Food Engineering

Carb your enthusiasm:<br> The anti-Jared has arrived

March 3, 2004
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the American public, the American film industry, and most importantly, the American food industry, for supplying me with so much material to write about this month.

Joyce Fassl
Editor in Chief

I am one of the few people left in America who is not on the low-carb diet. I know it produces results, at least in the short term. I tried it many, many years ago and lost 20 pounds in three months.

Besides the debate over the diet's effect on the cardiac system, recent research says unsuspecting carbs are everywhere. Not only does the carb-starved clique have to worry about vitamin deficiencies, reports say that many over the counter medicines have carbs too, they're just not on the label.

Last month, a new kind of carb king arrived on the scene. Does the name Morgan Spurlock ring a bell? Morgan is the newly crowned anti-Jared. He recently won a Sundance Film Festival directing award for a documentary called "Super Size Me." For 30 days, Morgan ate all his meals at the Golden Arches. He even drank only Mickey D's bottled water. He gained 25 pounds and his cholesterol shot up 65 points to 230. When asked if he wanted that meal super sized, Morgan always said yes.

OK, Morgan, we get your point. I am just as fed up as you are about the super-sization of American food servings and the American public.

Just as Jared lost weight by getting off the couch, getting some exercise, and eating at Subway, I am sure he could have done the same thing by eating two sandwiches a day at McDonald's. Spurlock says he believes in the public's power to control what they eat, but that fast-food joints and other outlets should provide more choices and smaller servings for those who desire them. Anti-Jared, I've got to agree with you on this one.

Going back to those who are a bit more committed to losing weight, research shows that the popularity of the low-carb diet is greater than previously thought. According to research firm Opinion Dynamics, the diet has led to substantial shifts in the consumption of a wide variety of foods. The survey, entitled "Measuring the Low-Carb Revolution," claims that approximately 11 percent of the public, or 24 million adults, currently follow a diet that restricts their carbohydrate intake. Twenty percent of adults surveyed said they had tried the diet since 2002, and 19 percent who said they are not currently on a low-carb diet are very or somewhat likely to try one in the next two years.

In the meantime, expect to see "Super Size Me" in theaters near you soon. Just try to lay off the popcorn.