Sunday, April 01, 2007

How About A Million Pound Low-Carb March?

With the success of my blog has come a flood of e-mails from all kinds of people passing on blog post ideas that they think would interest me. I have to be honest with you and let you know that most of these go right into File 13. Sure, I'll hang on to them for a while and consider whether they need to become a blog post or not. But most of the time, they become trash.

However, I have to admit one of my readers who wishes to remain anonymous had the most creative idea regarding livin' la vida low-carb that I've seen in a very long time and I felt it was more than worthy of your attention. By that person's permission, I present to you a brief of the concept he describes as the "Million Pound March." I have added "low-carb" to that idea so that people will understand what we are marching about.

Here's the brief for the "Million Pound Low-Carb March":

The concept of the “Million Pound Low-Carb March” popped into my head tonight. I’m passing it on to you to use or publish as you see fit. I prefer to remain anonymous, however.

The idea is to organize a central repository for as many low carb stats as possible. The goal of the project is to document a million pounds shed by low carb lifestyle changes. Once the goal was reached, the project would continue ad infinitum.

While the term “march” could signify the march towards healthy weight, the project could also start an annual parade. Imagine ten thousand skinny people waving signs of their former obese and dying selves.

The Atkins diet worked incredibly well for me three years ago. I lost over 60 pounds, felt great, and checkups showed good cholesterol readings and perfect health. Now I see the detractors are still at it while millions of Americans are suffering, losing productivity, and dying. Corporate America is fulfilling its duty to its stockholders of maximizing the return on their investment.

I feel, however, that a lot of shortcuts are being taken to get market share at the expense of our nation’s collective health and longevity. Sugar and simple carbs are inexpensive additives that promote over-eating, are addictive, and adversely affect the mental state and health of the consumer. Most consumers choose food based on taste and how the food satisfies. They don’t realize that carb loaded food makes them feel progressively worse and will kill them because the word is not getting out. Our country is getting fatter, sicker, and less productive as a result.

While probably not more numerous, I think the detractors are better placed, and probably in part financed by outside parties. What the low carb movement needs is a unified front of some sort – a mass of undisputable evidence that the detractors can only moan about. Evidence so abundant and compelling that potshots at the low carb lifestyle would do nothing more than destroy the credibility of the originator. This would save lives, improve productivity, improve the quality of life and even the economy. If even one percent more of America’s obese could become permanently lean and healthy, think of the overall cascading result.

The database could be as simple or advanced as ambition and funding allowed. A truly well designed professional database might be of use to the medical community to see trends in other aspects of health as large groups of people adopt this lifestyle. Sponsors will probably fly out of the woodwork if this was well organized.

This would be an organized front. It is appealing on several levels. It would save countless lives. The Average American would know the truth. Freedom of choice doesn’t exist when you’re addicted to carbs and every “expert” or “Dr.” you see on television says that sugar in moderation is fine and one serving of bread per day is healthy eating. Or when every trainer in the gym preaches that you need your carbs for energy and that that fad diet you are on will kill you.

In later years you’ll be hearing that hypertension, uncontrollable cholesterol and a dozen prescriptions are just part of growing old. Balderdash. This is creating a need and providing a solution, both at a profit. Sales 101 taken to a high-stakes level that kills. Why should healthy eating be labeled as a “dangerous fad” that will “ruin your health?” The tail is wagging the dog.

For every person that hears about Atkins and takes the life saving steps away from simple carbs, there are probably a dozen who stay on the couch because all they know about low carb is the FUD.

It’s time this country started a course change from the dysfunctional and misnamed “disease management” system and towards true health care.

So, what do you think about this well-organized and intriguing idea for a "Million Pound Low-Carb March?" Do you think it would catch on as my learned reader thinks it will? If so and if you think it's a worthwhile venture, then what can we low-carbers who have been postively impacted by this nutritional approach do to help make it a reality? Who should lead this effort?

Let's talk about this one and see if we can't make it happen...SOON!

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Blogger The Bunnell Farm said...

Your aggressive and entertaining and out front and genuine, that's why you have built a following. and you work hard at it.

4/01/2007 11:28 PM  
Blogger The Bunnell Farm said...

I just now read this low carb march entry. Absolutely, and you of course should be the leader. This is a gift and the person who created this, along with you, who picked up on it, are both gifted and have a gift for the world. What perfect timing. This is the best thing I've seen in a long time. Congratulations to both of you, it can do nothing but work--as well as, take you the rest of the way over the top. Congratulations again on a great achievement. Tom

4/01/2007 11:57 PM  
Blogger Sparky's Girl said...

I think it's a great idea! Where do I sign up? :0)

4/02/2007 10:14 AM  
Blogger Science4u1959 said...

This is a great idea, Jimmy - and with many possibilities and positive spin-offs. If you promote and lead this effort, I will personally donate the website and the required RDBMS (relational database management system) on-line.

We could call it LLVLC Base - ( With approval from the participants, this could be also utilized as an meaningful and effective research tool for nutritional scientists looking for statistics and research data on low-carb diets as well - provided that we'd get sufficient people donating meaningful data. Certain controls and constraints must be in place to assure high-quality data, of course. Personally, I like the idea of making this effort a scientifically useful tool as well.

If you like it, you know how to reach me :)

4/02/2007 10:41 AM  
Blogger BamaGal said...

I'm with sparky's girl---where do we sign up----

Something that got me about his idea was this----
"a mass of undisputable evidence that the detractors can only moan about. Evidence so abundant and compelling that potshots at the low carb lifestyle would do nothing more than destroy the credibility of the originator."
we already have a mass of research that supports low carb but you never hear it in main stream America----
So we need to really get this organized and going----

4/02/2007 11:41 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Is this a scientific effort or a popular effort? If it is scientific, it would have to be closely regulated to be legitimate. There are already some unified business and marketing groups supporting annual conferences, but all such institutes depend on financial support.

There are numerous popular websites which collect current research, along with personal stats and success stories. Would this new effort be duplicating sites which already exist? Or is this something more like a PR media clearinghouse to spread the LC message? Perhaps it is time to found such an institute, the interface of which could be the website.

It is important that people who contribute personal information make the effort to verify and document their results with regular weight and blood tests. There is not much substance in people claiming success on low-carb if it cannot be supported by verifiable documentation. If stats are solicited voluntarily, then it could take quite a while to build up a real database, and we would need some criteria to go by.

This sounds like a lot of work to maintain such a site, so someone or a team would definitely have to be dedicated to developing it, presumably on a volunteer basis. If it would do some good to unify and popularize the LC message and efforts, then I imagine this would be a worthwhile effort.

I personally hope that the well-known LC researchers will soon found a new professional venture or journal specifically for low-carb research, which will have real scientific legitimacy. They recently put out a joint letter to refute the Dr. Ornish editorial, which seems like a sign that perhaps the field may be maturing or promising enough to create a unified institute of some kind.

4/02/2007 2:13 PM  
Blogger katiep said...

Sign me up too -- I'll lead the international leg in Australia!!
Sounds inspiring!!

4/02/2007 6:11 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

How could this effort dovetail with the Carbohydrate Awareness Council?

4/02/2007 11:42 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Hey Kevin,

I think Gil and Regina Wilshire's Carbohydrate Awareness Council does a great job and would certainly be a part of this effort if it gets off the ground. But as many others have said, it's gonna take a lot of work, time, and money to come to fruition. At some point, all of us who care about this the most need to put our heads together and do it. Hopefully sooner than later.

4/03/2007 9:08 AM  
Blogger Kenneth L. said...

Imagine This

A march in many cities across the country or world, all on the same day.

In front, leading the parade are a group of banner carriers and whatever role models the parade community has to muster. The banner carries a simple but most important message. For instance:

“A Low Carb Diet is a healthy diet.
Loose wait, gain energy.”


"We have a better food pyramid"

The leaders of the parade, carrying the banner, would be people who have achieved goal weight and are living a low-carb life. Behind them the marchers would be carefully staged so that people of all levels of body fat and physical fitness are mixed – not all heavy or all skinny. We want to emphasize that although the diet is for all kinds of people, the diet is healthy and it will take weight off.

Because it is occurring in so many places, it gets television, radio, and print coverage across the country. For the media we have a slightly more detailed message, for instance:

*It’s not all bacon and eggs.
*It’s full of vegetables and some fruits.
*Fat, even saturated fat, is not the problem.
*The diet is mostly the dramatic reduction of sugar, grain flour, potatoes and the things made from them—chips, bread, candy, soda pop, crackers, cake, cookies, mashed potatoes, French fries.

To make it work would require:
An event that takes just an hour for the participants and lasts only about half an hour for spectators and the media.

A National Chairman and spokesperson and a national committee. These would: engage local volunteers, develop the actual message of the banner and a press kit for distribution to the media nationally and forwarded to local committees for their use. The national committee's most important activity would be to build and coordinate local teams where the real action would occur. I would not set anything but a provisional month for the march until a good number of local cadres are in place.

Local committees would need:

A “Producer” who gets volunteers, finds a location, works out issues with local government, solicits contributions, if needed, for porta potties, local registration and security fees, banner printing, etc.

A “Director” who stages the actual march. Gives jobs to volunteers. Lines up marchers. Starts the march, or tells someone else to do it when things are ready. May need a megaphone.

A “Spokesperson”. This person should be someone who is articulate and others want to emulate. They may have lost a lot of weight or they are already handsome and athletic people. Some media relations experience would be helpful, but, if not, that can be learned. This activity will also require a plan for building local interest among volunteer marchers

A cadre or “Role Models” to lead the parade and carry the banner.

In truth, many of the above roles might overlap in a small town march, but a place like New York City would need multiple assistants in each role.

So, that is the kind of work that would be needed.

Why should anyone commit to such an effort?

I have two reasons.

1. There is so much disinformation out there it just seems like the right thing to do.

2. It will keep you motivated. In order to change habits or achieve important goals you need to stay motivated for a long period, 90 days and more. One way to do that is trick yourself into staying motivated. Some of the motivational tricks include frequently visualizing your goal, making a public commitment to the goal, becoming obligated to others about the goal, getting help from others who share the goal.

Working on the march would certainly do those things.

Perhaps a first step would be to create an organization of local low-carb support groups. Once those were in place a national march would be a lot easier to do because the volunteers would already be available.

4/03/2007 12:13 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Moore said...

Kenneth, what an exciting visual picture you have painted! It will take a lot of work so we should get started in our local areas creating local low-carb support groups. People reading my blog should be the leaders of this effort locally regardless of where they are in the diet (short-term, ongoing weight loss, long-term). This will take a lot of concerted efforts not just in America, but around the world.

4/03/2007 12:38 PM  
Blogger Jeff Hamlin said...

Oh joy, more of the "it's not just bacon and eggs" blah blah again.

4/04/2007 12:12 PM  

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