The War on Obesity and the “Glories” of Starvation

Tuesday, October 31, 2006
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The war on obesity has many bad consequences. This is a terribly misinformed and sick story about people and aging, and what can possibly make us live longer and age better. The answer? Starving yourself toward a grotesque thinness, otherwise known as “calorie restriction.” (Due to the NY Times propensity to not archive articles, I have included the complete article at the end of this blog post.)

Scientists are using monkees to prove out their theories that we age better, have more energy, and live longer and healthier when we adopt the Auschwitz look intentionally. Scientists are using lab monkeys as they compare monkeys with normal diets to those with a restricted calorie diet. According to these yahoos, research shows that the monkeys with the normal diets suffer from being “frail” with “poor posture,” while those that take in less calories are more vigorous and less haggard. All that follows is a movement to 1) increase the life span of humans, and 2) to do it by starvation means – which is really what calorie restriction is all about. The other solution to living a better life is, of course, a steady diet of “wonder drugs” that will make billions for pharmaceutical coompanies while hoodwinking the misinformed populace into swallowing chemicals to live a “healthier” life. The thesis of this article is nothing short of appalling and misleading, and accordingly, I point out a few errors.

First, a restricted calorie diet eats up gobs of human muscle, reduces metabolism, kills energy, destroys hair and skin and nails, numbs brain function, and depletes necessary nutrition to dangerously low levels. Only these pro-starvation crackpots would possibly claim that people on these nutbag diets can still get adequate vitamins, minerals, and overall nutrition. They claim that breaking down your body is, in essence, really “building it up” for the long run. Then, of course, we come to the call for government intervention in the aging process: “Earlier this year, four prominent gerontologists, among them Dr. Miller, published a paper calling for the government to spend $3 billion annually in pursuit of a modest goal: delaying the onset of age-related diseases by several years. Doing so, the authors asserted, would lay the foundation for a healthier and wealthier country, a so-called longevity dividend.” In a mindblowing act of idiocy, the article notes:

Earlier this year, researchers studying dietary effects on humans went so far as to claim that calorie restriction may be more effective than exercise at preventing age-related diseases.

The article holds up a Mr. Linksvayer as the poster child for “healthiness through starvation.” Mr. Linksvayer is “6 feet tall and 135 pounds, estimated that he gets by on about 2,000 to 2,100 calories a day, a low number for men of his age and activity level, and his blood pressure is a remarkably low 112 over 63. He said he has never been in better health.” Here is a photo of the disgusting Mr. Linksvayer:


He’s more frail than blown glass, has a very stooped posture, and his body parts are not in proportion. In fact, upon seeing him, you immediately notice that he has taken on the physical appearance of one who suffers from mental retardation – which is typical for malnourished adults. A blatant lie in the story is the “fact” that he has an intake of about 2,100 calories per day – which the author points out is “low” for a man of his age and activity level. First, what activity level? Second, 2,100 calories is not a low amount for a sedentary male of that age. To quote, “On an average day, he eats an apple or some cereal for breakfast, followed by a small vegan dish at lunch. Dinner is whatever his wife has cooked, excluding bread, rice, sugar and whatever else Mr. Linksvayer deems unhealthy (this often includes the entr

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