The Myth of Moderation


In a recent edition of Stephan Pastis’s brilliantly hilarious comic strip, PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, Goat initiated the following conversation with Pig:

Goat:    What are you eating, Pig?

Pig:       Just some fried cheese sticks.  They’re not good for you, but I figure it’s okay since I only eat them once a week.

Goat:    Do you have any other once-a-week foods?

Pig:       Just cheeseburgers, hot dogs, fried chicken, bacon, corn dogs, chili cheese fries, sausages, doughnuts, and fried butter on a stick.  Moderation is key.

Every time there is a television special around the question “why are we all getting so fat?” it will end with some variation on “it all goes back to the sage advice – everything in moderation.”  And that, my friends, is a deadly message!

A few years ago one of America’s best known medical schools reported on a survey of individuals concerning their eating behaviors.  In a subset of the surveyed population that was clinically obese (body mass index above 30), 86 percent described their eating behaviors as “healthy.”

Do I need to repeat this?  Nearly 90 percent of the obese people surveyed believe that they were eating healthy diets!!

I’m sad to report that the survey didn’t ask these same people what was making them obese!  It obviously wasn’t their eating behavior!

Telling people to simply eat everything “in moderation” is basically telling them to continue doing what they are currently doing.  The word “moderation” means nothing.  Or, put another way, everyone already thinks they are eating “in moderation.”

In other words – do nothing.  You are getting fat from something else.  It certainly has nothing to do with your diet!