Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Assistant Quote of the Day

"See, this is an issue. If you’re talking in one breath about a serious, debilitating disease and advocating that anyone who suspects they have it see a doctor, that’s a world apart from suggesting someone self-diagnose a 'problem' because she could 'lose almost 20 pounds.' It doesn’t help alleviate 'the general disregard' for a disease you’re trying to get people to take seriously. There are already a whole lot of people out there jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon as this month’s Atkins diet — and even more, who don’t understand the distinction between a severe food intolerance and a 'Yeaaaaah, cookies make me bloaty.'"

-- Salon's Mary Beth Williams on gluten-free militant Jennifer Esposito's battle with CBS over claims the network didn't take her "celiac disease" seriously

Back when the whole Atkins diet was turning America into a nation of preachy, particular, overbearing assholes, I joked that I was gonna write a book called Shut the Fuck Up and Eat. The premise of the book would be based on common sense: Eat a little of everything in moderation, get some exercise and you'll be healthy and fit -- no big mystery there.

The whole gluten-free thing is the latest ridiculous food trend to put a stranglehold on our cultural imagination and of course the disciples of it proselytizing the loudest are the people who can most afford flights of fancy wherein they frivolously decide to chop an entire food group out of their diets: Hollywood celebrities. People like the insufferably aristocratic Gwyneth Paltrow. People like the comically melodramatic Jennifer Esposito. Must be nice.

Look, no one's saying celiac disease isn't real, only that it's now fashionable. The number of cases of it have indeed increased over the past few years but that's very likely because impressionable Oprah fans -- the kind of people who can't go ten minutes without consulting a self-help book to guide their decision-making -- are going to their overwhelmed and exhausted doctors in droves with a self-diagnosis already in mind. This is often the reason diseases -- as well as the various "disorders" and "syndromes" that now apparently plague our country -- can become medical trends.

Chris Rock said it best: "We got so much food in America we're allergic to food. Allergic to food. Hungry people ain't allergic to shit. You think anyone in Rwanda's got a fucking lactose intolerance?"

I stand by my statement from years ago: Shut the fuck up and eat.

Or at the very least, just shut the fuck up.


JohnF said...

I've always said the kind of person who has WebMD bookmarked in their browser cannot be trusted.

Anonymous said...

As a guy married to someone with celiac disease, it can be severe.

Yes, gluten-free food is much more readily available, no doubt thanks to Hollywood & the Oprah; however, it often is much more expensive.

The symptoms vary, as I've learned from my wife and her mother. Although she is diligent about checking everything, dining out presents the greatest risks. I've learned flour can remain airborne for 24 hours, so kitchens have to be dedicated.

When my wife ingests a trace of gluten, she will get - shall we say - emergent abdominal issues. As in, "you have 60 seconds to find me a bathroom or else."

On the other hand, her mother will vomit mercilessly, sometimes requiring hospitalization.

Clearly Hollywood has more trendy pretty people than Mensa members (sit down, Sharon Stone, no one believes you) and I'm not defending Esposito but I can say there is still a great ignorance about those people genuinely afflicted with celiac disease, fashionable or not.

Carrie said...

But if you have Celiac and you "shut the fuck up and eat" the wrong thing, you could die.

So that seems like a problem.

Matt Mangels said...

RE: Chris Rock's line about Rwanda, I used to be quite fond of similar reasoning myself -- hey, the problems of other people elsewhere in the world make your problems seem totally insignificant, so shut the fuck up. The problem with this is that it doesn't take context into account; you could really use that same reasoning for just about anything. "Yes, officer, I hit that pedestrian because I was texting, but did you know that in Brazil it's quite common to not even stop after you hit someone and just drive away? At least I did that, so stop giving me such a hard time." Or, "you need to see a doctor because you have whiplash? Do you have ANY idea what I had to go through in 'Nam?" Just my two cents.

TheReaperD said...

There are serious food allergies. In my case, if I was starving and given a tomato, I would hand it to someone else as death may come tomorrow from hunger but, death will come now with the tomato. What's causing the increase in them is not known. I expect it to be a combination of Monsanto and Oprah.

But, that being said, if you're preachy "holier than thou because I don't eat (insert trend here)" than you don't have a real disease. When someone else eats a tomato, I don't preach about the potential harm of tomatoes, I say nothing and just be jealous that they can eat them.

pknaack1 said...

Actually this reminds me of the trend a while back of everyone saying that they just suddenly realized they must have Asperger's syndrome.

Seriously, if you have Asperger's syndrome, everyone around you knows it from day 1. It's not some reflection on some random event from 20 years ago that always seemed weird but you couldn't put your finger on it. It's a pervasive thing that fucks with your interpersonal relationships on a daily basis. (Saying this as someone who thought he had Asperger's, until a psychologist pointed out that if you're not sure, and people around you say you don't, you probably don't.)

On the Atkins.. it used to be a hobby of mine to look around at people I knew trying to guess if they were on Atkins or not, and I was right surprisingly often. Something about Atkins made people's eyes seem sunken down inside their heads. Never seemed like it was good for health...

Mart said...

Maybe celebrities letting people know what has been making them miserable is a good thing? Doctors can be clueless assholes when people tell them what their symptons are. My vege daughter had a serious intestinal gas problem until she went soy free. Food allergies are for real.

Paul Morrison said...

While I understand Chris Rock's point, he didn't choose the best example. There are plenty of people in Rwanda who are lactose intolerant.
The majority of humans on the planet are lactose intolerant.
If, like me, you're instead lactase persistent (i.e. you can digest milk) then hello fellow mutant!

Ref said...

Yeah, there are food allergies, but there are a lot of hypochondriacal jerks around who just have to get in on the trendy way of making life hell for chefs and cooks. Probably the same asshats who won't let their kids eat a peanut for fear that they MIGHT be allergic...

Atlantalee said...

No one is going to like what I have to say, but I'm pretty passionate about my health, so I'll just say it.

Obviously, your body is fueled by what you eat. It is trying to make new cells and fight off diseases with what you consume. As Louis C.K.'s man in his belly said, "There's no part of you that I can make out of doughnuts!"

It's sad to me that eating fruits, vegetables, meat, and nuts (without bread!) is considered a "fad." These are things that we humans have been consuming for a very long time. I don't eat this way because of an allergy, because it's fashionable, or to lose weight. It just makes sense to me. (I'm not above taking down a pizza and a few beers every now and then though. Gotta treat yo self sometimes.)

I won't defend Esposito's whining. If your diet isn't the Standard American Diet, you'll have to make some sacrifices. Shut the fuck up and bring your lunch.

If you're interested in the science of how grains affect the human body (and I doubt you are), marksdailyapple.com has some great info.

namron said...

Jesus, I weigh 300 lbs. I wish to God I had a fucking food allergy!

Heather said...

Trust me, namron, no you don't. Someone saying their gluten free for weight loss is going to be in for a big surprise. Not only is it an extreme diet change -- you'd be surprised how many things it lurks in, in various forms -- but the substitutions you will make are often higher calorie/higher carb so you will actually gain weight (I have). It's often the same way with most food allergies, the things you can substitute have their own issues.

We saw this when there was the big flap with that idiot Miley Cyrus claiming she looked like a skeleton because she "went gluten-free." Doctors chimed in Lee Corso style to correct that notion, "Not so fast, my friend!"

I'd love to be able to eat like a normal person :(

Anonymous said...

You're a complete idiot. Shut the fuck up and eat and die? When you are plagued with a serious illness you'll realize what an ignorant moron you are. Til then you'll continue to stick your head in the sand. It's really pathetic that someone like this can get a job as a writer, how sad.

Anonymous said...

True CELIAC disease is a GENETIC disorder and is only confirmed by a biopsy of the small intestine. No medication can heal the individual, ONLY a Gluten Free diet. When followed strictly, without even the smallest amt. of cross-contamination, the villi in the intestine can regenerate & start to work at re-absorbing vitamins & minerals from the foods you eat. Without it, the person basically starves due to malabsorption & will suffer from many diffiencies with the #1 symptom in adults being anemia.

My daughter almost died at 15 yrs. old because she became septic w/ bacteria in her bloodstream from her intestines wearing so thin due to the gluten destruction. That is when we discovered her Celiac Disease and finally found an answer to her deteriorating health over the past 3 years. She had been anemic and not responsive to iron supplements. Her body grew weaker and weaker and her immune system began to shut down. She hates the Gluten Free diet! She hates not getting to go to Pizza Hut with her friends!! She hates it that she can't ever have "normal pasta" or a fun birthday cake or that she can't participate in group events where food is brought in at school! She feels totally robbed of the rest of her teen years and doesn't want kids to risk passing this on!! What's so FAD about that?! Yes! She is better! Yes! She's GAINED 35 lbs!(as she is healing her intestines & able to absorb food now!) Yes! She's grown 2" in 8 mos.! NO! She's not happy about all of that!! But, it works and she's slowly healing, and no longer anemic.

Point is: CELIAC Disease is a MEDICAL condition, whereby a GLUTEN FREE diet happens to be the cure.

So, maybe you need to go do some research and find out what you're writing about before you go spewing opinions about a whole medically diagnosed class of people who are at risk of literally DYING if they can't eat a certain way, next time... Or maybe you could just Shut the Fuck Up?!

Chez said...

Aw, the anonymous indignant peanut gallery joins us. Welcome.

C.L.J. said...

Jennifer Esposito is full of shit; the treatment for celiac is simply not to eat gluten. My doctor never ordered me to cut back on my schedule or to take it easy "for my celiac." Once you go GF, you aren't prone to suffering, and if you break the diet, that's your own fault.

We had a staff retreat two days ago; I brought my own lunch, so I'd be sure to have something safe. It's my job to keep gluten out of my diet, not my employers'.

Anonymous said...

Sequence of events: holy crap hotness, read.......mind wandering.....back to hotness, try and read some more words.,...holy shit that girl is hot, quick, scroll back up, ok read some more....what was I just reading...oh fuck it, back to hot girl pic. I still have no idea what this post is about, you win hormones, I'm powerless.