Friday, 16 August 2013

False dichotomies: moderation.

Feel like you're walking a tightrope? I sang this at Open Mic night on Wednesday, including the orchestration!

There's another internet "punch-up" over moderation in what people eat. Apparently, there are only two options:-

Everything in moderation,
Image from
or Nothing in moderation.

As always, it's a case of "It all depends". If, when you're at home, you keep raiding the chocolates from the box or sweets/candies from the tin and you don't want to, don't have them in the house. However, if when you're not at home, someone offers you a chocolate or a small sweet/candy, unless you're so desperate that you'll steal some more or go to a shop and buy some more, eat the chocolate or small sweet/candy. Five grams of sugar won't harm you, even if you're diabetic.

If you have Coeliac Disease and mustn't eat any significant gluten, moderation isn't an option. Ditto, if you have impaired gut integrity and you feel better avoiding gluten. If consuming stuff doesn't cause you medical problems or make you desperate to consume even more, moderation is fine.

EDIT: Sometimes, I ramble in a way that makes it hard for people to understand what I'm talking about. I've emphasised the word "Apparently", as this post is about a perceived false dichotomy (perceived by the "Nothing in moderation" group).


carbsane said...

So per your last paragraph, there is no dichotomy because the "everything in moderation" folks should not have to preface everything with "unless you have a legitimate health-threatening issue with the food". That REALLY is a strawman and c'mon already. Also, even IF a food isn't disagreeable doesn't mean you have to eat it. Just that you can eat it. And there are some foods that aren't the best nutritive bang for the caloric buck and should not make up the basis or major proportion of one's diet.

There is no physiological reason for binging on certain foods. Even the moreish foods may tend to be overeaten, but not binged on. There is a big difference and people are deliberately diverting the issue. :(

Nigel Kinbrum said...

I didn't intend for my post to disagree with yours. There just seems to be a dichotomy, which is why I wrote "Apparently...". I didn't say that bingeing's physiological.

I'm just trying to be practical. I eat a bit of CIAB when I'm out, but it's limited to one portion. I don't keep large amounts of CIAB in the house, as I know I'd consume the lot.