THOU SHALT LOSE WEIGHT CORRECTLY: THE WICKED ATKINS
An interesting email from a reader about the Atkins diet:
"I haven't noticed anything on your sites about the Atkins diet and the Greens. This carnivorous diet has really got them up in arms -- I think they've been trying to mobilize against it, but they have a hard time with the facts. I think you'd have a lot of fun with it, even if the diet isn't much, just because it assaults their "meat is murder" position.
A good indicator of what they gloss over is that in a pretty exhaustive study of the Atkins diet people were able to eat 600 calories more a day and not gain extra weight. Scientists could not figure out why, but that finding didn't make it into any of the reports I read in the popular press. Also, several years back, CNN (Communist News Network) was complicit in making it seem the good doctor Atkins had a heart attack, when in fact he was attacked by bacteria after a bug bite he got in Africa. The leftist press also ran with New York mayor Michael Bloomburg's remarks that he was overweight when he died (from a slip on some ice), when in fact he gained that water weight from the treatment he got for his injury. Where there's this kind of character assassination you KNOW you've pissed off the elite.
Another reason I think they don't like the diet is that it seems to have a lot of support in religious groups here: like the Mormons and fundamentalist Baptists".
Here are some excerpts from another writer that confirm an ideological bias against Atkins:
"As a staunch defender of the Atkins diet and frequent meat consumer, I have gotten into a lot of arguments. In my latest tirade, I accused a self-proclaimed liberal of acting like a conservative because of her blind devotion to orthodox views about nutrition. She rebutted that most liberals are in fact anti-Atkins, which made no sense to me.
Liberals are supposed to be the open-minded ones, unrestricted by orthodox and authoritarian views or dogmas. To me, Robert Atkins was someone who embodied liberalism and willing to challenge traditional views. But are liberals in fact against Atkins?
Although I could find no studies linking Atkins supporters with any issue or political party, there seems to be a strong correlation between liberals and Atkins opponents. Across the Internet, liberally slanted blogs bash the Atkins diet while conservatives bash the Atkins bashers.
For instance, one conservative writer, Rich Smith, accuses the liberal mainstream media of unfairly demonizing Atkins in a column titled, "Why they hate Atkins: Left opposes this diet because it works."
On the other side, an animated video clip depicts a portly woman on Atkins scarfing down bacon like clockwork while watching Fox News and religiously buying into everything it says.
And here in the journalism school, where most of the graduate students say they are liberal, there seems to be very little support for the diet. One colleague emphatically proclaimed that the whole low-carb phenomenon is going to blow up and said, "I will support the food pyramid until I die." Hmm, that sounds more like blind devotion than the spirit of liberalism to me.
For more support of the ideological involvement note also the following article:
"The Atkins Diet is being denounced as a conspiracy of - shudder - greedy, Libertarian, working class free-enterprisers. Following the Atkins Diet is being denounced by academia as both declasse and political oppression.....
An article in the LA Times, syndicated to many papers, by Teresa Ebert and M. Zavarzadeh, warns that Hegelian class warfare is on a different plate, so to speak. These authors have recently garnered praise for their respective works "Ludic Feminism and After," and "Seeing Films Politically." Though Hegel himself limited his dietary pronouncements to the philosophical hope of "eines gutes bier" at a new post, his dialectic successors are not so shy. "Diets are political," begins the article, and are so divisive "that US Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman, in an almost Hegelian scenario, " wants to do "impartial" studies of the Atkins diet " putting an end to the civil strife."
Diets threatening The Last Remaining Superpower with civil strife? For once, I rubbed my jaded eyes, but Glickman is a man who knows the times he lives in. He guides himself by academic experts who now reveal "people eat class and not food," not social semiotics, we are cautioned (natch) but determined by "social relations of production: Do they buy other people's labor and make a profit from it...?" This, perhaps,as opposed to confiscating it and then still being unable to feed the poor or balance the budget.
The Atkins diet, we are warned, is "divisive." It is really not the result of a dedicated scientist fighting the Establishment or the personal experience of many who venture outside the official wisdom of the day. No. It is "class politics appearing as personal tastes in food...." Now lest you expect, as I warned at the beginning, that the Atkins Diet would then be denounced as the plaything of the idle rich, with the deep internal logic of class-hatred of the Left it shifts gears: Atkins, it implies, is proletarian free choice run amok.
"The Atkins diet is a proletarian diet," with "forbidden fats" and, oh the scandal, "not upper class." It is an attack by advocates of "real food" against "invented, fake food." In quoting a New Yorker piece, Stephen King is brought into the fray, to testify that meat is "working class." Such diets, we are warned, are suspiciously "satiating," "not "elaborately complex," do not require special "calculation," and is offered "in a realistic style" and shaped by what, the authors tell us helpfully, Bertolt Brecht called it "coarse thinking."
And PETA is of course agin Atkins too:
See here and here.
And the obesity warriors seem to be against it as well:
But what about the science?
This article by Taubes argues that the anti-fat orthodoxy is not well supported by medical research and that Atkins is probably right.
BUT This article by Fumento says that Taubes goes too far
AND This article by Taubes says that Fumento misquotes him
AND This article by Fumento still says that both Taubes and the Atkins diet are too extreme
Finally, There is some reputable research summarized here and here which indicates that the Atkins diet is beneficial.
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