Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Player On Diets: 'Worst Ever Was Atkins'

Gary Player is still out there badmouthing the Atkins low-carb diet

Some people apparently don't know when to stop running their mouth when they are way behind. This article in The Gainesville (FL) Sun proves that professional golfer Gary Player has yet to figure out how incredibly moronic he is beginning to sound with his continued disparagement of livin' la vida low-carb and specifically the Atkins diet.

In October 2005, you will recall that I first reported to you in this blog post that Player decided to openly share his opinions about what he thought of the weight loss program developed by the late Dr. Robert C. Atkins.

"Stay away from [the Atkins diet] at all costs," Player said at the time.

Because of my concern that Player had been misquoted or something, I encouraged my readers at the time to contact Player directly at his web site to ask him for clarification of what he meant by his seemingly negative comments about the Atkins diet.

Within a few days, a representative named Debbie Longenecker from the Gary Player Group, Inc. sent the following reply:

"Thank you for your recent message to Mr. Player with regards to his comments on the low carb diet. Please know that Mr. Player is currently traveling outside of the country on business and will not be returning until mid-November. At that time, he will be given your message for his review and reply.

We apologize if you have been offended and can assure you that Mr. Player will see your message. If I can be of any further assistance at this time prior to Mr. Player's return, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Finally, after weeks of waiting to hear back from him about this issue, Player decided to respond in late December 2005 to all of the criticism he was receiving (mostly from my readers) about his anti-Atkins statements when he sent the following e-mail response confirming his adamant position against low-carb:

First of all thank you for taking the time to write to me and to tell me about your weight loss. I congratulate you on the discipline and efforts to turn your life around and get into a healthy lifestyle.

My apologies if I have offended you in any way urging people to stay away from the low carb diets, but as a person who has studied and practiced proper nutrition my entire lifetime this is the conclusion that most experts have come to. You are correct that I do not have a medical degree, but I have studied with the best health and nutrition experts around the world and there is an overwhelming consensus that in order to practice proper nutrition to be healthy one must eat more fruits, vegetables, fish, brown breads and small amounts of lean meats. Too many carbs are not healthy, stay away from excess red meat because of the steroids which can lead to weight gain, most chicken is also fed with artificial feed and not organic which can also be filled with steroids. Stay away from bacon, sausages, white breads and other food items which contain artificial ingredients which can also lead to weight gain.

This is something I have studied for over 50 years and something that I am extremely concerned about considering that over 22% of our children and more than 50% of adults are obese and if we don't do something about it now it will lead to more diabetes and other diseases if we do not change our eating lifestyles.

Once again, I thank you for taking the time to share your opinion with me, what a great country you live in that you are able to have the freedom to express your opinion. I hope that you will also value mine and the years of proper diet and exercise that have allowed me to at the age of 70 still compete in a sport that I love dearly.

My best wishes to you for continued good health.

Kind regards,

Gary Player

With all doubts erased about where he stood in the debate over what constitutes a healthy diet, Player has since become rather brazen in his comments against the Atkins diet yet again.

In The Gainesville Sun story, Player strongly pushed a book called "The China Study" which he believes "should become the way the world approaches its eating habits."

I had actually already heard of this book earlier this week during a business meeting on Monday night. A large man sitting at my table overheard the server asking me if I was on a low-carb diet because of the food I was eating and told me he was a vegan. Our conversation was extremely civil (more so than this hornet's nest I stirred up earlier this week) and he mentioned that book during our conversation.

Apparently "The China Study" is the "holy grail" for anyone following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle because it urges people to completely reject animal protein and dairy products completely (in my brief research of this book, there seems to be some valid disagreements about the major premises in the book from noted health experts).

Get this -- the book's author, T. Colin Campbell, is currently on the advisory committee for the group Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, a political front group for the outlandish and ultra-extreme viewpoints of PETA (let's not forget this asinine stunt they pulled recently!) and is the organization behind opportunist Jody Gorran's frivolous lawsuit against Atkins Nutritionals.

It's amazing when you start to put two and two together how all of these things start to make sense, huh? The vegans are VERY MUCH in synch with each other on this singular message which is what makes their criticism of the Atkins diet sound so credible to people who aren't paying attention.

Nevertheless, as a devoted disciple to this cult-like organization's religion, Player is in complete lock step with the vegan agenda in his remarks about his dieting philosophy.

"Primarily, it excludes eating animal protein," he explained. "Get rid of meat, milk, butter, cheese and especially bacon."

If that's his idea of healthy living, then NO WONDER he doesn't like the Atkins diet! This would be a sad world if all of those foods suddenly became unhealthy to eat. And they say low-carb is a RESTRICTING diet?!?!

Expressing his concern that Americans are spending "billions" on various diet programs that "work on to a degree," Player proudly revealed his true feelings about livin' la vida low-carb and made it very clear how he feels this time.

"Worst [diet] ever was the Atkins Diet which loads you with fats and animal protein of all kinds," he revealed.

Alrighty then, I guess the innuendo is shot down in a blaze of glory now! Player's just another extremist vegan who doesn't want anybody eating any other way than HIS way.

While I don't have a problem with Player expressing his opinions about how he chooses to eat healthy, I do have a BIG PROBLEM with him forcing his lifestyle on the rest of us as if his way is superior to all others. That is something you have NEVER heard me utter about the low-carb lifestyle and you never will.

People have different ways of managing their weight and getting healthy and there is no one perfect way to get there. For me, I know I will never ever weigh over 400 pounds again because the low-carb lifestyle saved my life. While Player doesn't like the method of weight loss I have chosen, it's not his choice to make. It was mine.

The same goes for others. If they want to evaluate the vegan lifestyle to see if it is something they want to do for the rest of their life, then I trust people to educate themselves enough about it to make an informed choice. But if other traditional weight loss plans have failed, perhaps livin' la vida low-carb could be the answer for them.

The point is there is no one way for everyone that leads to controlled weight and improved health. But I do believe everyone can find THEIR way as long as they never give up on trying to lose weight if they need to.

When asked what he thinks are some healthy lifestyle changes people can make, here's what Player said.

"Lots of vegetables and fruits. Drink loads of water. Eat lots of salads with the right kinds of dressing. Helping put a check on major cholesterol and obesity problems."

Guess what, Mr. Player? You just described livin' la vida low-carb. We get to enjoy lots of nutritious and delicious fruits, vegetables, salads as well as WATER! My cholesterol has never been better and after losing over 180 pounds, I would think my obesity problem is cured now. He also notes exercise as the key to a healthy lifestyle and I agree with that, too. See, we're not as far apart in nutritional philosophy as you think, although the major difference is I STILL EAT MEAT! :)

At the end of the column, Player said he will keep on spouting off his mouth about diet and hopes to use his celebrity status to influence people to support his vegan way of life.

"If, in the years I have left on this earth, I could do good work in helping save and extend lives through diet and fitness, it could be the proudest achievement of my life. Probably beyond anything I have done in golf."

I don't have a problem with you doing that, Mr. Player. You have a right to share whatever you want in support of your vegan lifestyle. But I will challenge you each and every time that you take an unfair pot shot at MY lifestyle choice -- the low-carb lifestyle and specifically the Atkins diet. Your comments about this extremely healthy way of eating are completely uncalled for and unnecessary.

In the debate of ideas over what constitutes diet and nutrition, Player is shooting way over par! I'm willing to let him take a few mulligans and start anew to make things right. But unfortunately I don't think we've heard the last from Gary Player and his mindless ramblings against the Atkins diet.

If you would like to respond directly to Gary Player about his most recent comments, you can write to him by clicking here. Let me know if you hear from him. I know his people are watching my blog, so I'm sure they'll catch wind of this pretty quickly in the coming days.


Blogger Science4u1959 said...

Not only are his comments completely uncalled for and unnecessary, it is also totally unscientific. There's not a shred of evidence for the alleged superiority of a vegan lifestyle in terms of health or even ones basic dietary needs. There is, however, plently of scientific evidence to the contrary.

Sad for mr. Player and his fellow vegans, perhaps, but the facts are the facts and no amount of soy can change that.

He clearly has no clue of proper diet and certainly no clue whatsoever of nutritional science, no matter how many "experts" he has consulted over the past 50 years. But that's ok, it's his (health)loss. But he should not try to push his scientifically impossible perceptions of dietary "wisdom" on everybody under the pretext that "one diet, MY diet, fits all".

2/23/2006 3:55 AM  
Blogger LCforevah said...

The Drs Eades in their two books have noted that about 25 to 35% of the world's population do better on a mostly vegetarian diet, but that animal protein can't be given up completely.
It turns out that a group of vegetarians from India began to get anemic and have serious problems with their health(including death) after emigrating to the US.
Our US veggies are so clean, that they weren't getting the insect parts that they would've normally eaten in their original region !

As for me, I know that when I eat wheat products, I get very sleepy.
Since eliminating all cereals now that I"m back on low carb full force, I find myself at once more alert, and more calm. I don't feel sleepy in the afternoon the way I used to.

As for "whole grain", I have tried it, and it makes no difference in ridding me of sleepiness. I think that a lot of whole grain products are really the same processed stuff with fiber and food dye added to make it seem darker.

The bottom line is that when I don't have cereals, rice, potatoes and other tubers, I feel much more normal.

People like Player and the members of PETA may not know that they are naturally more vegetarian than others, and that their advice can't be followed by 75% of us.

2/23/2006 11:02 AM  
Blogger Elaine said...


I just wanted to let you know I wrote a post about one of your recent entries. Hope you approve!

2/23/2006 11:10 AM  
Blogger Incus said...

Kudos to Gary Player. Too many people eating low carbohydrate diets think it means all the meat and cheese you can eat. That, and thinking exercise is unnecessary. David M., MD US Army Medical Corps.

4/14/2008 3:06 PM  

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