Tuesday, 1 November 2011

The Food Hospital: Bag O'Crap

Well the Food Hospital did fulfill my expectations.  It really was rubbish - not because the 'remedies' failed, they worked, and in some cases fantastically, but because the whole premise that food is medicine is wrong.

We are NOT born sick.  We have not evolved to be in some way faulty. We did not evolve in a permanent state of hunger.  Yet these are the subtexts of The Food Hospital; that food can fix you:
  • medicine /med·i·cine/ (med´ĭ-sin) 1. any drug or remedy.2. the diagnosis and treatment of disease and the maintenance of health.3. the treatment of disease by nonsurgical means.

So people turn up to the Food Hospital with various illnesses and maladies.  But if you look at things from an evolutionary perspective, what you see is people who have poisoned themselves through malnutrition:
  • poison [poi′zən] any substance that impairs health or destroys life when ingested, inhaled, or absorbed by the body in relatively small amounts. Some toxicologists suggest that, depending on the dose, all substances are poisons. Many experts state that it is impossible to categorize any chemical as either safe or toxic and that the real concern is the risk or hazard associated with the use of any substance. Clinically all poisons are divided into those that respond to specific treatments or antidotes and those for which there is no specific treatment. Research continues to develop effective antitoxins for poisons, but there are relatively few effective antidotes. Maintaining respiration and circulation is the most important aspect of treatment. See also poisoning treatment. poisonous, adj.
To a man, the bad teeth on display would have given anyone familiar with the work of Weston A Price enough of a signal as to what was at the root of most patients ill health.  When I say 'to a man' I also include the bearded woman whose insulin insensitivity was suspected of being behind her high testosterone (about 5 times higher than normal).

As for the obese guy who snacked his way through 5000 calories of garage food a day, he was required to lose about 20% of his bodyweight to get his T2 in to remission.  So they put him on some protein drink, allowing him 800 calories a day.  Sure he lost weight.  Is it sustainable?  Nope.  Will his metabolism readjust?  Probably.  Is he losing fat and muscle mass?  Probably.  Is this a good thing?  Erm .....errrr.....well he is losing weight I guess....

You just have to wonder what the hell goes through the heads of these doctors.  How the hell did we survive the past two million years without processed foods and shakes?  Do they really think that chronic hunger and a relentless life of activity kept us lean?  What turns hunger on or off?  What role does hunger have in making every other species participate in demanding physical activity?  Is calorie restriction really a good idea when it comes to changing ones dietary lifestyle?  Historically, where did we get vitamins from?  If you have to fortify food to make it nutritious - is it appropriate to regard it as food?

But what really bugged me was the advice given out which could be broadly summarised as,
  • 'Eat low fat foods, avoid saturated fat, not much meat, and plenty of fruit,vegetables and wholegrains'

Yes my friends - as you can see above, the advice of WHAT to eat has not changed much since the 1970s. That is not to say the REASON to eat as prescribed above hasn't changed.  Indeed there was plenty of talk of insulin sensitivity, hormonal maladjustment and so forth, but sadly the failed dietary prescription of the past 40 years will somehow now work in 2011 because the reasoning behind WHY IT SHOULD WORK has changed.
Remember guys, when flogging a dead horse, first whip harder, then change the whip, then change the rider.  Finally get off and push the dead horse.  Eventually the dead horse will move....I just know it.
TV rant over.  Baise moi.


Alex said...

I watched 10 minutes of this fucking horse shit before the metaphorical boot was hurled at the screen. Roughly at the point where the woman with PCOS was 'prescribed' an 'insulin reducing' diet that had lashings of whole grains and pizza as its centrepiece.

Anonymous said...

Hear hear! I was shouting at the screen when they chastised her for eating lots of white bread and sausage... and then just prescribed loads of whole grains.

And poor harvey. How do you talk about childhood migraines without even mentioning wheat or sugar? (He's probably down on both because of the additives restriction, but still). Honestly. Did they do any allergy testing?

Ahhh!!! And taking away full fat milk and replacing with skimmed milk... why!?! with no explanation?

Such an absolute shame.