Dear Readers, Have you ever had the unpleasant experience that someone criticized or ridiculed your choice of food?
One day the dietitians were enjoying a party over lunch, eating cheesy foods and rich desserts. A colleague came by and commented, “Maybe you should take all of your name tags off so nobody knows you are all dieters.” She thought it was funny; Not me.
It was actually a reader who drew my attention to this idea for a column. After much thought, I developed different categories of nutritional attitudes.
1. The Shamers – “I Can’t Believe You’re Eating THAT!” This is the person who knows you are doing your best to eat healthy, but you can see that you eat a candy bar every now and then. They use this to shame you. There is nothing wrong with having a candy bar from time to time. It’s the 90/10 rule: eat healthy 90% of the time; treat yourself to the other 10%! Live a little!
2. The Live-and-Let-Liver – These are the people who eat healthily but believe that everyone has the right to choose their eating plan. Simply put, they mind their own business.
3. The controllers – “Don’t eat that!” Controllers often have good intentions and really want to help. This person can be your spouse helping you follow a diabetic diet. Or it can be your doctor teaching you what to eat. I knew a doctor who complained that an overweight person who was enjoying a bag of chips made her so angry that she wanted to take the bag straight out of her hand. To this I say: “Doctor, heal yourself.”
4. The hedonists – “Eat, drink and be happy because tomorrow we die.” This group is certain that food makes happy and they have chosen to eat what they want regardless of the consequences.
5. The Elites – These are the people who follow a certain diet and tend to think that they are better for it than the rest of us. They feel confident that their way of eating is the best of all, and if everyone did so, the world would be a better place.
It is normal to have an attitude towards food. After all, we have attitudes towards politics, cars, careers and just about everything else in society. Remember that the attitude towards food is a first world luxury. There are people in the world who don’t have enough to eat, children who go to bed hungry tonight. Your only attitude is survival.
LEANNE McCRATE, RDN, LD, CNSC, also known as Dear Dietitian, is an award-winning nutritionist based in Missouri. Their mission is to educate consumers about healthy, science-based nutrition. Do you have a nutritional question? Email her today at [email protected] Dear Dietitian does not endorse any product, health program, or diet plan.