"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.