cognitive dissonance, indeed!
December 1, 2004 05:05 PM

Reading the Tech Central article on Ancel Keys actually made me laugh, aloud, at work. It's not so much funny ha-ha as funny strange, or even maybe funny sad.

Keys, you see, did the Minnesota Starvation Study during WWII [He's also the k-rations dude, if you're interested.]. That study continues to stand as evidence of what semi-starvation (dieting) does to the body, basically turning you into a food-obsessed binger who regains weight and loses strength with each starvation (diet) episode. Which any lifetime dieter could tell you about, anyhow. And you become completely uninterested in pretty much anything else, which any actual starving person - and, you know, Maslow - could probably tell you. If they were interested in being that political, which they probably wouldn't be. And you end up with physical problems that you never fully recover from.

So far, you're just seeing the sad and not the funny, right?

The funny is that Keys, whose research condemns dieting, still thought fat people were disgusting and lacked willpower. So, he figures out that dieting is bad and makes you fatter and that fat had no independent health effects, but he still attributes fatness exclusively to overeating and finds it very, very icky. What's not funny about that? And, you know - sad.

It's basically our cultural concept of fat. Despite whatever evidence may exist to the contrary, we want to believe that fatness deserves punishment and is unhealthy and that we can buy our way out of it with diets. Because it's just so much eeeeasier if that's true.

And it's just so perfect that an article on Keys, of all people, should point that out so clearly.

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