Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Stupid News

OK, this EVENTUALLY gets to frugality and simplicity but the topic inspiration comes from criminally stupid "news" headlines.

I often swear off mainstream news for this sort of reason.
But, then I'll get back on one of the main "news" websites and look at the "health" or "family" or "parenting" "news" links. (Apologies to the grammar/punctuation nazis out there for the abuse of " ").

Some recent headlines decried that a "restrictive diet" could prevent 340,000 cancers in the US PER YEAR. That's fine and "good news." So I read it. That's when I realized it was stupid. The "restrictive diet"? Well, that's a diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other whole foods. How is that "restrictive"? That is a normal human diet. Why use the word "restrictive" instead of "healthy" or "normal"? Is it REALLY that tough and restrictive to actually eat food rather than processed sugary high-fructose-corn-syrupy crap? REALLY? Are Americans that lame? Well, yes, many of them are but reinforcing the view that eating real food is some sort of special diet is stupid. (the frugal/simple bits: It's cheaper to eat that way, simpler to cook from scratch than to work extra hours to pay for crap, and it is both frugaler/simpler to stay healthy than to get treated for preventable cancer) (disclaimer: may or may not have had a chocolate sandwich for lunch last week...that's a candy bar in bread...but not having that would not make my diet "restrictive")

Then there was the headline announcing that the rise in the last 40 years of childhood obesity in the US is due to bad habit not genetics. NO SH*T? Really? There hasn't been a sweeping change in genetics in a country of 300million people in 40 years? Really? Because such a sweeping genetic change in that short of a time in a population that large is impossible. So, this is not news. This is stating the obvious. Turns out that if kids sit on their butts staring at screens (TV, computer, game thingy, whatever), rarely go outside and play, eat crap including lots of sugary processed snacks, have no P.E. classes, and don't go to bed at a decent hour; then the kids get fat. This is not news. (The frugal/simple bits: cheaper to send the kids outside to play than to buy them video games, pay for TV, etc. Cheaper to feed them real food...see previous rant...than crap. Cheaper to keep them healthy than to have a fat unhealthy kid).

When did the obvious become shocking? I put on some tonnage this winter. It isn't news and didn't need research. I quit moving around and ate lots of bread. Not news. Not a surprise. Not particularly frugal either. So today I bought more real food to restock the pantry and fridge and as a side benefit, it's hard to stay fat on greens and fresh fruit.

One last stupid headline rant: The above "restrictive diet" also cures about 78% of ADHD in young boys. BIG SURPRISE. This goes along with the "shocking" "news" that kids who get less screen time, play outside more, participate in strenuous physical activity, etc, have lower rates of ADHD and some with diagnosed ADHD no longer need meds. Jesus people. This was on The Simpsons years ago. Bart was diagnosed and the doctor wanted to give him meds. His parents ask if there is another way. The Dr. says that the only other treatment is regular exercise so Marge and Homer go for the meds.

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