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Berger’s Burg: Americans need one diet plan to combat unhealthy overeating

Oh, I diet all day and I diet all night,/It’s enough to drive me bats./Got no gravy or potatoes/’Cause the whole refrigerator’s/Fulla polyunsaturated fats. — Allan Sherman

Here in the world’s chubbiest nation, we have a midriff crisis. It is not that two-thirds of our adult population is overweight, our kids might turn out to be fatter or we are eschewing exercise in order to achieve increased singularity with our couches. It is that with all this going on we do not have one diet to unite us.

Obesity is a medical problem. It has been linked to a host of serious health problems, including heart disease and stroke, which are the leading causes of death in America. In addition, overweight people are more susceptible to high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, gallbladder disease, gallstones, osteoarthritis and breathing problems. And they are also more than twice as likely to develop Type 2 diabetes compared to people at “normal” weight — and this illness reduces their body’s ability to control blood sugar. Our American culture that promotes a sedentary lifestyle is conspicuously to blame.

Food is an important part of a balanced diet. — Fran Lebowitz

So what to do? Should we copy other nations that are trying to get their gluttonous citizenry to eat less? In Japan, health officials check the waistlines of citizens more than 40 years old and those too fat undergo diet counseling. In England, residents are recruited to wear electronic tracking tags to calculate how much they move each day and how many calories they burn. And in Germany, millions are spent on healthy-eating and sports programs.

If you wish to grow thinner, diminish your dinner. — H.S. Leigh

Here, one of the major dangers facing our military is that a quarter of our young Americans are too fat to fight. Dieticians, who now call dieting “meal planning,” are encouraging more nutritious meals and limits on fast-food consumption for health reasons “to ensure that our young Americans can one day defend our country.”

It is a hard matter … to argue with the belly, since it has no ears. — Plutarch

J.K. Gailbraith once said, “More people die in the United States of too much food than of too little.” He is right. Americans have more food to eat than peoples of any other nation on Earth and a million diets — er, meal plans — to keep us from eating it. They include the Atkins, Pritikin, Mediterranean, Zone, Scarsdale and Cookie, but for all intents and purposes most are officially over and people have gone back to eating whatever they want in excessive portions.

Their departure has created a vacuum no subsequent fad diet has since filled, leaving many of us wondering what we are supposed to do until the right one comes along. The truth is, at present there is not one common, diet — er, meal plan — that will help shed everyone’s avoirdupois commonly. So I set out to find one.

The first one I tried was the yogurt meal plan, but I discarded it. I learned that a couple — he weighed 299 pounds and she 139 — started that plan. After six months, he lost 140 pounds and she disappeared completely. Then I came upon the onion plan, but I quit when I lost 12 friends. Another plan I attempted was the drinking man’s plan, which encouraged a person to down two glasses of alcohol a day. Gloria stopped it when I told her her face was blurred.

Sign in a Dietician’s office: “Rear today, gone tomorrow.”

Then I read about the 9-inch diet by Alex Bogusky and Chuck Porter. The authors devised a sure-fire plan that heeds a cutback on carbs, minds the glycemic index of the foods before you fill up on fat and eliminates the need to count every calorie simply by using smaller plates, as they did in the days of yore. Did you know plate widths today are 12 inches with 1,870 calories consumed, as opposed to in 1963, which used 9-inch plates with 810 calories consumed? I tried it, but my eyes are still tuned to 12 inches.

Readers, I failed to find the one meal plan that fits all. So, for me, I plan to stay healthy by taking a brisk sit daily.

Contact Alex Berger at timesledgernews@cnglocal.com.

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