Daan Remarque, a behavioral psychologist, would “strongly advise everyone against ever starting a diet.” He is interviewed in Het Parool about his book The Jojo Effect.
Yawn, you will say. Another anti-diet book, not very original. Yo-yoing – so don’t – is quite a boomertopic, with its own Wikipedia page. The newspaper does signal a new trend. Since diets don’t work, our behavior has to change, more books about that are now being published. “Just change your habits” is the headline above the interview, which could have been published 15 years ago.
How many of the recipes in cookbooks and on the Internet are original? You change ‘peas’ into ‘broad beans’ and ‘breakfast bacon’ into ‘guanciale’ or vice versa and you have another
On the same day of the free publicity Before Remarque’s book, a lot more happened in diet land. Sonja Bakker, the queen of the regular food diet, stops writing books and focuses solely on treating customers. NU.nl quotes De Telegraaf, Bakker stops because she was “demolished” after a “manhunt” when it came to light that she had put recipes from other cooking writers on her Instagram.
She admitted her plagiarism openly, perhaps hesitantly, but by then it was too late and the hurts robbed her of the energy and desire to continue publishing. Sonja thinks, with all who care about her (and who wouldn’t?), that she didn’t deserve this. Literally copying someone else’s writing is indeed not nice, but how many of the recipes in cookbooks and on the internet are original? You change ‘peas’ into ‘fava beans’ and ‘breakfast bacon’ into ‘guanciale’ or vice versa and you have another one.
Also on that day, a letter from the Consumers’ Association fell on the doormat with information about the book The New Choice Diet. As well as the recently published FAQ How about that, it is an instructive joke box, full of facts and tips.
There are “no rules and prohibitions” says the introduction. The new Diet of Choice “works because it is related to the biology of our body” and on a “simple principle”. What is that principle? “Periodic fasting”, known worldwide as intermittent fasting. This appears precisely when the nutritional science that the authors of The New Choice Diet also rely on agrees with some consensus that intermittent fasting offers no other benefits than regular fasting (eating less). Intermittent fasting is free, all tips are online, but The new Keuze diet costs €20. For members.
This appears precisely when the nutritional science that the authors of The New Choice Diet also rely on agrees with some consensus that intermittent fasting offers no other benefits than regular fasting (eating less).
Most of the commotion on this day was caused by a strong initiative by Lobke Faasen, ‘Vegetable Dietician’. Not only does she, with the help of seven nurses and the support of hundreds of colleagues, come up with a well-thought-out and excellent vegan diet, she also attracts quite a bit of publicity with a real attack on the Nutrition Center, a reputable institution after all. Disc for Life is the name of her ambitious undertaking, with a not unnoticed wink to the Disc of Five.
That nutritional advice instrument of the Nutrition Center is much too frugal in promoting plant-based food, is the criticism. Considering all the recommendations of the Disc, the official Dutch dietary advice – because the Nutrition Center follows the Health Council – relies heavily on dairy, chicken, fish and (unprocessed) red meat. But it is quite possible to eat healthy without any animal product. Disc for Life does not just say that, that is the consensus in nutrition.
The Disc for Life website is exemplary. Clear texts, good justification and substantiation, you can’t get a pin in between. All shortcomings of a vegan diet can be compensated for. Extra vitamins B12 and D and omega 3 fats, moderate with veggie UPF, such as Beyond Burger-like, it is all clearly indicated. There is no reason to assume that anyone who follows the advice of Disc for Life does not eat healthy.
And responsible. It is also quite possible to eat healthily with animal products, but a vegan lifestyle has another advantage: it is sustainable and good for the environment. That is an argument that is becoming increasingly important for many people. Healthy food for people and planet.
The Nutrition Center considers the comment that it would be ‘conservative’ as a compliment, Trouw writes. And the fact that the Nutrition Center does not pay attention to the transition to more plant-based food is not correct, since the introduction of the creative Eating Change (no bacon, but almonds in the stew).
The Nutrition Center considers the comment that it would be ‘conservative’ as a compliment
According to the initiators of Disc for Life, more than half of the colleagues are dissatisfied with the Nutrition Center. There are no figures, Trouw writes. It is true that the Nutrition Center has had to endure a lot of criticism, but much has been improved and added to the information on the website, which is really a go tohas become a place for sensible advice.
The Nutrition Center adheres to the feasibility criterion
But opposition and competition are good. The Nutrition Center is based on the Guidelines for a good diet of the Health Council. These date back to 2015. A subsequent version will undoubtedly contain new insights, also about the choice of food with a smaller footprint.
A point of criticism of Schijf for Life, Trouw writes, is that it is a very radical step for most consumers to go completely vegan. The Nutrition Center adheres to the criterion of ‘feasibility’. Most people have to choose their groceries from the grocery store and with the depth of their wallet. That offer is already very wide and diverse, you can buy very healthy in every supermarket. But if you now also have to buy vegan preparations to get your omega 3 fats and vitamin D, many will thank you anyway.
Not to mention the cost and laboriousness of a vegan diet. That is not feasible for everyone. There is a word for such a way of life: elitist.
It is rather unlikely that half the profession of dieticians, who are nevertheless faithful to official guidelines in their work, will reject the approach of the Nutrition Center. Anyone who opposes such a radical alternative, no matter how healthy and responsible, will have a bit of a head over heels in view of the diet of the average consumer.