Food & Fitness

France Fines for Pro-Anorexia (and a Carb Discussion)

France announces fines for pro-anorexia

First, I recommend you check out an article in the Winnipeg Free Press (unfortunately the article is no longer available online), which is likely only one of the many articles about the topic on France fining for pro-anorexia currently circulating major newspapers.

What do you think about it? While this particular article does mention a few of the problems involved with such a ban, I still think that the concept is wonderful.

Theoretically, having such hefty consequences for promoting extreme thinness will ultimately lead to less of an emphasis on being thin and more of an emphasis on being healthy.

But will it work, put into practice? I think it could work very well; yes, the definition of extreme thinness will need to be more specific, but if it’s going to be a law then I’m sure that the government will cover all their bases in that regard. By the way, these “critics” that the article talks about… who are they?

Because just taking a stab in the dark, I’d guess that the critics are the people involved in modeling agencies and fashion design and all the rest (in other words, the only people who will likely experience a severe amount of abuse from the public because of it, and will have to change their agendas, standards, and whole way of operating).

So—discuss! What’s your opinion on all of this?

What you need to know about carbs - and why carbs aren't the devil! Learn about proper nutrition before going on a fad diet.

And on an unrelated note, my favourite MizFit recently wrote a post regarding protein shakes, which led me to start thinking about the way that carbs, proteins, and fats are distributed in our diets.

I have a very vivid memory of going to a friend’s place a year ago and seeing a chart that her mum had tacked to the fridge which listed a number of different foods and their corresponding amounts of carbs. I surveyed it for a while, studying all of the different foods—most of them things like veggies and fruit—and the grams of carbs associated with them. When my friend saw me looking at it, she pointed out apples (no doubt because she was well aware of my love affair with them).

“Look how many carbs are in apples,” she said, shaking her head. “I had no idea.” Apples had become off-limits for her. Oh—and I should probably also mention that at the time her dad was on the Atkins Diet. I don’t like to say that parenting should be conducted one way or another, but when you’ve got two teenage daughters in the house who have body image issues, is dieting and posting charts around the house really the best way to set an example for living a healthy lifestyle and improving body relationships (especially when the parents themselves haven’t exactly researched said diet and understand no more about nutrition than what they’ve learned from Dr. Atkins)?

The odd thing is that at that point, neither she nor I really understood the meaning of carbs. There was just a guilty pleasure associated with carbs, so they must be The Devil. Celebrities always say that when they want to “drop a quick 10 pounds,” they eliminate bread and cut back drastically on carbs. And we all know that what celebrities claim absolutely must be truth.

I like my carbs. They’re tasty! But seriously, carbs are awesome, especially if you’re into endurance sports. For most people, carbs should take up a significant portion of your daily intake of food (around 45-65%. And most athletes should have a minimum of 55% of their calories coming from carbs, with it increasing to as much as 70% during intense training and competitions!). They provide an energy source for the body that is immediate and continuous, they are very necessary for metabolizing fat, and they maintain tissue protein.

To anyone who is skittish around carbs, don’t be! Because really, choosing a greasy meat patty from a fast food joint over an apple because one has carbs and the other doesn’t is just plain silly. It’s obvious which one is the more nutritious choice.

Thank goodness that the anti-carb craze is starting to diminish… just as long as it isn’t replaced by an anti-protein or anti-fat craze or some other such nonsense, it’ll be clear sailing! (Wishful thinking, I know. But maybe one day, common sense will be all the rage, there’ll be less emphasis on specific and rigid “diets,” and we will all be happily focusing on more important things like curing cancer and living life to the fullest.)

What do you think about the distribution between carbs, proteins, and fats? Do any of them have you running for the hills? I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this.

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  1. Gena

    I think you got it right about who the critics are. I certainly hope the ban works!

    As for food – I fear no part. I love carbs and eat a diet 50-60% carbs, mostly complex. I get 10-15% fat (good fats, natch) in my diet and the rest is made up of protein. Of course, the major part of my workouts is made up of running several miles a day, so I need the carbs to keep going.

    I love apples. They are the best fruit ever.

  2. Running Knitter

    I think the ban is an excellent idea, and hopefully one that will work.

    I love my carbs too and agree with you that people shouldn’t view carbs as “evil”.

  3. MizFit

    (thanks for the shoutout)
    it has gotten SILLY how we are (the royal we) about carbs huh?

    I was out with a friend and my toddler the other morning and she visibly cringed when I ordered oatmeal and a bowl of fruit.

    (cue lecture from her about the evils of carbs)

    OF THOSE CARBS?! (and please to note I did order eggs too so I had my protein :))

    when we start shunning fruit/the ‘meal something is wrong huh?

    everything is GOOD (I think even the ben & jerrys but thats me) in MODERATION!

  4. the Bag Lady

    Right on, mizfit!! Moderation is the key to healthy eating and living. (Now if only the Bag Lady could learn moderation in her consumption of beer and potato chips….)

  5. Charlotte

    I love my carbs! Since I’m vegetarian, I eat waaaay more carbs than most people and yet I’m healthier than I’ve ever been. I think it’s more about how close a food is to it’s source than it’s exact macronutrient ratios.

    Thanks for an interesting topic! (I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t even realize you had a blog until you mentioned it on leslie’s site! I’ll be coming back.)

  6. Sagan Morrow

    Thanks for stopping by, Charlotte!

    Gena- my food distribution is pretty much exactly the same as yours… and MizFit/Bag Lady, I loves the moderation concept! (but have difficulties applying it to popcorn).

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