Jewish World Review Jan. 23, 2004 / 29 Teves, 5764
"We're right in the middle of the dieting season and the Atkins people have decided to drop a bomb on us."
"What are you talking about?"
"Atkins nutritionists are fanning out across the country telling health professions we can NOT eat all the steak, eggs and cheese
"Tell me it isn't so!"
"According to the New York Times, Atkins nutritionists say we should get no more than 20 percent of our calories from saturated
fat. The rest should come from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, largely from vegetable oils and fish."
"Vegetable oils and fish? Who wants to eat that junk!"
"According to the Times article, the Atkins people are facing stiff competition from other low-carb diets. So they're trying to make
their diet more appealing to physicians, who have been wary of recommending the high-fat Atkins strategy."
"Something sounds fishy to me."
"Yeah and the Atkins retreat couldn't have come at a worse time for America."
"You got that right."
"Nearly 65% of Americans are overweight. According to the government's new Body Mass Index standards, more than 30 million
people are obese. And a recent study by the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine shows that American teens are
tubbier than teens in 15 other industrialized countries."
"Hey, at least American kids are number one at something."
"Our growing waist lines are causing all kinds of problems. Did you know that in New York people are too big for the subway cars.
The subway cars were made in Japan, where people are much thinner. As a result, they're seating one-third fewer people than
they were supposed to."
"That's not good."
"The fashion people are lying to us about our tubbiness. Did you know that a woman's size 4 fits the way a size 8 used to? And
that what used to be a man's 'regular' is now called 'slim fit?'"
"I used to wear the 'husky' clothing at J.C. Penny's. Wonder what they call it now that most every kid is husky?"
"Beats me. All I know is that Americans need to trim down. And millions have been catching on to the low-carb Atkins craze.
Bread companies are worried for their future. And, according to the Wall Street Journal, the Frito Lay people are in a panic."
"Those people sure do make some tasty treats."
"Yeah, but they just spent the last decade trying to tap into the high-carbohydrate, low-fat craze. Now it's carbohydrates that are
bad and fat that is somewhat good. What's a junk-food company to do?"
"It sure must be hard keeping up with the fickle American public."
"The point is, much of America was jumping into the Atkins craze and a lot of people were meeting success. But just as millions
were reaching some consensus on what we're supposed to eat and not eat, the Atkins people have gone and muddied the
"You telling me we can't eat unlimited cheeseburgers, bacon, sausage, cheese and all those other goodies anymore?"
"The horror! What are we going to do?"
"Well, the Atkins diet still is the highest-fat diet of all of them. But mostly the Atkins people want us to eat fish and chicken now."
"Fish and chicken! If good old Doc Atkins were still with us, he'd never let this happen!"
"Maybe we should try the South Beach Diet. Dr. Arthur Agatston lets us drink coffee and wine. Doc Atkins wouldn't let us do
"But the South Beach guy makes us to eat low-fat turkey bacon. That junk tastes like car tires."
"Then how about the Zone diet? That one calls for 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent protein and 30 percent fat at every meal."
"The last thing I want to do at meal time is math! I want the old Atkins diet back!"
"Sorry, it's gone forever."
"The last time I felt this crummy was when my ma told me Santa Claus doesn't exist."
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© 2003, Tom Purcell