IFIC's Sue Borra can't understand why calorie-counting is so hard
A new poll conducted by a Washington, D.C.-based food manufacturer-funded education group called the International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) finds that people's perception about how many calories, carbs and fats they should be eating in a day is skewed.
Gee, I wonder why! With so much mixed misinformation coming out of our health leaders in this country, it's little wonder that they haven't made everyone fat yet. But it's certainly not for a lack of trying because they are doing their best to keep the American people in the dark about what healthy living is really all about.
The 134-question IFIC Foundation Food & Health Survey conducted via e-mail by Cogent Research in November 2005 looked at 1,000 adults and found that only 12 percent of them were able to correctly estimate the number of calories they should be eating in a day while 34 percent underestimate and 43 percent didn't have a clue.
But who gets to determine how many calories is right for an individual person. We all have our own body quirks and activity level, so how can a survey like this provide accurate information about whether a person correctly figured out the calories they need to consume daily? Hmmmm? What about activity level which can dramatically affect how many calories you can eat as well? The fact that a little more than 1 out of ten got this RIGHT seems a little high to me.
IFIC President Sue Borra said "people don't have any concept of how many calories they should have in their diet in a day."
NEWSFLASH for you Ms. Borra: NEITHER DO I NOR DO I CARE! One of the things about being overweight and obese that people who have never been that way wouldn't understand is how frustrating it is to be told you must micromanage your eating habits down to the last calorie or fat gram you consume. Ugh! Okay, I've eaten 500 calories so far and I am allowed another 1250 calories today which can consist of whatever I want as long as I don't eat more calories than my body needs.
Can somebody tell me how you can make the claim that 500 calories of a slice of chocolate chess pie is EXACTLY THE SAME as 500 calories of mixed vegetables? That's what these calorie-counting freaks want us to believe and I'm not buying. Also, the concept of "calories in, calories out" has been recently debunked as well.
When I started livin' la vida low-carb, one of the most attractive parts of the plan was that I no longer NEEDED to count calories or fat grams. It just wasn't necessary anymore as long as you kept track of your carbohydrate intake. Find your carb tolerance level and stick to that and you'll lose weight. How much easier can it be than that?! The results have been phenomenal: 180 pounds...GONE FOREVER, baby!
I never once counted a single calorie and I still don't. There's no way you could get me to go back to that kind of micromanaging of my diet ever again. Why should I when what I am doing is working so well over the long-term?
The poll found that just under a third of the respondents believe "that calories in general are what cause weight gain."
Really? It was that HIGH? Listen to me, calories by themselves are NOT what causes weight gain. Instead it is the overconsumption of high-calorie/high-carb foods, including sugar, white flour, starchy foods and processed foods. The fact that 29 percent believe calories can make you fat instead of overeating on junk carbs is frightening to me.
Interestingly, one in five DO believe the calories from carbohydrates contribute to weight gain (YEAH for them!) while a little more than one-fourth of the survey participants think the calories from fat make you fat (BOO!). Only 2 percent thinks protein calories cause obesity and 22 percent didn't have a clue what made them gain weight (and that's scary, too!).
Of course, the so-called health "experts" out there will say that people should be more concerned about calories than carbohydrates, but the poll found people are a lot more carb-conscious now than ever before.
About half of the survey participants have deliberately cut back on the amounts and kinds of carbohydrates they eat, including bread, cereal and pasta in an effort to eat healthier.
WOO HOO, we ARE making an impact on what people think about carbs. This understanding by the consumer about why carb consumption is bad for your health is something that will continue to frustrate food companies that manufacture these high-carb items. They keep hoping the low-carb "fad" will go away, but it's not leaving anytime soon (I'll make sure of that!).
Borra noted that IFIC has previously found that people "don't like to count calories" because "they think it's hard."
Uh, yeah! It IS hard, Ms. Borra. Nobody wants to go through the frustration that counting calories brings when you are free to just eat and enjoy your food on the low-carb lifestyle. Now that doesn't mean low-carbers just eat and eat until our bellies are packed, but it does mean that I can probably get away with eating just as many or even MORE calories while STILL losing weight. Can you explain how that happened, Ms. Borra?
Sadly, while 75 percent of those surveyed described their health as "good" to "excellent," only 1 in five surveyed were "extremely concerned about their weight" compared to 44 percent who were "somewhat concerned."
If two out of every three Americans is overweight or obese and only 22 percent have a sense of urgency about that problem, then why do we expect the obesity rates to drop. Hello people! It's time we wake up to the fact that NOW is the time to take back control of your weight and health so you can get your life back. Remaining in your current state is not an option because you MUST do SOMETHING about your weight before it is too late.
I'm not trying to scare anyone into losing weight. I am simply writing to you as someone who used to weigh 410 pounds, taking prescription medicines for cholesterol, blood pressure and breathing problems, and was on a one-way ticket to the Grim Reaper because I couldn't stop myself from eating and eating and eating away on junk food. Being fat royally sucks and I know it does. There's got to be a better way to live and THERE IS!
Today I am healthy, happy, and hungry to share with others how livin' la vida low-carb has radically changed my life. I want people to be able to experience the thrill of losing weight and then keeping it off for good all by making better food choices and being aware of what they are putting in their mouths. Nobody will ever debate me on the fact that doing a low-carb plan such as the Atkins diet is worse for you than obesity. They won't because they KNOW it's a healthy and effective way to lose weight.
The survey found that most people are still concerned about eating animal fat (52 pecent), but only 44 percent are purposely reducing the great health evil of 2006 known as trans fats. That's all? So 56 percent of people are gouging themselves on trans fats despite the end-of-the-world warnings we have been hearing? What are people thinking?
Check this out: nearly two-thirds of the respondents are "trying to eat less sugar, consume more whole grains, and consume more fiber." Yippee!!!! Do you know what eating less sugar and more fiber is, Ms. Borra? It's livin' la vida low-carb, of course! Ha!
As for exercise, a third of the respondents are "not physically active for health benefits" and another third are just plain "sedentary."
Well, it's time to get off that rump of yours and get your body moving and sweating while increasing your heart rate. You'll never know how GOOD it feels to exercise until you get used to doing it every single day. Now, I like to move it, move it and YOU WILL, too! Commit to it for three months every single day and you'll see what I mean. It IS possible!
Wanna know why Americans are so screwed up about what good nutrition and healthy living is about? Blame it on the government-indoctrinated Food Pyramid. Nine of our ten people surveyed had heard of it and a portion of them have used the information on the official MyPyramid web site to help them with their diet.
Yikes, you would think people would have learned by now that you can't trust the government to help you in your weight loss efforts. They are not telling you the whole truth about what is good for your body as evidenced by their lack of credence to the low-carb lifestyle. I don't think they care about health, but rather the perception that they care about health. There's a HUGE difference between those two concepts.
The IFIC survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
You can send your comments to Sue Borra at IFIC by e-mailing her at email@example.com.