The big cheese
I think I mentioned to you how much I liked the recent advertising campaign in New York City aiming to shock people into thinking more about their health. Well, I guess it was only a matter of time before I found one I disagree with. I still like the principle behind the message. But in this particular instance, the message itself is just plain wrong:
Basically, they’re claiming that cheese makes you chubby. Well, yes and no. When you combine it with curly fries, yes. Eaten as a one- or two-ounce snack or made into a delicious sauce to serve with vegetables, no!
The New York State Department of Health based this decision on the fact that there were too many cheesy (pun intended) foods on school lunch menus. Things like chicken parmesan, lasagna, and pizza.
I agree that cheese should be eaten in moderation. There’s no question about that. But, in the above examples, why is cheese taking the blame?
Think about what REALLY goes into each of these dishes… The chicken in chicken parm is hidden under a thick layer of bread crumbs. Lasagna is basically a brick of pasta. And pizza is a wedge of bread disguised by some toppings. All of them much worse than some melted mozzarella.
I have said this many times and I will say it again. There’s a single reason for the obesity epidemic and the diabetes epidemic and the cancer epidemic. Heck, it’s the reason for the lack of proper health in this country in general…
It all stems from not understanding basic nutrition.
Yes, cheese contains fat. And that’s the sole basis for this ad campaign.
But what about the studies showing that dairy increases weight loss? What about the fact that because it contains fat, dairy is one of those intensely satisfying foods…So it actually helps you eat less?
Cheese is an indispensable part of my New Hamptons Health Miracle. It’s something I recommend to all my patients–no matter what they come to see me about. But it’s especially important for anyone trying to lose weight. It’s also the perfect snack for diabetics. It has no sugar, no carbohydrates, and takes a while to be metabolized. So it won’t spike your blood sugar.
So instead of going after cheese, I’ve got a better suggestion for the ad wizards running this campaign. Imagine a panoramic shot of a huge field of wheat (those quintessential amber waves of grain) with a simple tagline in huge bold, red letters: “Wheat Kills.”
Sums it up perfectly, don’t you think?