Breastfeeding and the culture of contempt

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The worst thing about contemporary lactivist culture is not that advocates of “Breast Is Best” disagree with advocates of “Fed Is Best.” The worst thing is that contemporary lactivist culture is a culture of contempt.

As I wrote last week, it often seems as if the unifying factor among lactation professionals — the concept around which they bond with each other — is not support for breastfeeding; it is contempt for women who don’t breastfeed. They appear to find fellowship in exacerbating and then celebrating the suffering of women whom they condemn as “minimal” mothers for not breastfeeding.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]The contempt for “Fed Is Best” is a special kind of vicious.[/pullquote]

Because lactation professionals have contempt for those with whom they disagree, they continually exhibit what political scientist Arthur C. Brooks calls:

…a noxious brew of anger and disgust. And not just contempt for other people’s ideas, but also for other people. In the words of the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer, contempt is “the unsullied conviction of the worthlessness of another.”

Brooks is writing about contemporary political culture but I was struck by the resemblance to contemporary breastfeeding culture. At its heart is fundamental attribution error (which Brooks calls motive attribution asymmetry):

the assumption that your ideology is based in love, while your opponent’s is based in hate — suggests an answer… Each side thinks it is driven by benevolence, while the other is evil and motivated by hatred — and is therefore an enemy with whom one cannot negotiate or compromise.

However, in this case I believe lactation professionals suffer from fundamental attribution error while “Fed Is Best” advocates do not.

Based on their writings, contemporary lactation professionals (and most definitely their leaders) believe that their ideology is driven by love for babies and the “opposition” is driven by hate for breastfeeding. Lactation professionals like Amy Brown, Lucy M. Sullivan, Kimberly Seals Allers and Jack Newman believe themselves to be benevolent while I, Christie del Castillo-Hegyi and Jody Seagraves-Daly are evil and should be ignored let alone compromised with. In contrast, I haven’t found a single “Fed Is Best” advocate who hates breastfeeding. And we have spent an inordinate amount of time desperately trying to speak with and inform lactation professionals.

The examples are too numerous to count, but here’s what I’ve observed in the past month alone.

Two weeks ago I left a comment on a post on Dr. Jack Newman’s Facebook page:

Dr. Newman, since you are so sure breastfeeding has substantial benefits, can you please show us any impact that changing breastfeeding rates have had on term infant mortality or any metrics of major term infant morbidity. To my knowledge, the only impact breastfeeding has had on these parameters is a dramatic increase in the rate of neonatal hospital readmission. Indeed exclusive breastfeeding is now the leading risk factor for readmission. So I see the risks, but I can’t find the benefits. Can you show us the population data that supports your claims?

It’s a simple request, respectfully presented. Dr. Newman contemptuously deleted it.

Last week I came across this contemptuous screed from Maureen Minchin, a lactation professional (with no training in science or medicine) who has a self-published book on — I’m not kidding — breastfeeding and immunology. In response to a woman who complained about her lack of sympathy and concern for women who cannot breastfeed, Maureen produced this and it’s a special kind of vicious:


… I am sorry that you had such a hard time with your first, and understand your rage, and your decision to go with formula for your second, and I am glad that worked out so well for you. It doesn’t for some other people, and that’s the point: we can’t know ahead of time which children will be badly affected, but some will, in every country, some will die in every country, and all will develop differently from what they would have done if breastfed. That’s just biological fact…

You have been the victim of what I have been working – mostly gratis – to remedy for decades: poor education and clinical practice about infant feeding, not just breastfeeding. It’s a shame you never had an enjoyable breastfeeding experience and that your son was put at risk. But as you say, environment also matters, and I’m sure he’s had the best you can provide…

I am not in the business of making people feel guilty and it upsets me if mothers tell me they are hurt by hearing truths that need to be told. Partly because it means the mother is so focussed on her own history and family that she cannot see the much bigger picture, and truly believes that in order to avoid upsetting those already victims of formula culture in WEIRD [Western, educated, and from industrialized, rich, and democratic] nations, we should stay silent and allow more families everywhere to be affected by it…

You cannot be so self-centred as to think that the feelings of those already formula feeding matter more than the lives and health of others…

I would be happy to supply you with a free copy of my books should you undertake to read them in full, cover to cover…

All best wishes, Maureen

Last night I saw this from Meg Nagle, the Milk Meg:


“Fed” is not best. Fed is the minimum…

Could there be anything more cruel than telling a mother who loves her baby desperately and is already suffering shame and guilt over the inability to breastfeed that she is giving her child only the “minimum”?

I also came across this last night:


Who is Gabrielle Colleran? She’s a pediatric radiologist and I read that she claimed that fat is laid down during pregnancy for breastfeeding. This fat supposedly poses a risk if not “used up” by producing breastmilk. According to Dr. Colleran, women who were pregnant but did not breastfeed are 4 times more likely to have a heart attack.

That’s news to me so I reached out for clarification. I was already blocked even though I had never heard of her and her theories previously. It’s hard to imagine anything more contemptuous than preemptively blocking another physician who might ask for proof of your claims.

The world would be a better place is lactation professionals would heed Brooks’ call for better quality disagreements:

What we need is not to disagree less, but to disagree better. And that starts when you turn away the rhetorical dope peddlers — the powerful people on your own side who are profiting from the culture of contempt. As satisfying as it can feel to hear that your foes are irredeemable, stupid and deviant, remember: When you find yourself hating something, someone is making money or winning elections or getting more famous and powerful. Unless a leader is actually teaching you something you didn’t know or expanding your worldview and moral outlook, you are being used.

Lactation professionals should engage with “Fed Is Best” advocates. They owe it to women and babies to respond to challenges to their core beliefs because their core beliefs may be wrong and even harmful.

And “Breast Is Best” partisans need to reject the powerful people on their own side who profiting from the culture of contempt. As satisfying as it can be to hear that women who don’t breastfeeding are lazy, self-absorbed, bad mothers and as enjoyable as it can feel to hear that medical professionals who question the benefits of breastfeeding are irredeemable, stupid, deviant trolls, remember:

When you find yourself hating those who believe “fed is best” someone is making money. Is your goal to enrich your leaders or is it to help babies and mothers? Sadly, you can’t have both.

60 Responses to “Breastfeeding and the culture of contempt”

  1. mabelcruet
    March 5, 2019 at 4:34 pm #

    OT a bit-I caught up on a blog today. I freely admit that this person grates on me, and tends to bring out the worst in me.

    I fully agree that birth trauma exists, that many women suffer significant psychological harm, PTSD and all sorts of awful problems arising from birth. And I fully accept that we need to address this, support these women and families and do whatever we can to improve how we look after them and support them before, during, and after delivery.

    But why does she ALWAYS have to get a sly dig in at the medical profession? 2002, she was appointed as a consultant midwife, which means she’s been around for many years, and she didn’t know about ‘birth trauma’. So why is she so shocked, horrified and saddened that a consultant obstetrician didn’t know about it? The suggestion that some women may have underlying psychological issues prior to birth which might make them more susceptible to experiencing birth trauma is a reasonable one, so why is she so horrified by his suggestion? It makes sense to me that if, for example, a woman had been a victim of sexual assault that could consequently mean she found intimate examinations more traumatic than they might otherwise have experienced. It’s not making a value judgement on that woman, its a very valid point, so why does she feel slagging off her colleague for not having much understanding of the very issue she had no understanding of either, at the time?

    Why have this unnecessary and spiteful dig in what is otherwise an interesting blog post? But its just so typical of her I’m afraid.

    • rational thinker
      March 5, 2019 at 6:31 pm #

      I never heard of birth trauma till that janet fraiser started screaming birth rape about routine exam stuff and I had been gang raped even though it was not a problem for me during birth I can totally understand how it could be a trigger. I think that’s where part of my personal aversion to breastfeeding comes from.

      • mabelcruet
        March 6, 2019 at 7:44 am #

        I’m sorry that happened to you. I’m not an expert, or even a proper clinician, but from what I’ve read, psychological birth trauma is undoubtedly a major issue, and I think there must be a lot of women out there who haven’t disclosed a history of abuse or assault, and who subsequently struggle with pregnancy and birth. I know that our booking questionnaire has screening questions, and expectant mums are asked about domestic violence. I don’t recall seeing sexual assault mentioned specifically, but at least the concept of psychological birth trauma is now established and becoming much better understood.

        However, I can’t understand why she’s so dismissive in that piece about the obstetrician’s lack of knowledge, when she was equally ignorant of it at that time. It’s these offhand digs and insults that make her look unprofessional and bitter. Yes, the obstetrician could have chosen a more neutral term than ‘unstable’, but the context was clear-someone who is already suffering with the impact of mental health issues or trauma may be more likely to have an adverse response to pregnancy and birth. She chose to put an unpleasant and derogatory spin on it, casting herself as the sensitive, women-centered heroine defending them against those evil, dismissive and uncaring doctors. It’s a theme she plays out again and again, with the same humble-bragging, boastful self-glorification, and it annoys me (obviously!).

        • rational thinker
          March 6, 2019 at 4:06 pm #

          No doubt she is just trying to promote herself. Also in the defense of the doctor most women keep their rape a secret. Mine happened about 18 or 19 years ago and I only just admitted that it happened to me only few years ago.

  2. demodocus
    March 5, 2019 at 9:02 am #

    OT: Would a decongestant work on one’s plugged up ear? I was mentioning mine to my CNM friend the other day and she suggested it, but since she’s a Ina Mae fan, I take much of her advice with a grain of salt. Damn ear’s been feeling like this for over a week. Not hurting, just slightly achy, like I’d been swimming. I’m pretty sure it’ll resolve on its own, but being even more deaf than usual is annoying.

    • rational thinker
      March 5, 2019 at 9:11 am #

      I would try taking Benadryl for a few days that will probably help.

    • mishabear
      March 5, 2019 at 4:30 pm #

      Yes, Sudafed. Worked when I flew with a cold and my ears would not equilibrate after landing. Have to ask the pharmacist for it though. They seem to only sell decongestant in multi-symptom products these days on the shelves.

      • Merrie
        March 5, 2019 at 11:19 pm #

        In the US you can only get pseudoephedrine behind the counter and you have to sign for it. The stuff sold on the shelves is phenylephrine. (Which sucks imo.)

        To get around giving ID and signing for it, you can get your doctor to write a prescription for it… this can be nice for people who have to take it frequently. You can still have the prescription filled even if it is OTC and insurance won’t pay.

    • mabelcruet
      March 5, 2019 at 5:23 pm #

      Have you tried the Valsalva move? Pinch your nose closed and then try and blow hard against it. That sometimes works to get air into the tubes and the fluid drain better.

      • demodocus
        March 5, 2019 at 8:54 pm #

        Did interesting things for my boogers lol

        • mabelcruet
          March 6, 2019 at 7:46 am #

          I dread to think-did they go down the wrong way? I suppose its all protein in the end…

          • demodocus
            March 6, 2019 at 9:45 am #


    • fiftyfifty1
      March 6, 2019 at 5:26 pm #

      It sounds like you have a serous effusion in the middle ear. It often starts during a cold, and may persist for 6+ weeks after (but yours won’t I hope!) It makes you feels achy and underwater in the ear. Years ago the standard advice was to try a decongestant, but then they did a large placebo controlled trial and the decongestants (Sudafed etc) didn’t work. Really there is nothing to be done but wait. Sorry.

      • demodocus
        March 6, 2019 at 9:17 pm #

        Ah, thank you. Probably explains that. Friend has been a nurse for a couple decades now, but she’s been mostly in the baby department even before she went for the CNM training. Well, she has to listen to me in choir, so maybe she was hoping any placebo effect might help, lol.

        If it does something besides this, ‘course I’ll set up an appointment with my Dr. N. 🙂

  3. mabelcruet
    March 4, 2019 at 7:49 pm #

    I fell down a google wormhole and came across this article:

    It was pushing for a eco-friendly and sustainable framework convention for formula control based on the framework convention for tobacco control. It’s a few years old now-did it come about? It’s running the same old tropes that breast-feeding is free, instantly available, genetically perfect for every single baby…you know the routine. The comments are fairly robust and an interesting read.

    • rational thinker
      March 8, 2019 at 4:18 pm #

      The man that wrote that monstrosity of an article needs to pull his head out of his ass. Here is a fun fact for him. That icepack they send you home with is usually for your vaginal injuries not to stop milk supply. I just love it when men write about childbirth and lactation.-(sarcasm)

      • MaineJen
        March 8, 2019 at 4:58 pm #

        Yes, that ice pack is your bestest friend for the first few days. Youch.

      • mabelcruet
        March 9, 2019 at 1:34 pm #

        It’s not often in the Guardian comments that there is such a unified response, particularly when it comes to breast feeding (Guardian readers tending to be at the crunchy end of the spectrum), but I think you can say he got his arse handed to him on a platter.

  4. Madtowngirl
    March 4, 2019 at 4:47 pm #

    As someone who is actually able to enjoy my baby this time around thanks to Fed Is Best, I am enraged by the viscious attacks against its message and founders. I hope you all know how much you are helping people like me.

  5. MaineJen
    March 4, 2019 at 4:25 pm #

    That letter is just shockingly mean-girlish. “…I’m sure he’s had the best you can provide.” F$%^ you, lady.

  6. rational thinker
    March 4, 2019 at 4:14 pm #

    Most of you here already know my daughter is severely autistic. Many autistics sometimes have issues with foods. Right now my daughter will eat anything (even steals dry food from our cats lol). She wasn’t always this way. She did not start eating any foods until she was around 20 months old maybe a couple months older. Whenever I tried to give her any kind of food she would fight and scream like she was being murdered this started at 4 months when I normally start them on baby food. It was so bad that it took about an hour for her to calm down after any attempt to feed her. Now all she would willingly consume was her bottle with formula for her first 20 months. Now if she was fed with only breastmilk she would have probably been very sick, malnourished, and possibly could have had rickets or worse. On infant formula she continued to grow and was always fully fed even as a toddler. This is one of the many reasons I am grateful for infant formula I don’t want to even imagine what would have happened to her without it.

    • rational thinker
      March 4, 2019 at 5:24 pm #

      When ever someone heard about my daughter still being on just formula they said I am probably a lazy mother and cant be bothered to give my kid food. Other people were so confident that this was the case that I let a couple of them try to feed her. One lady ended up with a scratched cornea and another lost a chunk of hair.

      • PeggySue
        March 4, 2019 at 7:44 pm #

        That period must have been so hard for you and your little girl. All the unhelpful helpfulness.

        • rational thinker
          March 5, 2019 at 8:03 am #

          The first few years were rough all the judgmental assholes saying “refrigerator mother” and some saying they wanted to “beat me up” and these were the ones who never even met me or my kid.My son is 2 years older than my daughter and was a developmentally normal kid and hit all his milestones on time so when people heard that they started saying that I didn’t like girls and I probably only wanted male children. Actually when we were trying to have another baby after our son me and my husband were trying for a girl cause we already had a boy and we were overjoyed when we found out we were having a girl. Some people just seem to get off on being assholes, so over the years I have grown a thick skin. Now I just try to help mothers that were like me and tell them it is not their fault and people will just say mean crap to feel better about themselves.

          • mayonnaisejane
            March 6, 2019 at 10:28 am #

            There’s a very good theory that the correlation between autistic children and “refrigerator mothers” existed because the mothers themselves were on the spectrum. People were so narrow focused on parenting being the problem, they totally forgot to factor heredity into the study. Twits.

          • rational thinker
            March 6, 2019 at 4:09 pm #

            That’s a good point. Also a lot of autistics hate being touched or hugged so for that reason moms don’t hug them cause they will flip out. So people see the mom never hugs the child and then call her cold or assume she hates the kid.

      • mabelcruet
        March 5, 2019 at 4:45 pm #

        That’s like using your daughter as some form of biological warfare! Did they cut the nonsense when they realised what her preferences were?

        • rational thinker
          March 5, 2019 at 6:22 pm #

          It did take a few years but the insults did stop, probably cause by 4 years old you could tell that there was something seriously wrong with her just by looking at her or trying to talk to her.

    • mabelcruet
      March 4, 2019 at 7:37 pm #

      Not sure where in the world you are, but in the UK, cat (and dog) food has to be safe for human consumption. It’s labelled as being not for human consumption, of course, but legally it has to be safe. You wouldn’t want to live off it, as the meat content is of the ‘table scraps’ variety, but the manufacturers have to make it safe precisely because they know kids will try and eat anything sometimes!

      • demodocus
        March 5, 2019 at 9:03 am #

        Girl bard dropped cat treats into my tea when I wasn’t looking. Didn’t notice until I got to the *ahem* dregs.

        • mabelcruet
          March 5, 2019 at 9:50 am #

          I once ate a ‘dreamies’ cat treat by accident-I’d being toasting a hot cross bun and thought it was a raisin that had fallen onto the countertop. It was oily, yeasty and had a horrible gritty feel-it got spat out very quickly! The taste wasn’t that bad, but the mouth feel was repulsive-the cats love them though.

      • StephanieJR
        March 5, 2019 at 11:33 am #

        We used to feed my brother dog chocolate. For fun. He probably ate some dog biscuits too, at some point. But he’s basically a human garbage disposal, so it was okay.

  7. mabelcruet
    March 4, 2019 at 12:53 pm #

    At least the contempt is honest. I find the faux-sympathy the most offensive behaviour, its always neatly topped off with a truly bitchy edge to it: ‘I’m so sorry you weren’t able to breast feed, you must feel like a really bad mother’, ‘I’m so sorry you had a mastectomy, now you won’t be able to experience motherhood properly, such a shame…’, ‘I’m so sorry you don’t feel listened to, but if you really tried then you could do it, so sad that you don’t want to make that effort…’

    • PeggySue
      March 4, 2019 at 7:46 pm #

      And I know highly privileged white women in the US who truly believe that poor children of color really need ORGANIC food to thrive, because most of their issues could be solved with better food. What? Not safer neighborhoods, better schools, access to health care? Amazing.

      • mabelcruet
        March 4, 2019 at 8:14 pm #

        That reminds me of a daft paper that WHO and UNICEF published jointly: the executive summary was:

        “Almost 68 per cent of newborn deaths could be averted in 2030 with simple fixes such as exclusive breastfeeding; skin-to-skin contact between the mother or father and the baby; medicines and essential equipment; and access to clean, well-equipped health facilities staffed by skilled health workers.Other measures like resuscitating a baby who cannot breathe properly, giving the mother an injection to prevent bleeding, or delaying the cutting of the umbilical cord could also save millions”

        In what universe is provision of well-equipped health facilities, skilled health care workers and essential equipment of secondary importance to skin-to-skin contact? Surely the most important factor should be first on the list? And I’m damn sure skin-to-skin isn’t going to magically cure a baby where there is no clean water, no health care workers and no facilities.

        • Angharad
          March 5, 2019 at 10:56 am #

          Also resuscitating a baby who isn’t breathing, preventing hemorrhage, and delayed cord cutting? I just feel like this whole paper is a mismash of arson, murder, and jaywalking.

          • mabelcruet
            March 5, 2019 at 4:52 pm #

            Everybody knows that immediate skin-to-skin is the best way to prevent brain haemorrhages. If you do skin-to-skin, you don’t need to bother with that pesky vitamin K injection, that’s Big Pharma trying to genetically modify your baby and disrupt its microbiome so they can sell more drugs. And its not vitamin K, its mercury and liquidised GMO they are injecting…

            /sarcasm, obviously

        • Merrie
          March 6, 2019 at 8:07 am #

          Well, in a low-resource environment, kangaroo care can be better than nothing at all with regards to warming preemies and helping them regulate their body temperature. The summary seems kind of lousy because it sounds like skin-to-skin is equivalent to having a properly equipped facility.

  8. fiftyfifty1
    March 4, 2019 at 12:26 pm #

    “How we feed our infants, toddlers, children and adults matters.”

    Outside of the extremes, it doesn’t actually. And by extremes I don’t mean organic vs. conventional or home cooked vs. packaged. I mean true extremes of either undernutrition or overnutrition such as true vitamin or mineral deficiencies, famine, or severe obesity. We can see it with different cultures. Traditional diet in the Arctic is almost 100% fish and marine mammal meat. There are other cultures where the traditional diet is near vegan. Humans can thrive with either. The case that I had that really proved it to me was a child I evaluated for “extreme picky eating.” He had consumed nothing (literally nothing) for almost 3 years other than Carnation Instant Breakfast Power mixed in whole milk, and fun size (they had to be fun size, not regular size!) Reeses Peanut Butter Cups. His growth charts showed smooth tracking for both height and weight at the 50% percentile, and every single one of his lab tests was spot-on perfect.

    • mabelcruet
      March 4, 2019 at 12:56 pm #

      At the age of 4, my little sister decided she hated most food, and she ended up eating nothing but fried egg and chips for about a year. She occasionally agreed to cereal for breakfast, but mostly it was a boiled egg. I don’t think she ate a vegetable the entire year. She’s now 50 and seems to be doing OK.

      • mabelcruet
        March 4, 2019 at 1:48 pm #

        Having bossy older sister privileges, I reminded her of this whenever she was complaining about her fussy son (aged 4 at the time) who refused to eat nothing but cheese, crackers and grapes for almost a year. It’s obviously a familial trait…

        • KQ Not Signed In
          March 4, 2019 at 5:33 pm #

          My mother just laughs darkly when I complain about how picky my kid is.

    • KQ Not Signed In
      March 4, 2019 at 1:19 pm #

      That is incredibly reassuring, given that my child mostly survives on bananas, mini bagels with cream cheese and various cereals. Kid is so picky he stops eating food he liked the week before.

      • MaineJen
        March 4, 2019 at 4:24 pm #

        I agree. Very very reassuring. My kids are both SO SO picky and I’ve lost the will to fight it. We still try, of course, but some battles are not worth waging.

      • Cristina
        March 4, 2019 at 8:53 pm #

        Same. I’d rather they eat “shitty” food rather than no food and one of mine is fussy enough that he would starve rather than eat something he didn’t like.

      • Angharad
        March 5, 2019 at 1:47 pm #

        Fruit, starch, protein and fat… Sounds like a diet with the essentials.

    • Madtowngirl
      March 4, 2019 at 4:37 pm #

      Exactly! I am getting so tired of this nonsense of treating food like it’s medicine or poison. It’s food. As long as you’re getting appropriate nutrition, you’re going to be okay. This was even more solidified for me after talking to an registered dietician for my gestational diabetes. Being and RD must be nearly as frustrating as being an MD these days, with all these Google University degrees.

      • rational thinker
        March 5, 2019 at 8:10 am #

        I always looked at is this way, I don’t care if they have ice cream for dinner one night a week just as long as the kid eats something for dinner. Something is better than nothing.

    • demodocus
      March 4, 2019 at 5:12 pm #

      Holy cow, his big people must’ve been so very concerned about that.

      • fiftyfifty1
        March 5, 2019 at 7:56 am #

        His parents were actually fairly chill. The kid was on the autism spectrum, and they had already had plenty of practice making the mind shift of choosing their battles and not catastrophizing the unconventional. They were also data driven type people, so the excellent growth chart and the lab results meant something to them. This is in contrast to some other parents whose kids eat much more variety, but who just can’t ever wrap their heads around the idea that you can be healthy without half your plate being veggies, or that goldfish crackers are not poison.

        • rational thinker
          March 5, 2019 at 8:06 am #

          I was going to ask you if that child had autism cause it sounded like it. Some of them are extremely tactile when it comes to food.

        • demodocus
          March 5, 2019 at 9:12 am #

          According to the other 3 in my household, goldfish are nectar of the gods!

    • Allie
      March 4, 2019 at 8:41 pm #

      In his defence, the fun-size do have a better chocolate-to-peanut butter ratio : )

    • Merrie
      March 4, 2019 at 9:13 pm #

      My cousin ate basically all carbs all the time until he was in college. At that point he ended up in a house share with several other guys and they all chipped in for groceries. He decided it was dumb to be paying for a bunch of stuff he didn’t eat, and decided to branch out and ended up getting much more adventurous.
      I knew a guy who still lived on carbohydrates at age 35 (we haven’t hung out much in about 9 years, maybe he still does). Pasta with butter, fries, breadsticks, etc.
      Kind of silly but apparently he wasn’t suffering too much for it.

    • Who?
      March 4, 2019 at 11:46 pm #

      My kids were both notoriously fussy until adulthood. I think they got bored with being the people who didn’t want to try new things at uni, out with new friends etc. Yay peer pressure!

      They both grew up fine and now cook and eat a great variety of food.

      Turns out my daughter is OCD-diagnosed in her early twenties-and a lot of her food issues as a child were to do with texture. She’s also a super-taster, which didn’t help.

    • March 5, 2019 at 2:54 am #

      When my own kids were school age, about once a week was “hamburger night” for supper. Friends were appalled: a burger instead of a “proper” meal! I pointed out that my burgers, made from good quality beef I ground at home, supplied the protein, the roll was the carbs, and the tomato, onion, lettuce, and pickles were the veggies. What’s better than that?

      IMO, there’s too much obsession with the type of food, and not enough abount the amounts. No special diet is needed to lose weight, if you cut the portion size in half.

      • fiftyfifty1
        March 5, 2019 at 8:10 am #

        “No special diet is needed to lose weight, if you cut the portion size in half.”

        Yes, multiple studies have borne this out. The issue, though, is that our bodies are not easily tricked. They notice when their portions are cut in half, and sooner or later they respond by increasing hunger and drive us to eat. The good news is that overweight and obesity are not the catastrophic problems that the media would have us believe. If you can lose weight without making yourself crazy, then fine do it. But if you can’t, I say be active, eat well, enjoy your food and take care of yourself at the weight you are at, and that’s that.

        • demodocus
          March 5, 2019 at 9:10 am #

          God, that’s true. When I lost weight after having my kids, I was _hungry_ all the time. Not just peckish, but seriously hungry. Even with GirlBard, when I didn’t breastfeed, and tried really hard to ignore the feeling. Don’t congratulate me on loosing 40 pounds in under 4 weeks. It wasn’t a choice and the “Just eat less” advice tends to lead to me some rather anorexicish behavior

        • AnnaPDE
          March 5, 2019 at 9:53 am #

          This. Parents need to chill out.

          My sister, born in the 80s, has been surviving for the last 40 years on a steady diet of meat, milk, nutella and chocolate, with the occasional bit of fries and camembert cheese thrown in. Minimal veggie intake. I don’t think any carrot has made it into her stomach after 18 months of age. (She used to rather starve herself than eat stuff she didn’t like, easily going for a day without a bite. She says she’d have to throw up anyway.) And funnily enough, she’s very healthy, sporty, slim and brainy, so it can’t have harmed her all that much.
          I thought that she was the pickiest person ever, but then she found a friend whose diet makes hers look varied and adventurous… and said friend is also quite healthy and turned out well.

          In contrast, the glorious effects of present-day “healthy eating” propaganda can be admired on my step-son’s example. He honestly loves vegetables and is a very adventurous eater. (At age 4, he shocked shoppers by running up to the broccoli on special in the supermarket, shouting “oh yum, I want to eat it all!”) He’s trim, sporty, growing well, very good at school, really can’t complain at all. Still, he is often concerned about whether eating his whole lunch will make him fat, if he should rather just put lettuce on his sandwich and not something like cheese; that chocolate “will make you sick”, etc, citing the weight loss idealising, obesity fearing rubbish that passes for nutrition education. Way to ruin a healthy, relaxed relationship towards eating and bodies, thanks diet police!

      • rational thinker
        March 5, 2019 at 8:25 am #

        Exactly! I have always said that it not what you eat its how much you eat but hardly anyone believes me. One time I tested my theory on my husband who always had a problem with his weight. I had him on a diet for two weeks and it was eat what you want but don’t go over a certain number of calories per day. The results at the end of the two weeks were what I suspected they would be. He lost ten pounds a rate of 5 pounds per week. I have told people this story and they overwhelmingly all say “no that isn’t possible he must have just been eating healthy” or “something was probably wrong with your scale” was the common response I got.

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