Listening and Hearing

The term “binge-watching” came into existence a few years ago to describe the phenomenon of folks plunking down on their couches to watch multiple consecutive episodes of their favorite stories, be they TV- or net-based in origin. Imagine my delight to discover that the National Institutes of Health offers video podcasts on a vast array of fascinating topics…including all 7 meetings (over 50 hours’ worth!) of the advisory panel which is busily drafting the latest copy of “Dietary Recommendations for Americans”, the guidelines which once provided our “Food Guide Pyramid” and more recently our “Food Plate”.

I “listened” with half an ear this week to much of the presentations, but I “heard” 2 items of note. First, milk and milk-based products are recommended for all people living in the US of A┬ádespite the evidence which shows that 1 out of 4 of us lack the enzymes necessary to digest milk sugar. Second, food advertising via TV or other media does not merit discussion despite the fact that billions and billions of dollars are spent annually to keep us all on the “see-food diet”: we see food and are biologically triggered to desire to eat that food. This thundering silence on a vitally important topic given the health implications of voracious over-consumption combined with a dairy bias initially startled me, until I reviewed the vision plan of the United States Department of Agriculture, an architect of the Dietary Recommendations: their goal is to SELL FOOD.

Huh, imagine that.

Stay skeptical, folks. Think for yourselves and question authority, including “the experts” and including me. Be well, all.