Conflicting Views: Reviews of Diets and Books

- POSTED ON: May 13, 2016

I am not, nor do I wish to be, a nutritional expert. My writings here at DietHobby are a result of my choice to manage my own personal problem with weight-loss and weight-maintenance by treating the many aspects of dieting as an enjoyable hobby.

I enjoy looking at many different viewpoints on the issues of food, nutrition, and obesity, and remain open to the possibility of new ideas. I have opinions about what behaviors are effective for me, and sometimes even opinions about which behaviors appear to be effective for others. My opinions are based on my own experiences; on what I have personally witnessed; and on information that I’ve gathered in my own pursuit of knowledge about those issues. Sometimes my opinions change.

For Dieting Perspective, see my past article located in the DietHobby ARCHIVES, What is the Best Way to Diet?

Life is filled with conflicting views, and just because two different “experts” hold differing opinions doesn’t really mean that either one is wrong.

“Experts” can be correct in some areas, and incorrect in other areas.

I have no personal need to decide who is “right” and who is “wrong”, and although an “expert” with a convincing argument can cause me to lean toward a specific belief, another “expert” can make a counter-argument which results in me changing my mind.

DietHobby is a combination of thoughts and ideas that interest me. Often, when I share the ideas and thoughts of others, I include my own. Sometimes I haven’t yet formed an opinion on an idea that I share here at DietHobby, except for the fact that I find it worth thinking about.

I read many, many books, articles, and comments involving issues relevant to my Dieting Hobby, but usually, I only write about the concepts that I find the most valuable to me, OR the most interesting to me.

I was recently intrigued by the statement: “Obesity is seen as a simple problem: people get overweight because they eat more calories than they expand. That’s a bit like saying “cancer is simply a cell gone wrong”.

After reading a few articles by the author of the statement, I ordered a book that he published about a week ago, November 2, 2012, entitled: “Something to Chew On: Challenging Controversies in Food and Health” by Mike Gibney, who is a professor at University College Dublin, with a global reputation for research on food and nutrition.

Allegedly, the book covers … from a scientific point of view… all of the worldwide controversies dominating the popular press in relation to the modern food chain. He says he wrote the book to help the average person to gain some understanding of the mainstream science of food & health and in so doing to de-bunk many common myths and misperceptions.

The book appears to have a chapter that challenges the claims of environmental groups that genetically modified foods are a danger to health and the environment. Another chapter looks at data about the rise in obesity pointing out that obesity has been rising in the US in waves dating back to the early 20th century, and challenges the conventional wisdom that it is simply due to junk food.

One chapter challenges the myth that organic food is more nutritious, more tasty, more flavoursome and more environmentally friendly than conventionally grown crops. Another chapter explores “the roles of the players in the drama of food politics”, and includes the issue of starvation existing now for some populations. A chapter apparently explains how society assesses risks in our food supply and the testing processes. Evidentially the final chapter has a focus “
on the two great food tragedies of modern times: obesity and malnutrition”. 

I love exploring ideas from different perspectives, and am looking forward to learning specifically what the author has to say. Will I be writing about it in the future?  Maybe… it all depends on what I see when I read the book.


NOTE:  Originally posted on November 6, 2012.  Reposted for New Viewers.

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Existing Comments:

On Nov 06, 2012 wrote:
Hi Phyllis, "What is the best way to diet"? The way that works for you, and keeps you motivated. Also including the way you are both comfortable with, and are able to live with. Obesity is not 'simple'. I believe there are as many reasons for obesity as there are stars in the sky. We are on our own, and each of us must find our own path.

On Nov 06, 2012 Dr. Collins wrote:
             Very true, John. Like I said in my previous article. Dieting is like taking a trip home for Thanksgiving. It's a personal destination and fighting about dieting specifics is like people who live in different places arguing over which is the correct way to get home.

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