File this in the self-fulfilling prophecy category.
So, the New York Times has an interesting article about how the Mediterranean Diet has been subjected to a long-term study and shown to reduce heart disease.
It's interesting because their claim is that no other diet has ever ever been subjected to such a study and therefore this is the first time any diet has been proven to have such an effect.
That's interesting beacuse certainly I would have thought they'd at least give a glancing nod to the China Study, which was also large-scale and long-term.
Instead their one real mention of the vegan diet (cited by many to be heart-healthy) is this:
"Vegan diets have never been rigorously tested, and probably never will be, Dr. Lichtenstein said. “Given the high cost of conducting a long-term diet study we have to think about what is feasible for the majority of the U.S. population,” she said. “From past experience, we know it is highly unlikely people are going to make radical changes in their diet and stick with those changes long term.”
So, I have two problems with this:
1. I'm sure 50 years ago no one ever thought smoking rates would decline from about half of Americans to about 20%. But education about the risk factors, and legislative action from the municipal to federal levels made a huge difference. And, presumably, saved lives. To write off our ability to adapt and evolve so casually seems grossly flippant when we are talking about the number one killer of men and women.
2. Again, beating the drum that things like heart disease and stroke are the top killers in America, do we really not see the value in figuring out if something could reduce those diseases by a huge percentage? Let's say even 20% of Americans would act on such information...is that not worth it? If we can figure out how to live longer and healthier by simply eating regular foods, how is that something we don't want to find out? And disseminate to the masses, and at least give people the *choice* to act or not act.
It seems like the real message is "Ohh, the Mediterranean Diet sounds easy and fun, and it helps...to a degree. Great, job done, let's move on."
Our culture certainly has fallen into this trap of thinking nothing should be challenging; no sacrifices need be made; effort=impossible.
I don't think it's helping us any...and you could say the same about our economy, our politics, and now, our health.