We started subscribing to the Star a few months ago. I like being able to read the paper in the morning without touching the computer. Reading the Star on a regular basis has made me realize how bad it is. I’m pretty sure their editors are taken from 8th grade classes throughout the city. I never realized that you could write an entire section using mostly sources from the Internet.
The front page of today’s Healthy Living section features an article on nutrition IQ. The article features a very annoying quiz where your nutrition “IQ” is determined by answering questions about obscure nutritional facts such as “what berry has the highest number of cancer-preventing agents” and of these five fruits, “which is the most nutritious”, my emphasis added.
This isn’t practical nutritional knowledge that people can use to eat healthier. These are factoids. Knowing that cranberries are healthier than strawberries, apples, red grapes, and peaches is worthless. They’re all healthy. Eat any of them. Put down the french fries.
Here’s my favorite question in the quiz: “If you eat 100 more calories a day than you burn, ” and it goes on to give you several choices. The answer is you’ll gain about one pound in a month. The explanation given is “Balancing food intake with physical activity helps control weight.” Allow me to translate the Star’s recitation of food industry speak into something you can use: Eat less.
Turning to page E4 to read the rest of the article, you’ll find some practical advice on limiting salt intake and adding sweetness without adding sugar or artificial sweeteners. Of course, the whole article is written as a series of questions and answers. I guess the Star assumes that its readers don’t know how to read paragraphs any more.
If you’re interested in learning about nutrition and getting practical information not biased by the food industry, I suggest you pick up a copy of Marion Nestle’s What to Eat. Nestle is a nutritionist who has written several good books, including one of my favorites, Food Politics. I also suggest you subscribe to the Nutrition Action newsletter.