U.S. News had a panel of health experts — including doctors and professors from Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and the University of Chicago — look at popular diets and rank their quality in terms of short-term and long-term weight loss, easiness to follow, nutrition, safety, and benefits for diabetes and heart health. The overall winner? The DASH diet, which is designed to lower blood pressure by putting an emphasis on vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. In other words, it’s a diet that relies on common sense about nutrition, not that anyone really eats according to common sense. Keep reading »
When I was 13, my 7th grade science class was assigned to dissect a fetal pig. This made me massively uncomfortable. My teacher told us that we could opt out of doing the dissection and use approved online resources for the project instead if we wrote a convincing essay as to why we didn’t want to do it. I wrote about the fact that human fetuses are used for scientific research, but only with the parents’ consent, and you couldn’t obtain consent from a pig; and besides, we weren’t talking about important scientific research, we were talking about a classroom of seventh-graders (read: little barbarians) who had other resources with which to learn the lesson.
I was able to do the online project. The next philosophical step, in my thirteen-year-old mind, was to say that if I was going to give an animal the same dignity as a human being in this respect, I had to apply it in terms of my food, too. So I stopped eating meat on the basis that I didn’t want anything to die in order for me to live.
That lasted seven years.
Keep reading »
This ad for Weight Watchers “Smart Ones” frozen meals popped up before a YouTube video I was watching, and I actually had to watch it twice all the way through to realize it wasn’t some kind of satire or parody. Unfortunately, it’s real. And it’s terrible.
“We brought women like you together in Times Square,” reads the opening title, over a whimsical soundtrack. “It was time to ‘fess up.” This is followed by women (only women, no men) sheepishly admitting to the camera that they like buttered popcorn, or that they once ate cake frosting for breakfast, or that they have a weakness for mini cupcakes. Their confessions are shown on a huge screen in Times Square for all to see (while the women cover their faces in shame), before being digitally erased and replaced with a message: “Congratulations, you now have a clean slate!” Women are then shown cheering and triumphantly holding up empty plates, which they are presumably only to fill with microwavable, highly processed meals from now until eternity. Or maybe, in an ideal world, they just wouldn’t eat at all?
Weight Watchers, I have three words for you: Fuck. This. Noise. Here’s why: Keep reading »
It’s a new year, and that means after a month of effort, you’re ready to quit your New Year’s resolutions. Since you’re reading this in English, I assume you resolved to lose weight, or possibly to learn good the spelling for make much big dollars in email schemes of confidence. Either way, I can help you, the same way I helped that Nigerian prince when he needed to lose weight. Check out 10 insane diets to avoid on Cracked…
Sylvester Graham, an evangelical minister in the 1830s and the world’s first “health nut,” believed that the single greatest health concern facing Americans was rampant sexual desire. In order to suppress these carnal urges, Graham prescribed — what else? — a special diet that would tame the lusty beast within. Keep reading »
If I told you that the “beer and sausage diet” had been dreamed up by a man, no one would be surprised, right? I mean, half of my guy friends already follow this diet religiously, even though they haven’t officially titled it as such. But if I told you that the man who made up this diet has actually been losing weight on it, you would be kind of surprised, right? Well, it’s true. Keep reading »