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Jewish World Review Jan. 23, 2004 / 29 Teves, 5764

Tom Purcell

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Consumer Reports

Weighty adjustment | "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 we want."

"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?'"

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"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 waters."

"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 that."

"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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01/16/04: Bucks for betrothals
01/09/04: Decisions, decisions
01/02/04: Making New Year's resolutions for others
12/27/03: Holiday Pork
12/19/03: FOUND! The captured-Saddam transcript
12/12/03: Peace, Man
12/05/03: Who are you, Miss Manners?
12/01/03: Joyless, selfish children
11/21/03: Thanksgiving, updated for our times
11/14/03: Hang in there, tubby America, your day in the sun will come
11/07/03: Morale at Veterans' Day
10/31/03: The Big Picture
10/24/03: A sorry bunch
10/17/03: Conversation with a typical poll respondent?
10/10/03: Men and women and brains
10/03/03: Iraqi Pork
09/26/03: They would not leave
09/19/03: A radical idea
09/12/03: Food Guide Pyramid has a "stupidity factor"?
09/05/03: Flag waving and football cheering
08/29/03: People who have it all, too often don't
08/25/03: Attack of the 'virus twits'
08/08/03: Why not have a whole slew of the world's dignitaries and leaders come by to visit you?
08/01/03: Do you really want to live until 500?
07/18/03: "Ain't-my-fault" lawsuits are becoming more creative
07/18/03: The real story never makes for good summertime drama in Washington
07/11/03: Government bureaucrats, not elected officials, are really the ones determining what people and organizations can and can't do
07/03/03: Overworked Americans
06/27/03: The Metrosexual Male
06/20/03: Crime Etiquette in Washington, D.C.
06/13/03: My Father, the Thief and the MGB
06/05/03: An Open Letter to Bill and Hillary
05/30/03: We are a busy people
05/23/03: Liar, Liar
05/16/03: Laffer all the way to the bank
05/09/03: My mother's house
05/02/03: Teaching the Iraqis how to protest
04/25/03: Iraqi TV
04/21/03: Explaining Democracy to the Iraqis
04/11/03: Major increases to the beer tax? That's a cheap shot right to the beer gut
04/04/03: War humor
03/31/03: Dolphins, PETA and the USA
03/21/03: Traffic Wars
03/14/03: Ronald Reagan's St. Patrick's Day
03/03/03: My Family's Tragic Secret: We're French
02/21/03: I'm worried about my people
02/14/03: George Washington Makeover
02/07/03: Making quiet sacrifices
01/24/03: "Gimme the, goo-goo, gah-gah, remote!"
01/21/03: "Misunderestimated"
01/10/03: Republican night life
01/06/03: Exercise pills
12/31/02: They provide unending joy to those who are wise enough to let them in
12/13/02: Hurried Man Syndrome
12/06/02: In DC, snowstorms have important ramifications --- or, at least, they should
11/26/02: Police advertising
11/15/02: An Interview with Osama
11/01/02: How to vote in America
10/25/02: On edge in Washington, D.C
10/11/02: Giving new meaning to "selling your body"
10/04/02: Bush's Angels
09/27/02: Conservatives, Liberals, Dick Armey and Barry Manilow
09/20/02: Are SUV drivers are the new GOPers?
09/13/02: Bubba is Dubya's man
09/06/02: The Freedom to Picnic
08/16/02: Ah, the $izzle of anti-terrorist pork
08/09/02: Vacationless prez and gutless Americans
07/26/02: Study gives women permission not to hide their emotions
07/15/02: Patriot food
06/28/02: Eavesdropping on a San Fran classroom
06/21/02: The crowded skies
06/14/02: Contemporary Father's Day: A conversation for the ages
06/07/02: Legal rights for animals?
05/19/02: Advice for prom goers this year: Hold onto your money
05/10/02: Don't take her for granted
05/03/02: Letter to the parents of a tubby teen
04/26/02: Zacarias Moussaoui gets expert legal advice

© 2003, Tom Purcell