Getting Beyond Calorie Counting

What Women Really Think
Feb. 16 2010 4:08 PM

Getting Beyond Calorie Counting

/blogs/xx_factor/2010/02/16/the_antiobesity_campaign_needs_more_than_calorie_counting/jcr:content/body/slate_image

After a long weekend of yet more media coverage of the anti-obesity campaign, I’m struck by a promising force at work fueling interest in this crusade: not fear of fatness, but fascination with food. There’s Mark Bittman tackling the subject in the New York Times ' Week in Review section: Can’t miss a favorite food writer! And hey, even an Outlook piece in the Washington Post about school lunches can suck me in, and not because I’m expecting mouth-watering fare. In fact, reading about gross stuff can arguably pack more of a punch than yet another article about working in gardens. Or so it occurred to me as I read the behind-the-scenes tour of the "fresh-cooked" innovations in the D.C. public schools, complete with big bags of " 'beef crumbles,’ grayish-brown bits of extruded meat and soy protein." Yuck, but I didn’t put it down.

Advertisement

As smart pieces-like this one in Slate -also proliferate, pointing out the problems with calorie-counting as a solution, I wonder if there’s a lesson here worth considering. All those numbers can be pretty abstract. Starting with soda (Mark Bittman’s topic), which everybody surely should cut back on, why fuss about the confusing figures-recalibrating serving sizes, noting calories on the front of cans? Instead, let’s get graphic, in good foodie-style: What if every Coke can had to advertise prominently that it contained the "equivalent of nine teaspoons of sugar"? Or maybe it’s 10. That’s an attention-grabber to turn your stomach.

 

 

TODAY IN SLATE

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Lifetime Didn’t Find the Steubenville Rape Case Dramatic Enough. So They Added a Little Self-Immolation.

No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman” 

Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 1:39 PM Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman,” New York Times. Neither Are Her Characters.
Behold
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM An Up-Close Look at the U.S.–Mexico Border
  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 19 2014 6:22 PM Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.