Something strange has happened in this country.  Well, maybe it’s a phenomenon outside of the US too, but I cant speak to that.  The word “calories” has become a dirty word, unless it’s accompanied by “fewer”, “less” or “reduced”.

We see this on television commercials, food packaging and restaurant menus.  It seems like everyone is trying to reduce the amount of calories in their foods.  The logic that accompanies it is that if it has less calories, then it must be better.  And let’s be honest, there are a lot of folks that go so far as to tell themselves that if it has less calories, it must be good for them. 

That’s not me reaching. It’s simply the truth.

I saw a Subway commercial the other day advertising new breakfast sandwiches that are under 200 calories.  UNDER 200 calories.  I hopped on their website this morning and one of these sandwiches is as low as 170 calories. 

There is no way that amount of calories should be considered a meal. 

To illustrate my point, let’s do some quick math.  Say you eat this sandwich 5 times a day.  Ah, what the heck, I’m feeling kinda frisky.  Let’s say you eat this sandwich a whopping 6 times a day! This would equate a grand total of 1,020 calories for the day (170×6=1,020). 

Quick little fact, it’s been estimated that the average caloric intake for Jews in Nazi concentration camps was between 600-1,000 calories/day.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

Maybe just a little longer……

Congratulations, you’re barely eating better than a concentration camp captive.

Now, I realize that the idea of someone eating just that sandwich 6 times a day is pretty ridiculous.  But this speaks to a greater issue.  When it comes to food, we tend to think less makes things good.  If I just eat a smaller piece of cake.  If I eat the 100 calorie pack of cookies.  If I eat the 170 calorie sandwich consisting of processed breads, fake cheese, manufactured lunch meat and eggs of some sort.  If I just do these things, then I’ll be OK.

I’m not saying that having some self control is a bad thing.  Or even that reducing the amount of processed food you eat is not a good thing.  But to think that less of a bad thing makes it good is some really flawed thinking.  It’s like saying that getting hit by a car going 70 miles an hour is good because at least it wasn’t going 75 miles an hour!  Yeah, it’s true, but it’s not really true.  Either way, it’s a pretty crappy situation.

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