Wednesday, April 23, 2008

In defense of nutritional scientists

Have any of you read Michael Pollan’s newest book, “In Defense Of Food”? I like his advice that we should eat real, unprocessed foods. As a nutritional scientist, I have always told people that this is the easiest way to eat healthily. So why does Pollan claim that nutritional scientists are the bad guys who have been the cause of American reliance on processed, unhealthy foods? Because he is a journalist, and that is a common journalistic technique. Invent a conflict where there is none.
Well, there actually is a conflict, but scientists are not as central as Pollan would claim. The guilty parties who have been confusing the public by advertising the virtues of fake foods with few nutrients like vitamin drinks, are food companies who want to make money. The guilty parties who have been wreaking havoc with overly simplistic pronouncements like “don’t eat fat”, and “don’t get your vitamin D from the sun”, are medical doctors and their professional associations such as the American Heart Association.
Hey, by inventing a conflict with Michael Pollan can I sell more of my book, “Fat Is Not The Enemy”?


Ron said...

But what motivation does the medical profession have to send such simplistic mess ages?

Gerda Endemann ( said...

I assume they want to be helpful, however most medical doctors don't know much about nutrition. In addition, public health policies seem to be designed with the assumption that most people are too stupid to understand anything more than the simplest catchy phrase. By underestimating people's intelligence, they are not helping anyone.