Thursday, June 3


Matthew Wiant, chief marketing officer of Atkins Nutritionals, predicts that, of at least 2,000 low-carb products flooding the marketplace now, "I bet 500 won't be on the shelf by the end of the year." Less than that, if this study gets more publicity:  A new study has found that repeatedly losing, then regaining weight - "yo-yo dieting" - may harm a woman's immune system. (Though no men participated in the study, the piece says, the immune systems of male dieters would likely be affected the same way.) So which eating pattern is this? Who's the Yo-Yo behind that lose-weight-gain-weight-lose-weight plan? Hmmmm. Fortunately, we don't have to guess, as ADA spokeswoman Katherine Tallmadge spells it out. "People should avoid popular low-carb and low-fat diets that can produce initial weight loss but rarely work in the long term, Tallmadge said. 'Study after study shows that more moderate restrictions are more likely to last permanently,' Tallmadge said. 'That's why we registered dietitians are urging people not to do the fad diets, and just try small changes that they're more likely to be able to live with - even if the weight loss is slower.'"

An example of this more gradual, stable and permanent weight loss - and in many ways the antithesis of Mr. Yo-Yo's diet - is Weight Watchers, which is being commended for most of its adherents keeping weight off over the long term. Similarly,  a new set of U.S. government dietary guidelines being written by nutrition experts was unveiled on Thursday. The preliminary version of the rules for healthful eating flatly tells Americans to cut consumption of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol. The only fat you want to strive for more of, of course, is Omega-3s, and as usual the mainstream dieticians stumble over the fish problem: "the panel noted there should be a general warning about mercury in fish. The government said in March that shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish contain too much mercury to be eaten" by folks with... uh oh... weakened immune systems, still trying to put a happy face on it by greenlighting, for everybody else, "up to 12 ounces (340 grams) a week of seafood lower in mercury." Oh, except that theoretically includes Salmon, which if you're in the Northeast, you'll need to limit it to half a serving a month, federal officials said Thursday, due to dioxin "and other pollutants." Gee, I hope all the fishermen and people who eat Northeast hatchery salmon get this message... The Salmon Mousse, indeed.

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