Stupid Teachers + Stupid School Nurses + Stupid Education Policymakers = More Uh, Oh

By Michael Applebaum. MD, JD, FCLM


Here’s an item from the news that caught my eye:

Schools Getting a Taste of Atkins' Diet
Obesity a Problem Among Children

By Greg Toppo, USA TODAY

(Sept. 23) - The folks who brought back three-egg omelets and triple cheeseburgers want to teach your kids a thing or two about health, nutrition and exercise.


Hoping to curb the nation's childhood obesity problem, Atkins Nutritionals announces a collaborative effort today with four major education groups, including the National Education Association, the USA's largest teachers union.


Atkins is helping pay for an NEA Web site for teachers and students. It's also working with school nurses in New York and underwriting a publication on childhood obesity for state education policymakers.

Granted, the reporter may have gotten it wrong and these groups are not really stupid enough to be doing this.  But, simply for the sake of argument let’s assume the reporter is correct.  It is usually a loser when you bet against human stupidity.

As anyone who saw the Olympics knows, the fuel of the fit is carbs.

As anyone who has ever gone to the bathroom knows, the fuel of the regular is carbs.

Carbs help propel us both physically and colonically.  And when fitness and regularity are taken care of, people are free to concentrate on all the other aspects of life.  In other words, “carbs is good.”

So-called “Atkins” dieting is the brand name of the most infamous pusher of ketogenic dieting.  Ketogenic dieting is a means to get overweight, out of control people to lose weight.  It is not the only means, it is not the best means.  It is a means.

What it is apparently the best means for is making Atkins’s estate and those associated with it rich.  Very rich.  I read one estimate that Bob Atkins, at the time of his overweight death, was worth $750,000,000 (US).

One interpretation of this possible fact is that people are spending an awful lot of money failing to lose weight since we are still an overweight nation.  If:

ketogenic dieting worked and

was so easy and

so good

and according to this article “Atkins books have sold more than 20 million copies; one estimate says 30% of adults have tried Atkins,” then

why are we still so fat and the failure rate on “Atkins’” is reported to be the same as “conventional” dieting?

So what is it with these people entrusted with the education of our children?  Why do teachers, who should know how to communicate to children, feel the need to brand name the distribution of information on “healthy” eating?  Why do school nurses, who should know how to communicate with children and enlighten them on “healthy” eating need outside help?  Why should education policymakers require the help of a commercial enterprise that has proven its inability to succeed at fixing a problem which has grown in the almost 30 years since “Atkins’” has been around?

Answers: They shouldn’t.

If these educators, health professionals and policymakers cannot do the job themselves and choose a stupid and failed approach to sensible weight management as their “guru,” why do they have their jobs?

Answer: They shouldn’t.

The headline should have read:

Schools Getting a Taste of Atkins' Diet
Stupid Teachers + Stupid School Nurses + Stupid Education Policymakers
+ Obesity are  Problems Affecting Children

Even Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, is smart enough to know the value of carbs.  Without them he would be unable to poop on these stupid humans.