Saturday, November 3, 2018

The Dietary Follies

The stars must be conjoined today. They must have found a special conjunction. Because we have discovered two totally compelling stories about food and dieting. That’s right, food and dieting. Didn't you know: you are what you eat.

One study comes from the Centers for Disease Control. The other comes from a serious academic study in Poznan, Poland.

The two observations are, in order:

1. Rich people eat more fast food. I take that to mean that rich people eat more junk food.

2. Vegetarians are more miserable than omnivores. They have lower self-esteem and do not much like parties.

Of course, the studies do not really ask whether eating Big Macs is going to make you rich. Or whether people who are likely to get rich happen to have a fast food addiction. At the least, we can conclude that eating fast food and even junk food is not going to make you poor and miserable. Vegetables will.

For your edification, here’s the story, from Fox Business:

Americans love fast food, especially those with more money. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey found the more money people make the more they eat fast food.

According to the survey, which was conducted from 2013 to 2016, fast food was eaten 42 percent more by higher-income Americans than it was by lower-income Americans.

“People that make about $32,000 a year eat fast food at a rate 32 percent higher than normal on a daily basis,” said “Bar Rescue” host Jon Taffer to FOX Business’ Stuart Varney on Friday. “But yet people who make about $113,000 a year are 10 percent higher.”

This is because fast food is more accessible to people who earn more.
“It’s the simple formula that people who make more money often work longer hours, are in more of a hurry, get shorter lunch breaks, eat on the go,” Taffer said. “It’s cheaper [and] easier to get.”

That is, dare I say, a cheap and easy explanation. You would think, if you are thinking, that a rich person would have an embarrassment of options, that the richer he is the more he can eat whatever he damn well pleases. In New York City delivery services will deliver anything you want to eat, straight to your door.

So, the explanation does not quite make it for me.

Of course, the other option, the one you are thinking of now, is that you do not get rich by wasting your money on fine dining. Fast food is more economical than a sit-down three martini lunch. Thus, if you want to get rich, don’t spend your money on fancy food. That might be too practical, but I feel obliged to offer it anyway.

As for the second part of today’s story, the psychological price of vegetarianism, we turn to The Daily Mail-- what would we do without the Daily Mail?

Vegetarians may be healthier than meat-eaters – but they are also more miserable, say researchers.

Those who cut meat from their diet experience more negative feelings, have lower self-esteem and see less meaning in life, a study found.

The authors conclude that vegetarians may be less ‘psychologically well-adjusted’, suggesting teasing by omnivores may be to blame....

Researchers asked 400 vegetarians, meat-eaters and ‘semi-vegetarians’ to record their feelings over a fortnight. Of the three groups, vegetarians experienced the most negative feelings and enjoyed social occasions least.

We are certainly impressed by this effort to rationalize the negative psychological fallout of pretending to be a rabbit. Aside from the fact that I do not know of very many vegetarians who are subjected to constant social ridicule-- in my neighborhood that is reserved for carnivores and smokers-- why is it that these proud vegetarians, the ones who are effectively more healthy than their rich fast-food-eating compatriots, are so sensitive, so easily triggered?

At the least, vegetarianism should have provided a high enough self-esteem to withstand the slings and arrows of outrageous judgment.

Apparently not.


Ares Olympus said...

It seems like you ought to do some differentiation on quality of fast food. Fast food could include (more) healthy sandwiches with real meats and vegetables as much as supersize me sugar-salt-fat mixtures of fake food. So fast food can mean healthy food for people with more money and cheap crappy food for poor people who are lured by mere taste.

But if you're the president of the United States afraid of being poisoned, fast food can protect your from your fears, and greedy to keep your money, it can allow you your tasty comfort 2,430-calorie meal at bargain prices.

Dr. Irredeemable Dreg said...

I think it's fair to say that one measure of an impoverished life is talking about someone else's McDonald's orders.

Anyway, I adopted a vegetarian diet for a while in college. Partly because I fell for the health nonsense, and partly because it's cheaper to eat out of the Produce Department. Stuck with it for almost two years. I felt cold all the time. Not sick cold, temperature cold. Even as the planet was warming. Go figure. Gave it up.

Not sure what the President was eating at the time. Never looked it up. Too busy with other stuff like getting laid, drinking beer (vegan-friendly!), and math.

The weirdest diet thing is the fake meat "burgers" and stuff. The inflatable sex doll of the food domain.

Sam L. said...

AO, AO, AO, Trump is not afraid of being poisoned! That's why he has Democrats eat his food for him, OK, this is a no-squirter, but hey, it's kinda late and I was up early.