look forward to changing for the better this year – hopefully not failing number 1!

    Just wanted to say I think your website’s great. No bullshit but not too dry in tone. I’ve learnt a lot so far (last few months I’ve been reading). Thanks!

  19. Trishy says:

    January 8th, 2010at 11:03 am(#)

    I read an interesting article a little while ago about research into finding compounds other than salt that can give food a salty taste, if anyone is interested (I think it is an open access article):

    http://pubs.acs.org/cen/science/87/8722sci1.html

    On one hand, this article highlights the interesting little intricacies of flavor perception. On the other hand, it is a great example of how so much research goes into making food production an exercise in chemistry (like the nutraceuticals mentioned above), rather than actual problem solving.

    I particularly like the line “No matter what the strategy, reducing salt content in foods is about helping people stay healthy” … looks more like it’s about big business.

  20. Alison says:

    January 12th, 2010at 9:11 pm(#)

    Speak it!!! I love your everything is two diseases breakdown.
    and the “Children are walking around with type 2 diabetes and heart disease, stoned on Ritalin” is chilling and true. Gave me goosebumps.
    Keep it up. You’re doing it right.

  21. Justin_P says:

    January 13th, 2010at 8:45 am(#)

    Very nice blog entry, worthy of reading several times. Except for one thing…

    Life isn’t more stressful. Look at your blog entry again, people’s ability to deal with stress is getting worse as their health declines.

  22. Terry Gibbs says:

    January 14th, 2010at 1:27 am(#)

    Over a hundred years ago our society was lead by thinkers such as Twain, Darwin, Dickens, Huxley, Shaw, Doyle, Wells etc etc.

    Today our society is lead by “modern clebrity’s ” and the cult of fame & greed…

    Roller Ball may not just have about the best theme music going (Bach..the father not the son) but they got it right, big business runs the world and the changes you would incorporate are not good for profit.

    me I’ve given up, I will buy shares in Pepsico and Baer (drugs) at least that way I can go with the flow..and cheer on society from the sidelines..

    I love you Krista ( in a nice brotherly way..not the other sort of Mistress Krista way) and you are fighting the good fight, but if you look closely in the mirror you may see Cassandra looking back

    now if you could only get your point across, to the masses ..say an appearance on Oprah…all you would have to do is make it more mainstream… like cut your advice down to…” go for a walk…occasionally, and eat low carb muffins…”

    and I really Liked your rant.Will send links to all and sundry..

    thanks for all your work and effort, very much appreciated

  23. Pitbullgirl65 says:

    January 14th, 2010at 6:29 pm(#)

    Great rant! Love the Jazzercise picture. :D

  24. YIMYIM says:

    January 15th, 2010at 1:53 am(#)

    I have to say.. I love this site and your rant. (coming from a gymrat nursing student combo, this was right up my alley…)

  25. Brion says:

    January 19th, 2010at 9:35 pm(#)

    Ms Scott-Dixon, I am picking myself off the floor, wiping away tears of laughter after basking in your “Rant 55”. Your site ROCKS! You are riot, a inspiration and true leader, please run for president. Keep it up and thank you.

  26. jennythenipper says:

    January 25th, 2010at 2:13 pm(#)

    Krista’s blog led me to Nourishing Traditions, The Weston Price Foundation and Matt Stone’s 180 degree health. Six months later I’m finally starting to pull out of the metabolic and health tailspin created by years of dieting and over-training. Weight lifting was a part of the problem, but shitty supposedly “clean” “food” (whey protein, low fat dairy products) and running were a bigger part of the problem.

    Plans for 2010: heal self with lots of whole food, get lots of rest. Butch up. That is all.

    Krista thanks for all the inspiration and open-minded discussion on health and nutrition. You rock!

  27. Doug Millington says:

    February 6th, 2010at 9:34 pm(#)

    I love it. You’re hit the nail on the head. Big businesses keep loading up food with chemicals, both old and new, and when people have health issues the knee-jerk reaction is to dump more chemicals into their system via presciption drugs.

    Why don’t people wake up to the fact the only way to get healthy and fit is through a proper diet and regular physical exercise. It’s not complicated. But they don’t because, as you said, everyone is bombarded with ads and ads disguised as “news” from businesses that haven’t figured out how to make money by promoting healthy eating habits, foods and exercise.

    And don’t me started with the “health” industry – what a joke. They have zero interest in prevention but spend all their time selling pills to “fix” your unhealthy lifestyle.

    It’s like an addict – until they hit bottom there is no hope for recovery. And until the populous hits bottom there is no hope of any significant changes.

  28. Evilcyber says:

    February 7th, 2010at 9:48 pm(#)

    Normally I’m a big fan of this site, but I find some of the things being said here questionable:

    - Except for diabetes obesity is as much an autoimmune disorder as getting run over by a car is.

    - Gary Taubes’ theories lack scientific backing. It’s not fat nor carbohydrates per se that make you obese – eating too much of either is. This article might interest you: http://www.cspinet.org/nah/11_02/bigfatlies.pdf

    - Nor is it per se the “Western diet” that causes health problems – it again is eating too much, no matter what. In the middle classes of India and China obesity and diabetes are on the rise, because those people can afford to buy as much food as they want.

  29. elizabeth says:

    February 8th, 2010at 12:33 pm(#)

    wow, that pretty much sums it up ! Thanks for putting it so succinctly :)

  30. Ann says:

    February 18th, 2010at 11:36 am(#)

    My parents eat those cookies in #11! It makes me crazy how just about everything they eat is fat-free or sugar-free and they think that if something has flax seeds in it than it’s healthy. They also think that the Vitamin Cottage is not worth shopping in. GASP!!!!!
    Thanks for the link to the Fooducate blog. I’m going to start bombarding my parents with articles from there!

  31. Jill says:

    February 19th, 2010at 2:24 pm(#)

    On point 3: shortening telomeres = bad.
    But shortening telomeres =/= rearrangement of DNA. It does mean that a non-coding section of DNA got shorter. Which they do naturally every time they copy themselves. Your conclusion is correct, you’re going to die quicker. But the term used is wrong.
    Radiation damage rearranges DNA. And kills you but QUICK.

    Other than that minor wording issue, loved it. Especially #1 and #11. Nutraceuticals. Tch.

  32. Beth says:

    February 26th, 2010at 5:50 pm(#)

    Great rant – please keep them coming as you have time. It’s very inspiring.

    I have contacted you in the past to discuss some autoimmune stuff – honestly it has taken me YEARS to understand how food and activity play into how I feel and how my health responds. It truly is like hitting my head over and over with a hammer. But, I’m starting to get it and I really appreciate how you write and make this heady information accessible.

    I also really appreciate your liberal use of the word ‘fuck’. Because, A. It’s a great word and gets the message across and B. For some off reason it motivates me. I love to have songs with fuck in the lyrics – anything for energy and movement works for me!

    Keep up your great work – it’s very appreciated.

  33. Lori S. says:

    March 2nd, 2010at 3:04 pm(#)

    I must admit, I chuckled a little when I read.. “unless you figure out the real problem…” I suppose it has been the past 25 years of that search as well as many others that I know that have struggled to find the all powerful and all knowing ISSUES… to just that question.

    I truly believe that the second part of the statement is the answer to the first part of the question..”focus on the process” and “not the product”.

    Firstly our process is truly living life, not life with all of the marketing garbage of whiter teeth and fresher breath (not saying there’s anything wrong with that necessarily); but reality.. the reality that I want to be fit and strong so that when I’m 60 (and even 80) I can still run down a river and climb up a mountain and haul my water in 5 gallon buckets. Reality that says I know where my food comes from, I know where my air, my water and my joys truly come from. Not from some store bought, media styled, marketed, inc. + fed + drug induced + related alter ego la la land!

    I truly believe that if more people focused on the reality of life instead of the products that are conviently placed before our ever growing appetite and gut that more people would have a reason to have joy and energy instead of worrying about who is stealing something from them they themselves are throwing away.

  34. Renna says:

    March 4th, 2010at 11:03 pm(#)

    I’ve been visiting your site for… a while now, and still like coming back. :) I learned a lot from it. Thank you.

    One thing about American farmers that you didn’t mention in #9: farmers are going broke because the government still hands out gobs of cash (corporate welfare at its finest!) to agribusiness behemoths like Monsanto, and local farmers that were already struggling in this economy and NOT having to deal with drought cycles are losing. I live in rural OK, and I can honestly tell you that more and more farms are going under and going up for auction. Local greenhouses and nurseries are also facing the same problem (several in my county have already gone under). I’ve watched hundreds of acres go up for sale at once, just to be slated to become more freaking housing developments that we don’t want or need. (On the plus side, at least we don’t have a Wal-Mart here, though I wonder how much longer our luck will hold.) The price of nitrogen fertilizer has gone up and up, meanwhile, and since nitrogen deficiency is a common problem for soils, you can imagine what that’s doing to the rest of us.

    Getting back on track, thank you again for your terrific site. Cheers.

  35. Mistress Krista says:

    March 5th, 2010at 6:24 am(#)

    Renna: So true, and it’s awful. Folks, please support your local farmers wherever and whenever you can!! Local food isn’t just about the environment; it’s about creating and sustaining local economies and small family producers.

  36. For Health and Strength… » The ‘Execution/Logistics’ Page is Done says:

    March 17th, 2010at 10:20 pm(#)

    [...] exercise, weight loss, health, and almost everything else is rooted in good logistics.  Over at www.stumptuous.com a while back Krista Scott-Dixon wrote about the reason we fail: “It’s not “willpower” [...]

  37. Sheng says:

    March 22nd, 2010at 10:32 pm(#)

    Wow, thanks for this treasure load of info and insight! I’m an immunology grad and I hadn’t even heard about the autoimmune component to mental illness and other diseases. Fascinating stuff!

  38. Cat says:

    April 3rd, 2010at 8:10 am(#)

    I really liked this post because it confirms a lot of my suspicions about the interconnectedness of our health and body systems. This may well be too much information but I deeply suspect that most people on this site are non-squeamish as they come.

    Poop.

    If I’m in a good mood, eating well, getting my regular running in and so on, I’m regular as clockwork every morning. The minute I’m under stress, start eating junk and skipping workouts, I could hole up in the crapper with “War & Peace” and still feel bloated and rubbishy. It’s basically my barometer of how I’m treating myself and I have a weird affection for it.

  39. DensityDuck says:

    June 20th, 2010at 3:44 pm(#)

    “11. Nutraceuticals will be big news, big business, and often a big pile of bullshit.”

    It’s kind of funny that despite over a hundred years of the government trying to stop people selling snake oil, the best we can do is to require a tiny bit of text saying “these claims have not been evaluated by the FDA”.


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