What Goes Up Doesn’t Have to Come Down


Viikko 40


Motion: THB that fashionable diets play a role in national health
Role: Minister (govt.)
Date: Sep 16th, 2013

Dieting is a constant topic in the media. Lots of magazines are sold thanks to the public’s insatiable appetite for the subject, even if not a single person could lose weight in the short or long run. I will cast my nets into these waters and see what the catch is going to be.

First of all, let us look at the extant body types and via them what kind of weight loss is possible. According to the physiognomist Ernst Kretschmer (1888–1964), body types range from the pyknic, who is chubby and pear-shaped, to the athletic, who is muscular to the asthenic, who is thin, slim and without muscle power. When we talk about dieting colloquially, we refer to an athlete, who wants to become an asthene and lose the few pounds that separate a mediocre build from a thin build, or to a pyknic, who wants to shed dozens of kilos to become a person with a mediocre even frame. In other words, we can talk about two kinds of weight loss:
a) the medical kind, which leads to a better, healthier life quality and
b) the medial kind, which reflects the common people’s desire to be as good-looking as possible or as thin as one’s neighbour.

The trouble with dieting thus is that when we talk about weight loss and going down, these two types get tangled up. Thereafter, priorities, methods, aims, means, choices, and timetables all become an unholy mess!

For the sake of clarity, let’s concentrate on the ”novel” 5:2 diet by Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer that boils down to fasting for two days in a week on a caloric diet of 690 calories a day in return for being able to eat normally (at 2000 calories a day, or more) on all of the other weekdays. Since this diet is not extreme per design or realisation, it is clearly an example of a diet that aims to change an athletic person into an asthenic person for aesthetic reasons. It is kind of nice, balanced, not dangerous, and shouldn’t therefore be put down by the medical community, even though some people have brought up that anorexics and bulimics do not prosper under that regimen. Consequently, doctors should only be concerned about diets aiming to transform people in the medical way (see above), cases that they know and can best help. To medial weightlosers, self-help is the best kind of help.

But how to fast right on Mosley’s diet? The diet will fail and fall on its face, like most diets do, if people don’t grasp one fundamental thing: they can’t decide in advance what days they get to fast on (and on which ones to let go). If they do so, they will only think about food on those earmarked days and on every day of the week for that matter. The key is to leave food out of the day when it can be done spontaneously, because there’s something better to do rather than eat determinedly or by decision. In other words, when the one on the diet notices that (s)he hasn’t eaten all day, (s)he shouldn’t even try to during the rest of the day (but instead go to sleep and wake up hungry the next morning). End result: one day of absolute success.

5:2 is merely a sane and moderate reinvention of the wheel. It has already been proved in lab conditions on lab rats that caloric restriction lengthens the lives of its subjects. Leaner populations tax the overall resources less than indulgent populations, and that is one key to their survival. Because of this, we can safely state that fashionable diets can indeed be healthy and good to the general wellbeing of citizens out there.

Puheen kesto: 5 min 3 sek
Arvio: * * * *. Tässä asiassa kaikki eivät ole asiantuntijoita, joten ehkä lattia täytyy antaa niille, jotka joko ovat a) laihoja tai b) laihduttaneet menestyksekkäästi. Ilmoittaudun ensimmäisessä ryhmässä. Puheessa käydään läpi yksi käsitesarja, yksi kahtiajako ja yksi suhteellisen uusi dieetti, joten se aika kivasti menee hierarkkisesti yläkäsitteistä alaesimerkkiin niin, että kuulija pysyy mukana ja tuntee puhujan puhuvan asiaa.



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