I’m sure most of you have probably already run across this piece, but just in case you haven’t, check out this Op-Ed by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof.

The frightening thing here, from my prospective, is the fact that there is so much of this that Kristof gets right — only to then tumble down the “fat is evil” rabbit hole.  I can easily see a “fat tax” imposed, in the very near future, on suspect foodstuffs that the “informed government” will use as a carrot/stick (depending upon your point of view, I suppose) to wean us from the plethora of “unhealthy” foods.  This tax would then be used, I’m guessing, to help support/promote the more “healthy” grain-based alternatives.

I am a realist, and I understand the necessity of providing subsidies to farmers and ranchers in an attempt to promote a more stable food supply and consistent pricing of that food supply.  I think, though, that the program should be limited in reach, and restructured in such a way as to promote the locally-grown, food co-op idea, such as my own food co-op, here in Greenville, NC.  In this way, consumers will be able to “promote with their dollars” that type of foodstuff they desire, and are willing to pay for instead of the government making that choice for the masses.

No matter how in-vogue (and fun, I’ll have to admit) it may be, however, to bash on the government, it is really the actions of the collective citizenry that will turn the tides here.  Unfortunately, I don’t have much confidence in the “collective citizenry” on this issue.  For the vast majority at least, it seems as if health, fitness and diet (and independent research in these areas of concern) is just not worth their time.  We are living collectively (and “paying” via ever-increasing health care premiums) with the ramifications of such apathy now.  One thing I’ve never suffered well is willful ignorance; being forced to financially support the ramifications of another’s willful ignorance is enough to push me over the edge.

In Health,

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Keith Norris is a former standout athlete, a military vet, and an elite strength and conditioning expert with over 35 years of in-the-trenches experience. As a serial entrepreneur in the health and wellness space, he is an owner, co-founder and Chief Development Officer of the largest Paleo conference in the world, Paleo f(x) . As well, Keith is a partner in one of the most innovative lines of boutique training studios in the nation, Efficient Exercise. He’s also a partner in ARXFit training equipment, and a founding member of ID Life. In his spare time, he authors one of the top fitness blogs in the health and wellness sphere, Theory To Practice.


  1. ” We are living collectively (and “paying” via ever-increasing health care premiums) with the ramifications of such apathy now. One thing I’ve never suffered well is willful ignorance; being forced to financially support the ramifications of another’s willful ignorance is enough to push me over the edge.”

    I don’t recall who said it, but:

    “If you think health care is expensive now, just wait until it’s ‘free.'”

  2. Government intervention in diet and food is one reason we are in the obesity epidemic. Government ‘experts’ have proclaimed loudly (via the taxpayer funded bullhorn) the benefits of a low-fat, grain-based diet.

    Wow. That worked great. And look at the madness in NYC. If I recall correctly, a while back they banned animal fats (beef tallow, lard, and butter) for use as cooking oils, restaurateurs then switched to trans-fat-type oils, now those are banned.

    Great governance there. Some posts on this:


    • It is interesting — albeit utterly frightening — that the government/food suppliers tag-team have taken on the look and feel of the military-industrial complex.

  3. I spent the first 25 years of my life a beneficiary of the military healthcare system, and while I did run into some snags, they were not universal across the board–more on a regional or individual basis with certain providers. I would not object to us expanding something like this to the whole country and I view it as a national defense issue, as disease and non-war-related injury kill more Americans than war does.

    Also, there IS a lot of apathy out there about healthcare issues and diet and such, BUT, there are also a hell of a lot of people confused about all the contradictory information being bandied about. They were brought up with the meme that anyone in a white coat with lots of letters after his name is smarter than almost everyone else in the country and is therefore an Expert and We Should Listen To Him. When the Experts can’t even stay on message and constantly change their story and keep coming out with new research disproving what they just got done proving last week? People with no science background get bewildered and shut their brains off. They probably wouldn’t do it if they were properly equipped with curiosity and basic scientific knowledge and enough time in their busy days to sit down and sort it all out. They’re missing at least two out of those three things.

    Even I, and I love reading about this stuff–I had to go looking for it. I had to follow links for many, many years to finally start untangling the puzzle, and now I’m amazed I missed so much of this stuff for so long, but really, the Internet is the only reason I found out as much as I have about low-carbing or paleo eating *at all.* What about people who have never heard of these things or don’t understand why they’re important? I submit that ignorance (not stupidity, they are different) is at least as big a player in the current mess as apathy is, if not more so.

    • Hey Dana,
      I’ve got a post coming up soon that deals a little with some of your points here. I do think the government could have a profound and positive impact on the nation’s healthcare — however (and as I’ll detail in my post) greed and special-interests get into the mix, and the system then becomes one of promoting the health and well-being of the special interest groups instead of the nation’s populace. More in the post, though.

      BTW, kudos to you for taking responsibility of your own health! This is a mindset that I hope will eventually catch on.


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