"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hearts Heart Booze, and a New Fad Diet 

Dr. David Katz has a new book out, and he wants to be the next Dr. Atkins (except, presumably, not dead of a heart attack). His diet theory claims that we overeat because we're overwhelmed with a jumble of flavors, and that following his flavor-themed diet theme will allow people to lose weight. His diet also includes exercise and limiting saturated fats and some quantity restrictions, so it's mostly impossible to really tell if his schtick is really what catalyzes weight loss.

Katz characterizes the American diet as a "mad cacophony of flavors," but I would argue that the typical American diet has less flavor than the diets of people almost anywhere else in the world. For instance, last night I was trying to describe Ethiopian food to someone, and started by asking if he liked sour foods. He said he had no idea, and neither of us could think of a dish common in U.S. cuisine that was really sour. Ethiopians are not, despite the wide variety of rich flavors in their food, famously obese.

Also, if being thin means I only get to eat one flavor at a time, I would much rather be fat.

Another study suggests that moderate alcohol consumption is good for you: in this case, reducing the risk of stroke. In a population of mostly Latino men over 8 years, researchers found that those who drank less than two drinks a day but more than one a month had a lower risk than teetotalers.

Mind you, there were only 190 strokes to examine in the study population of 3176, but still, an effect is an effect.

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