There are some words that, in my humble opinion, should rarely, if ever, be used – the list is relatively short. You can probably come up with them all on your own – the “n” word, the “r” word, the “c” word…I’m sure there are a few others, but suffice it to say, that these words are frowned upon because as a society we have realized that they are hurtful in more ways than just hurt feelings.
It seems that there are some in the health industry who would like to take a few more words away from your vocabulary – the most prevalent one being “moderation”. Why do they want to take this word away from you? Simply put, because it’s a crutch; an excuse for poor choices; it means different things to different people; and my personal favorite people are too dumb to know what moderation really means.
Andy Bellatti, a register dietician, recently wrote on the Huffington Post that “Everything in moderation,” is another way of unnecessarily and inaccurately equalizing all foods. It operates on the inane and utterly insane notion that peaches, Pop-Tarts, muffins, soda, lentils and tomatoes should all be approached the same way.
He goes on to imply that you, the public, are not intelligent enough to understand that three cups of mixed greens as part of a salad are not the same thing as three cups of chocolate pudding.
And that you are too clueless to realize a large Dunkin’ Donuts Mountain Dew Coolatta should not be consumed with the same frequency as unsweetened green tea.
And that you have no idea that eating a pint of blueberries in one sitting is very different from eating a pint of Häagen-Dazs.
Hmmm…is that you?
Personally, I think most people actually do understand that.
Do you really think that three cups of mixed greens is the same as three cups of chocolate pudding? If I were to say to you that you’re okay to eat chocolate pudding occasionally, as long as it’s in moderation, would you interpret that as “I can eat 3 cups of chocolate pudding every single day!”?
Do you, as many of these health experts believe you do, believe that drinking a 32 oz soda slushy is the same as drinking unsweetened green tea?
In your mind is eating a pint of blueberries the same as eating a pint of Häagen-Dazs?
Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Now, Bellatti does have a point. Ask 20 people what moderation means and you will probably get 20 different answers, but you can bet next week’s paycheck that the majority (and to be specific I’ll say 80%) of the answers will be lumped together like a giant bell curve, varying only minutely.
Perhaps Bellatti and those of his ilk are former food addicts in a past life and feel they must go to extreme measures to keep their past behaviors under control. You know what? That’s not fair, I don’t know him at all, but perhaps Bellatti and his followers simply need to do a better job of reminding themselves what “moderation” actually means and relearn that a moderate amount of food A is not is not going to be the same as a moderate amount of food B…
Here’s a little help:
synonyms: self-restraint, restraint, self-control, self-command, self-discipline, temperance
Notice the synonyms?
I’m not a dietician. I don’t even play one on TV, in part, well, because I’m not on TV, but I’m pretty sure that someone who has worked hard for their RD status can work with individual clients and help those who want to know what a moderate amount of chocolate pudding would be…it’s certainly going to be a significantly less amount, in both volume and frequency, than a moderate amount of salad greens.
…but of course, most of us already knew that.