More dietary experimentation

I am convinced that our obesity problems are caused primarily by one aspect of the typical American lifestyle: the widespread use of prepared meals (fast food, dining out, frozen dinners, sodas, and snacks) for daily eating. While we may be less active than in generations past, the real difference is that Americans rely more on prepared food for the bulk of their diet than ever before in the past. The lower the income, the lower the quality of the food, the greater the degree of obesity. As food preparation has been outsourced effectively to industry, consumers have compelling alternatives to the time-consuming work of cooking and cleaning. Naturally, they take the path of least resistance on a day to day basis. Over time this results in extra calories being stored as fat, which never get used simply because we keep eating the same calorie-rich foods in larger amounts.

With that in mind, over the next few weeks I will experiment with a couple ideas:

  1. No sugar, soda, dairy. Beverages will be confined to black coffee, water, and maybe the occasional beer. Juices and sodas either have too much sugar or carcinogenic chemicals.
  2. More cooking at home. Although, it is surprisingly difficult to prepare meals without dairy or tons of easily digestible carbohydrates.

I’ll let you know how it goes.


  1. I agree…I have no particular study to cite as I write this, but the prepared food has so much more ‘junk’ (preservatives and other sketchy things) that has huge negative effects on health. We have also tried to cook more at home, and it is not only healthier but tastes way better too!

  2. Funny you should mention a study. As soon as I posted this entry a friend of mine IMed and said I was wrong and had it reversed, that exercise has declined and that this factor is more important than diet in explaining obesity. It sounded to me a little like the “your chocolate is in my peanut butter” argument and he cited a website that was actually funded by the restaurant industry, but without any evidence to back it up it makes more sense to me that we are taking in more calories. I know this is true for me, anecdotally.

  3. Not to mention fresh vegetables. They fill me up amazingly well.