Shove the diet, it’s food culture all the way

Last week I was listening to one of my favourite food podcasts, Good Food and they had an interesting guest on.  Dr Thomas Robinson and his team research ways to ensure people eat healthily and stay within a healthy weight range. They compared undergraduate students taking a course in Food and Society to students taking other courses in health psychology, obesity and community health.  They tracked the students’ eating habits and found that the Food and Society students were eating more vegetables and fewer high-fat dairy products, high-fat meats and sweets by the end of the course than they were at the beginning. The comparison students in the other health courses reported no improvement in dietary habits and were eating fewer servings of vegetables at the end.

So what’s the Food and Society secret to success?  There was no studying specifics of a healthy diet e.g. no direct descriptions of how to eat a low-fat diet or what fruit and veg you should eat.  Instead, the students studied  books like The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Fast Food Nation and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  They weren’t just studying food as a health product but rather as a way of helping the planet and as a cultural experience they could all be part of.

So, if you know someone who’s a little overweight, or if you are yourself, maybe give up the diet books and get them, or yourself, a copy of The Omnivore’s Dilemma or Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

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10 Responses to Shove the diet, it’s food culture all the way

  1. cindy says:

    Thanks for the links 🙂

  2. twistedvines says:

    I got lost for a while within your links…on my return Thanks…sounds like a good read!Yvette

  3. herby says:

    Sounds like some books I might have to find copies of. Thanks for the recommendations.

  4. Bee says:

    That’s so great that you’re all enjoying the links. They’re wonderful reading (irrespective of your weight). Michael Pollan and a book called Plenty/The 100 Mile Diet (depending on where you buy it) kick started me into actually starting to do a lot of the ethical and environmental things around food that I’d been thinking about.

  5. Clare says:

    I love ‘Animal, vegetable, miracle’ – it’s like a bible of how I would love to be eating. I’m working on it.

    Great post, I’d agree that Michael Pollan is well worth reading: ‘In defence of food’ is also a great read along the same lines. The by-line is ‘eat food. not very much. mostly plants’ How simple is that?

    • Bee says:

      Hi Clare, I’m reading AVM at the moment. It’s great isn’t it? And we regularly quote “Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.” around the Bee household. So simple yet so true 🙂 Bee

  6. I loved animal vegetable miracle too. There is a line in there some where…”why eat bad food when you can eat good food”…*sigh* it doesn’t get much more simple than that does it.

  7. kel says:

    hey thansk fo rthis- been wondering how to frame my next research proposal and Ive just found my link. Cheers. Love the blog world!

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