It’s the Fourth of July and right about now is the time you start to see these annoying Holiday/Barbeque healthy eating tips. You know the drill; avoid chips and dip, diet soda and lite beer, don’t eat buns with your hot dogs and hamburgers, avoid pasta and potato salads especially those made with real mayonnaise. Screw that!

The holidays, any holiday, is a friggin’ terrible time to start a diet or practice the food avoidance philosophy. Don’t try to prove anything to yourself, or to anyone, by making this ill-fated and counter-productive effort to avoid the foods that you love. The holidays involve parties that feature foods that we enjoy, and should eat on during these occasions.

The Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Easter, Christmas, Pasech, birthdays and anniversaries are all times to have fun and eat the foods you love. Have a drink, eat some cake, kill some cookies, eat a double cheese burger off the grill. Whatever.

If you have been eating this stuff all year round, then depriving yourself on the days everyone else is eating them, you aren’t accomplishing anything. Use the Fourth of July, or any of these other holidays, as a way to mark the end of an era. On the fifth of July, or the Friday after Thanksgiving or the 26th of December, make the changes you feel you need to make. But not on the day when everyone else is enjoying themselves.

Stop demonizing foods.

And if you practice moderation, use the holiday barbeque as a way to let go and take a break from your routine. One day is not going to have a detrimental effect. Don’t fall prey to the so-called diet/health gurus who want to make people feel badly about eating the foods they enjoy.

Okay, I gotta go. The sausage is ready to come off the grill. happy Fourth of July!

I have written about the nonsensical HCG Diet. It’s barbaric and won’t work. Now the federal government has stepped in to prevent supplement hucksters from selling HCG weight loss supplements.

This dreck is sold in various forms and the FDA has issued warning letters to seven companies that sell these products as drops, pellets or sprays. HCG is a legit substance, and is used to treat infertility. However, there is zero evidence that HCG offers any weight loss benefits. It is sad how gullible and/or desperate some people are that they would attempt to follow the HCG “diet” and spend money on these supplements that have no purpose.

The HCG diet forces people to subsist on 500-calories per day, which isn’t a diet but managed starvation. It takes a lot of chutzpah to make the claim that a supplement is responsible for weight loss on a 500-calorie per day diet.

The HCG diet and supplement scam is a great illustration of why you must be suspicious of all diets and supplements, especially at this time of year. The scammers are out there waiting for the opportunity to separate you from your hard earned money, as they offer the latest panaceas. With the new year right around the corner, the Diet and Supplement Industrial Complex is gearing up to take advantage of the New Year’s Resolution types out there.

“If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project then this is it.” I really wish I could take credit for crafting this line. I cannot imagine a more appropriate response to the ridiculous measure taken by the European Union in outlawing the product claim that water can prevent dehydration than this line, which was uttered by British politician Roger Helmer.

Mr. Helmer also had this to say. “The euro is burning, the EU is falling apart and yet here they are: highly-paid, highly-pensioned officials worrying about the obvious qualities of water and trying to deny us the right to say what is patently true.” Bravo, cheers, huzzah, etc. Unfortunately, it’s easy to see how this meddlesome, Nanny-State law making came about, as on both sides of the pond a soft-tyranny has become the norm.

Starting in December of 2011, bottled water producers are not allowed to make the claim that water can prevent dehydration and will face a two-year jail sentence if they do.

Thomas Jefferson said, “Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.” Let the ridicule begin. Don’t engage in trying to reason with the idiots in the European Food Standards Authority, make fun of them.

At a conference in Parma, Italy a group of 21 scientists concluded that not enough water content was a symptom of dehydration and not something that drinking water could effect or control. Really?!? Calling Dr. Fine, Dr. Howard, Dr. Fine…

Mr. Helmer’s line needs to be repeated. “If ever there were an episode which demonstrates the folly of the great European project then this is it.”

France has announced that it will be adding an extra tax to sugary soft drinks in an effort to combat childhood obesity. The childhood obesity cover story is a sham, as this tax is just an attempt to raise revenue for a government that has spent itself into insolvency. Using the childhood obesity epidemic as a ruse to raise money is cynical, perverse and twisted.

French officials are patting themselves on the backs as they announce that this tax will raise 100 million Euros annually for the government coffers and also be used to lower social security charges on farm workers. So how is this going to fight childhood obesity? Here’s a statement from a great example of a full-of-baloney public official, French MP Gilles Carrez, “This project will have both health benefits as children turn away from sugary drinks, and revenue benefits for our core agricultural workforce.” This is the worst kind of political bullshit.

If anything, Monsieur Carrez and the French government now have a vested interest in their kids, and all citizens, drinking as much soda as possible so that they can raise money for stuff and for France’s agricultural workforce. Meanwhile, governments, so-called public health officials and citizen suckers all around the globe will applaud this maneuver. After all, it’s for the kids! If the government really cared about les enfants they would ban the drinks that are causing so much harm, or charge the fat kids and parents and adults more for consuming them. If the French had any intention of helping their citizens they would put the revenues from the sugar/fat tax into a fund that would be used for health related purposes. Yea, right.

The worst case scenario for these French phonies would be for people to truly turn away from soda and, as a result, not collect the anticipated revenue from this tax. This is as oxymoronic as you can get. Think about how foolish Monsieur Carrez’s position is. Institute a punitive tax on an “undesirable” consumable as a way to raise needed revenue, but hope that the tax dissuades people from buying the allegedly unhealthy consumable, thus not raising the needed revenue! How thrilled would the French experts be to find out that their tax really did keep people from buying regular soda?

And there’s more. Do you think the soda companies will stand to see their market share deteriorate over a couple of pennies tax? Of course not, so they will lower their price so that people don’t stop buying their product. These companies are experts at Value Engineering (lowering prices while raising profits) and will wind up making themselves, and the French government, plenty of money.

Don’t kid yourself; these fat taxes are not about health and are nothing more than a governmental money grab.

The good news about the new season of NBC’s hit television show “The Biggest Loser” is that there is no more Jillian Michaels. The bad news is that everybody else is still there.

I have heard all of the defenses of the show; it’s popular, people lose weight, it’s inspirational. These rationalizations reveal just how low we have set the bar, how little we’ve come to expect and how “un-critical” our thinking is.

The show is exploitative and anything but inspirational. A handful of people are hand-picked from a figurative sea of troubled contestants. So-called fitness professionals engage in various forms of physical and emotional abuse, employ the worst kind of pop psychology and get into areas that are beyond the appropriate scope of practice. In short, the trainers behave towards clients in a manner that would get them fired in the real world.

The show worships at the alter of weight-loss and exudes negativity, from the title of the show to the attitudes of the trainers. There have been news stories detailing the methods the show’s producers use to keep past contestants from talking in public about their experiences on the show. If the show, and the contestant experience, is so fantastic and life-changing why not allow unfettered access to those who have been lucky enough to be a part of it?

I would love to hear from the people who went through the entire process and got on the show, only to be voted off the first week because they lost only 15-pounds instead of 20. How uplifting and inspirational do you think the first week’s loser’s story is? How do you think they are doing now.

This year the contestants will have the privilege of working with under-achieving tennis player and pin-up girl Anna Kournikova. The producers of the show have lowered the bar to the point where they aren’t even aspiring to get a “celebrity personal trainer” on staff; being famous and looking good in a tennis skirt is the new criteria. Super.

Actually, since “The Biggest Loser” is an appearance-based show at least the producers upgraded their training staff. I can’t imagine anyone pining for the days of Jillian.

So let the dysfunctional, weight-loss games begin.

Dr. Andrew Weil, the Complimentary and Alternative Medicine guru (CAM), published a blog post saying that yo-yo dieting is better than “staying fat.” I guess attaining superstar status in the world of CAM gives you the privilege of saying silly, and potentially harmful, things, while maintaining said stautus.

When you get beyond the headline, “Yo-Yo Dieting is Better Than Staying Fat,” read the blog post and get the details of the study Weil uses to bolster his position, you have to scratch your head. For a minute, let’s put aside the obvious, in that from the picture he uses on his blog, Dr.Weil looks kinda fat.

The study Weil refers to in his blog post involves 10 yo-yo dieting mice, who lived longer than 10 mice who ate a high-fat diet, and 10 mice who ate a low-fat diet. Really unimpressive, isn’t it? And yet Dr. Weil is totally comfortable concluding that the negative effects of yo-yo dieting might be over-stated based on the experience of 10 binging and purging mice.

Dr. Weil does not say anything about how these “mice pounds” relate to human pounds, or give any other indication as to why anyone should pay attention to the results of this study given the hard evidence from human studies that attest to the ineffectiveness of dieting and the damage diets do. Actually given Weil’s track record, you’d be hard pressed to find a more anti-science advocate.

Besides the apparent differences between mice and men, we have had results of studies and other evidence to indicate that in humans, yo-yo dieting can have negative ramifications. Using mice studies in a case where we have human evidence of an outcome, is questionable and curious. Almost as if someone wanted to prop up the fact-challenged diet industry. The diet industry already takes billions of dollars per year from us, so is it not hard to believe this cabal would try to distract from the reality that diets don’t work.

Now back to Dr.Weil’s appearance. Don’t you think someone who tells people they shouldn’t be fat, shouldn’t look fat? I never judge a person based on their appearance, and I do not use weight as a measure of fitness, or lack of it. But does Dr. Weil look like someone who should be advocating “thin is in?”

Over the past month the issue of the National Debt Ceiling has dominated the headlines, as our government has tried to come to grips with its profligate spending, the damage that’s been done to our economy and the country’s credit rating. As with pretty much everything it touches, the government has really screwed things up. So it’s scary that the powers-that-be have been making noises about the country’s obesity situation and are dropping not-to-subtle hints that the government is willing to play a major role in telling people what they can and cannot eat.

Is the establishment of a “National Fat Ceiling” in our future? I think this is a reasonable concern. We don’t want the government in our kitchens and pantries. It can’t figure out how to deliver mail, it can’t balance our national check book, it can’t figure out how to improve our educational system, it created more confusion with the ill-fated “Food Pyramid,” and the beat goes on.

There are few things that would be as invasive in our everyday lives as a National Fat Ceiling, where the government sets body-weight/body fat goals for us, dictates the amount and type of calories we can eat, and makes rules about how food must be prepared. Government bureaucrats surely have the same likelihood of being over-weight and under-exercised as members of the private sector.  Do these government busy-bodies have perfect diet and exercise habits? Doubtful.

Let’s do whatever we can to keep the government out of our kitchens. Even if there is a “crisis,” why would anyone think that the government could help make things better.  Seriously. It’s not like you’re being menaced on a dark street and a cop comes along to save the day. That’s different story.  We don’t need a (probably fat) government agents walking into our houses and slapping chocolate chip cookies out of our hands.

An ominous sign; the Harvard genius who says parents of obese kids should lose custody of their children. This is a scary dude. This is stuff that could have come from the eugenics sickos in Nazi Germany.

I don’t know what would be worse to have a government half-wit tell us how to eat or an Ivy League elite determine if parents can keep custody of their kids.

Over the past decade or so there has been an attempt to stop people from being judgmental. However, this courtesy doesn’t seem to be extended to those who are considered to be over-weight. The First Lady has embarked on a program that is stigmatizing young kids who are overweight, but it’s for their own good, right?

This is just a phony emergency that’s being used as an opportunity to increase the government’s overreach into our lives.

Can we stop this runaway train?

Look at her. What a fat pig. I am disgusted. Hurricane Irene is a big, fat pig. Just like almost everyone else in the country (if you believe public health officials), Hurricane Irene is overweight and as a result, will cost insurance companies and the tax payers way too much money to repair the damage she causes. Just like Americans, American hurricanes are getting too big, taking up too much space, consuming too many resources and costing us money to clean up the mess they leave behind. Just like fat people do, if you believe what the experts say. Experts who are all probably really thin and in perfect physical condition.

Meteorological experts have said that, “Just like people, they (storms) all have their own personalities. From the get-go, Irene was not a power storm. Her goal was to become wide, not internally powerful. Personified further, the storm became too big too quickly and it cannot master its own strength.” Her goal was “to become wide;” there you have it. Storms have personalities just like people, and Irene is like a glutton at the all-you-can-eat buffet bar. I picture Hurricane Irene to be quite comfortable sitting at the table with the Klumps from the Eddie Murphy movie, “The Nutty Professor,” fried chicken leg in one hand, a pile of sliced ham in the other, with a full plate of mashed potatoes, fries and gravy set in front of her. She’s spilling out of her adjustable-waistline jeans, and doesn’t care.

Please note that we are talking about 2011 Hurricane Irene, and not her 1999 sister (or would it be cousin?) that pounded and soaked Florida.

Americans’ consumptionist ways have now tainted Mother Nature’s creations. And despite the American economy’s troubles, our storms are still big, strong and powerful and getting larger. Just like Leon.

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THIS JUST IN: Experts in the UK predict that half of the US will be obese by the year 2030!

As an aside, the reporting of this weather phenomenon is classic crisis mode nonsense, the kind of reporting that is used to cover every issue that hits the newswire. Obesity, crisis. Climate change, crisis. Hurricane, crisis AND catastrophe. Economy, crisis. Debt ceiling, crisis. If everything is a crisis, nothing is a crisis. When a real crisis comes, the masses will be unprepared because the media and our politicians are reactionary “Cry Wolf-ians.” But I digress…

And about the names of these storms, here’s a suggestion; how about using last names and naming the storms after famous fatties, both fictional and real? Why stigmatize the poor kids who have names like Irene and Katrina? It’s like the First Lady making fat kids a target as a result of her no-fat kids initiative. Rather than Hurricane Irene, why not Hurricane Sherman (or Mama) Klump or Hurricane Orson Wells or Hurricane Rex Ryan? Since Mississippi has been named as the fattest state, why not Hurricane Mississippi?

Nowadays it is clear that along with money, fatness is the root of all evil. (Note: The original saying from the New Testament is, “The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil,” but it’s been misquoted so often a new quote with a new meaning has been created. Just go with it.) So let’s further demonize fat. Let’s not be judgmental towards any person, place or thing unless they are successful money makers and/or fat. And what better way to make fat people feel really badly about themselves, bad enough to change, than to name horribly destructive natural phenomenon after other fat folks? But I digress, yet again…

The government really needs to do something about the growing size of these storms, design some kind of intervention like putting tropical depressions on a diet and exercise regimen so that they don’t become big, fat slobs of a storm like big, fat slob of a storm Irene. More veggies, more treadmill, less fried foods and of course no smoking or alcohol. Maybe former President Bill Clinton can counsel the tropical depressions and hurricanes since he has lost so much weight.

After all, the government has been so helpful to this point giving the public incredibly valuable information. For instance the governor of North Carolina told people to stay indoors, the governor of New Jersey told people to get off of the beach and the mayor of New York City telling people that staying in their homes and not evacuating is  crime. This is what we need these politicians for. What insight, what leadership! Who among us would think to stay indoors during a potential hurricane?

Ok, so here’s to hoping that fatso Hurricane Irene slims down before it does too much damage.

Like clockwork, every holiday, every year we get inundated with these “healthy eating tips,” from nosey, buttinsky do-gooders who want to ruin our fun. There are 365 days in a year and less than 10 real opportunities to enjoy holiday foods/parties, yet these no-fun allowed types can’t leave us alone.

These pieces all start out with some variation of this line, “Don’t let the upcoming holiday weekend derail your diet, blah, blah, blah…” and the writer provides us with a variety of ways to ruin the enjoyment we get from, in the case of the Fourth of July, going to a holiday barbecue.

The most odious of these “advice” pieces profess to help you “survive” the holiday cook-out, as if you are on patrol in Afghanistan. The nonsense is priceless. We’re given pearls of wisdom like, “use smaller plates,” “pace yourself and eat slowly,” “skip crackers, chips and bread,” and “be careful what you drink.” Then there is the always helpful reminder to eat the healthy foods available.

Really? At a barbecue? To these writers of this pap I say, “Kiss my a$$.”

Those of you who don’t have an issue with food will go to your parties and enjoy yourselves. For those of you who are on a perpetual diet and who have been made to feel badly about yourself, do not pick a holiday or party occasion to start your diet. Don’t view the Fourth of July barbecue as the time and place to try to make changes to your eating habits.

If you feel compelled to diet and embark on a routine of weight loss via food avoidance, start the day after the party, and use the next party as the reward for making changes. Don’t fall for the load of BS that a moment on the lips results in a lifetime on the hips.

Diets don’t work. Avoiding the foods you enjoy will not help you. Listening to the proponents of food avoidance will make you feel worse. There are ways to improve your eating habits, but following the advice found in these “healthy eating lists” is not the way to do it.

So let me get this straight. The old Food and Drug Administration Food Pyramid was confusing, and over the time it was in effect obesity rates (allegedly) increased, but the new MyPlate program will help people improve their eating habits? Who really believes this pap?

All the rah rah stories I’ve read with quotes from all kinds of experts singing the praise of this new graphic had me scratching my head. Frankly, I’m baffled how anyone thinks MyPlate is an improvement. The FDA provided quite specific information from the the old food pyramid (in all its iterations) and myriad other government nutritional programs; MyPlate looks like a pie chart you might find in an edition of USA Today. How is this going to help people?

Oh wait, that isn’t it. Here it is.

Remember, the government has had a monopoly with the US Postal Service for over 170-years and still can’t figure out how to mail letters and make a profit. But somehow some people think the government has the ability to “fix” this obesity problem, a problem that has exploded despite the government’s efforts to prevent it.

Actually, it is insulting to hear all the applause for this silly graphic plate. The FDA and the government should stop wasting our time and money.

And another thing, what’s with the lame rip-off of MySpace? MyPlate? Why not PlateBook? Or how about Platter? This is the perfect example of how government cannot be “cool.” It is “the establishment.” I don’t care who is in power. It doesn’t matter which party or what their philosophy is. It matters not if they have a great fashion style or cutting edge taste in music. Government isn’t cool. And it isn’t particularly smart, either.

Government is spectacularly bad at telling people what to eat or drink or smoke. The question shouldn’t be when will government finally succeed at this Sisyphusian task, but rather when will they resort to using their muscle and flat-out ban foods. The day will come when specific foods will be outlawed; sugar, salt, fat, red meat are all in the crosshairs. If you pay attention to the nutritional news it’s hard not to see the day when our favorite foods will be taken away from us.

But back to MyPlate. Here’s what all of the hoopla is all about, nutritional advice gems like these;
Balancing Calories
●Enjoy your food, but eat less.
●Avoid oversized portions.

Foods to Increase
●Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
●Make at least half your grains whole grains.
●Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Oh, please. MyPlate is vague, will confuse people and certainly will not make a dent in the obesity problem is supposedly addresses.