Infantile Paralysis: Not Letting Go of Childhood Food Loves

Blog post 7/6/11 (somehow deleted this, so reposting)

When President Roosevelt developed what was then known as Infantile Paralysis, or polio, there was a lot of attention drawn to what was a widespread disease, and many researchers devoted untold hours to finding a cure for that terrible disease which caused varying levels of paralysis in mostly children. Jonas Salk was the physician researcher came up with the vaccine that many children remember being inoculated with in the 1950s.

This came to mind when a friend of my spouse who is morbidly obese was arguing with my lean spouse who does primal/paleo eating as I do. While my spouse is not the sugaraholic I am, he knows that he will begin to want those foods if he starts eating them, and he lost more than thirty-five pounds getting off the sugars, starches, artificial sweeteners along with me. His friend, I’ll call him Bob, believes in the calories-in-calories-out false theory, about what causes weight gain or loss, so well debunked by Gary Taubes in Good Calories, Bad Calories and Why We Get Fat, along with Mark Sisson, Mark Harris, and many others. Why does Bob hold on to what so clearly fails for him time and again; he is a Weight Watchers rerun. Having heard for years what he orders at their weekly breakfast meeting tells me that he can’t let go of his childhood food loves.

Bob is convinced, for this is what he wants to believe, that pancakes, fruit, bread, and all manner of high starch and sugar foods are fine as long as he eats egg substitutes and avoids fats. He has a kind of infantile paralysis that does not let him move forward. He doesn’t want to read or hear anything that will change his mind, though he weighs nearly 300lbs on a 5’10” frame.

The sad part that is most bothersome for me in this is that when polio was raging through the country, no amount of money or resources was held back in order to find a cure. Now, though, when diabetes has doubled world wide since 1980, we find there is very little money for research on various foods or diets that is not being provided by the big food conglomerates who only accept what supports their ends. Very little independent money is available to researchers to get anything like independent results. We need to get past this fund crunch, for it was mostly American tax dollars that found cures like polio, smallpox, antibiotics like penicillin, etc. Our health care system is being heavily burdened by the diseases of over-weight and diabetes, and something will eventually have to give.

I have my areas of infantile paralysis, too, but they have more to do with liking fire flies, and watching reruns of Bewitched. Food is something we should remember is medicine, fuel, and not just comfort. However, while I no longer eat the foods I once thought of as childhood comfort foods, I now know that what I eat is truly good for me, and that is its own mature kind of comfort.

Ever learning,

Nan aka Sugarbaby

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