How Much Do You Have to Hate Someone Not to Proselytize?

Francis Schaeffer on the Origins of Relativism in the Church

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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Gadflies are Often the Interesting Ones

I know; like you haven't got enough stuff to keep up with online already. But here's an interesting blog, Junkfood Science, which I found via a link on Pond'rings, that some amongst you might enjoy.

Anyone who's paid serious attention knows that health and diet science has a certain element of groupthink to it; it wasn't that long ago that "low-fat" was the big, hairy deal. As a result, large numbers of people (and now they really are large) felt free to eat whatever they darn well pleased, as long as it was "low fat," and they bolted down enough calories to fuel a racehorse, and now, you go down to Wally World, and the number of people, many of them fairly obviously under forty, who are carrying around a whole 'nother person on their bodies, is just mind-numbing.

And in the meantime, the long-term studies have indicated that as far as length of life was concerned, total fat content of the diet just wasn't that big a deal. But hardly anybody knows that.

There's a whole lot of opinion on the subject of diet, physical fitness, and body weight, and I'm not trying to write a magnum opus on the subject here. Personally, I tend to take everything with a grain of salt. During the mania about "high-fat" diets, I couldn't help but notice the occasional article about the Irish--I mean, they apparently butter their margarine, their fat intake is so high--but their incidence of heart disease is lower than ours. Ah, but guess what? They walk all over the island!

Okinawa, last I heard, had the highest average lifespan on the planet. Diet? Typically Japanese, that is, fish, vegetables, rice and the like. Exercise? Again, from what I understand, lots of walking, and of course, you can't ignore the omnipresence of karate there.

Healthiest diet on the planet? Judging from the results, a lot of people think it's the Mediterranean diet--again, lots of seafood, veggies, fruit, some cheeses, and enough olive oil to drown a goat.

Okay, you get the idea. I'm open to well-thought-out critiques of the prevailing wisdom when it comes to health, and personally, though I'm pretty well convinced from my work that a combination of being seriously overweight and inactive really will hurt you, I also think most health risks are overblown. A few extra pounds doesn't appear to be that big a deal; nor does an occasional cigar or pipe (I don't smoke either anymore, in case you're wondering); having a beer won't bother most people, and some wine actually appears to be good for you, though as a Southern Baptist, a lot of people would have me ignore that.

As far as I can tell, if you obey two simple rules, the odds are in your favor:

1) Don't eat obvious junk. At least not much.

2) Stay, for cryin' out loud, fairly active.

Cheez louise. You'd think this wouldn't be that hard for people to understand...


  1. Yeah, but that advice actually makes sense so there is no way in bad word that it will catch on.

    By the way...what the heck is a "gadfly"?

  2. Tell me about it. Can't tell you the number of times I've listened to someone moan about how bad they feel and how they need to go to the doctor to figure out what's wrong with them, when I know perfectly well that they don't get enough sleep, eat garbage, smoke junk, and get no exercise. How would they expect to feel?

    I mean, cheeze louise, take care of the obvious, y'know? But they never do. has "gadfly" as "a person who persistently annoys or provokes others with criticism, schemes, ideas, demands, requests, etc." which is pretty much how I was using it.