In an article titled "Is Gwyneth Paltrow's Food Advice Perfect for the Recession?" published in this week's New York Magazine, writer Mark Adams preposterously hails "the Goopster" (my nickname for her, don't you like it?) as some sort of nutrition visionary.
"We’ve entered a moment in which it’s perfectly acceptable to talk, if not boast, about the purity of one’s digestive functions, as Diddy did when he recently Twittered minute-by-minute details of his “spiritual” 48-hour juice fast," Adams states in his opening paragraph.
I almost threw my copy of the magazine across the room after that sentence.
If we are going to use "Diddy" -- a record label executive with more flops than I care to count and bigger delusions of grandeur than your average reality show contestant -- as a thermometer of nutrition trends and sensibility, we're in trouble.
Alas, let's continue.
Adams explains that that during the Great Depression, a man named Bernarr Macfadden launched a magazine titled Physical Culture, which published recipes along with health and fitness tips.
Adams equates this to Gwyneth Paltrow's health and wellness- oriented website, Goop.com, which is big on detoxing and cleansing (click here to read my impression of one of her recent postings).
"Macfadden’s main idea—one echoed by Gwyneth, Diddy, and anyone who has completed a Blueprint or Master cleanse—was that an empty stomach is the path to detoxification and wellness."
This notion that empty stomachs are somehow virtuous sets up a horrendously disturbing slippery slope that leads right into eating disorders.
"An empty stomach is the path to wellness" might as well be the mantra of someone living with anorexia nervosa.
Again, why are we looking to Gwyneth Paltrow and Diddy for health advice? Are people that blinded by fame that they consider celebrities to somehow know the answers to everything?
For that matter, Mr. Macfadden (who, in his defense, had some good ideas in terms of the virtues of whole grains) himself was a self-appointed nutrition expert (thus explaining his belief that 7-day fasts were healthy).
"Many more people are going to lose their health insurance before anything approaching universal coverage gets passed. Meanwhile, we might all be better off if we literally tightened our belts and followed the stars for a while instead," Adams feebly concludes.
No, Mr. Adams. We shouldn't follow the stars. We should simply use common sense. Cut back on processed junk, eat more fruits and vegetables, add whole grains to our diet, keep tabs on calories, and stop turning to celebrities for nutrition advice.