After years of being harangued daily about how the food I eat is killing me I decided to do my own scientific study into the effect of scientific studies on the health aspects of various foods on me. I chose myself as a subject since I have in depth knowledge of me and doing research on others would involve well, work.
For last 20 to 30 years I have been told on a regular basis that various foods were bad for me. I am 38 now and I use the range of 20 to 30 years because I don't recall hearing this too much when I was a child. The studies that I can recall were on the following things:
Coffee and caffeine
Sugar and Starch
Each of the above mentioned items have been taken their turn on the enemies list of the health food nannies. Yet each has at some point been found to have positive affects on health.
My studies have shown that we are bombarded with an endless stream of warnings day after day about how we are fat, lazy , stupid and destroying our health. If the warnings are to be believed, there are entire industries whose sole mission is to make us unhealthy and kill us.
From personal experience, the negative affects I experienced early on were a persistent sense of guilt and worry. A general reduction in self esteem that arose from a feeling of weakness when I would indulge in things that I enjoyed.
I have observed that as a result of these guilty feelings many people resort to a form of self flagellating masochism in an effort to perform some sort of penance for their perceived sins. One example would be the "Biggest Loser" show where teams of people participate in the most degrading humiliation imaginable at the hands of sadistic "trainers". Granted, these people are playing a game for money, but one can't help but get the impression that these people feel helpless to control their own lives. They feel guilty, inferior, weak. Decades of being constantly told that they are eating the wrong things, that they are lazy, that there is something wrong with everything they are doing in their lives have taken their toll. They go to these priests of physical fitness looking for absolution. And the priests tell them that only through working out, at levels inhumanely possible to maintain unless you are unemployed, and abstaining from all enjoyment of food, they can achieve eternal happiness.
For most of us we experience this to a lesser degree. We feel all of the feelings already mentioned. We decide to do something about it. We diet and workout like madmen and for a time it works. Then reality sets in that it is just not possible to maintain this regimen. We slip and slide back into old habits and we sooth ourselves with the food we crave. Meanwhile we are filled with self loathing. We have weighed and measured ourselves by an impossible standard and found ourselves wanting.
Many industries have been harmed over the years by these periodic health scares. The baking industry for one has been been affected several times, first when white bread was considered bad and then when people were jumping on the low carb high protein train. Remember the Alar scare of the late 80's. Many fast food companies changed their cooking oils as a result of the supposed dangers of saturated fats, now these same companies are being told the oils they switched to are just as bad. Look at how the fishing industry has been hurt over the years with repeated scares regarding mercury, a naturally occurring substance that we have in our own bodies. These are just a few examples.
Long term consequences (legislation, loss of freedom)
The long term consequences are scary. We are seeing a steady increase in government control. Many cities such as New York have already tried to regulate the restaurant industry to ban trans-fats. The likelihood is that we will have some form of federally subsidized national health care in the near future. Government will use this to claim authority in regulating your personal habits. The government's position will be that we are paying for your health care and therefore it is the government's right and responsibility to regulate those activities which are determined (whether true or not) to increase the cost of health care. When the people belong to the government and not the other way around we are in trouble.
People will willingly turnover control to the government. After being brainwashed into believing that every indulgence they allow themselves is a sin, they will feel helpless in running their own lives. They will gladly turnover their lives to the government so that these decisions are no longer theirs to make. People will on the surface complain that the government has no business telling us what to eat, but, these are the same people who spend their days feeling guilty about everything they eat. The "know" in their hearts that what they are doing is wrong and subconsciously they will be thinking "I am a sinner and it is impossible for me to lead a sin free life". They will consciously or subconsciously look to the government to remove that temptation that causes them to "sin".
What possible conclusions can be drawn from this
1. These studies are an evil plot by SPs that are really PTS/SPs bent on the destruction of Tom Cruise and Scientology.
2. Nanny statists are endangering our health by subjecting us to endless studies and warnings telling us that what we are doing is wrong.
3. Nanny statists are endangering our freedom by undermining our confidence in our abilities to manage our own lives, thus inviting further government intrusion.
Find ways to be happy. Happiness starts from within. Find things that work for you. The idea that you are going to spend 10 hours a week working out for the rest of your life is and eat only wheat germ and yogurt is preposterous. Stop looking for silver bullets. For Gods sake stop feeling guilty every time you take a bite of ice cream or pizza or whatever your favorite food is. Enjoy that food. Life is not meant to be lived in a perpetual state of guilt. Realize that not all of us are going to have six pack abs and that is ok. I love food. I find ways to enjoy it without guilt and still maintain my health reasonably. There is nothing wrong with me.