The Unforgiving

By Michael Applebaum, MD, JD, FCLM

There are things in life that are unforgiving.  No amount of bargaining or begging will net you a thing.

For example, joint injuries are unforgiving.  You might think that laying-off or replacement might work, but really, they don’t.  Sure they are work-arounds, but cures?  No way.  A truly injured joint is only going to worsen.  A replaced joint is not as good as an original in good shape.

Cancer.  Cancer is unforgiving.  Bargaining, crying, whining, “Why me?-ing,” are useless.  Changing your life to one of saint-like behavior will not impress a cancer.

To die quickly, few things are as unforgiving as mistakes on the bomb squad.  There is a reason why these brave people undergo what is called “instruction.”

There are, of course, other things that are unforgiving if you don’t get the instructions right.

One is ketogenic dieting or so-called “low-carb” dieting.  Doing “low-carb” dieting properly might work.  Doing it wrong, can kill you.  Perhaps not quickly, but it can kill you.

A Reuters report from 05 March 2004 stated:

“Americans are eating more fat and cholesterol as "low-carb" diets grow in popularity, but people do not seem to be losing weight and they are putting their health at risk, U.S. researchers said… 

If the trend continues toward more fat and fewer vegetables and grains, Americans could suffer more heart disease, already the No. 1 killer in the country, they warned. 

Reasons for this trend are unclear but may include the aggressive marketing of dietary plans that recommend the liberal use of saturated fat and cholesterol in the diet, (a researcher) said in a report to the meeting.

And they (ketogenic diets) may not help people lose weight, suggested a study by (a researcher at) Northwestern University in Chicago and colleagues.

The study assessed more than 4,000 people in the United States, Britain, Japan and China, asking them to write down everything they had eaten over two 24-hour periods.

‘Lo and behold, what we did find is that without exception, a high complex-carbohydrate, high-fiber, high vegetable-protein diet was associated with low body-mass index (the standard measure of healthy weight),’ (a researcher) said.

The more animal protein a person ate, the higher his or her weight, she said.”

Today, 10 March 2004, there are two other pieces of interesting news.  The first is that obesity-related deaths have increased in the last decade by 33%.  Soon obesity-related deaths will overtake tobacco as the Number One cause of dead Americans.  The other is the passage of a bill by the House of Representatives that will protect the food industry from obesity-related lawsuits.

It certainly appears as if we have picked our poison and it looks a lot like food.

The choice is clearer than ever, eat right or diet right or die, right?  And the food industry will not have to pay your funeral costs.