This week at Auburn I taught Chinese. It came as a surprise, really: when we checked our belongings in at the front desk I noticed a fellow tutor holding what looked like worksheets that were written in Chinese. She explained to me that she taught a small Chinese class and invited me to join her in administering a quiz for her class. It turns out the entire Chinese class that night consisted of three people. The five of us sat around a single table in a classroom filled with other students who were there for study hall.
They say America runs on Dunkin, but I say otherwise. This pristine country runs on the humble brag. What exactly is this nuanced art? Well, somewhere down the line, it became socially unacceptable to run around flaunting your job offers, Rolex watches, 4.3 GPAs, high school accomplishments, Yeezies, and social standing.
Earlier this week, an article was published in JAMA Internal Medicine providing evidence that in the 1960s the sugar industry supplied funding for scientific research that identified fat and cholesterol as the main culprits of coronary heart disease, and downplayed the evidence that sugar consumption can also be linked to CHD. It is likely that this literature, sponsored by the Sugar Research Foundation and originally published in the New England Journal of Medicine, contributed to the rise of low-fat diet in the mid to late 1900s. Today, the American public consumes 25% more carbohydrates than we did in the 1970s, as we have turned away from fatty foods like nuts, meat, and cheese, and began to consume more grains, potatoes, and ‘low-fat’ versions of food. These ‘low-fat’ foods, marketed as the healthier option, are actually packed with salt and sugar to make them taste as good as the original option containing fat. The American Heart Association and the U.S. government, based on misleading information and studies that could not be replicated, perpetuated the idea that a low-fat diet would help reduce weight and risk of heart failure.