I’m a blackberry addict. I check the d*mn thing in the middle of the night for crist’s sake. And of course, I also check it first thing in the morning before I even brush my teeth.
So there I am, reading my phone while on my way across the hall to the bathroom at about 8 a.m. today, and there it was. An article in Time magazine that took vegetarianism 7 steps backwards backward:
Study: Is Vegetarianism a Teen Eating Disorder?
“It seems that a significant number of kids experiment with vegetarian diets as a way to mask their eating disorders, since it’s a socially acceptable way to avoid eating many foods and one that parents tend not to oppose.”
The authors suggest that parents and doctors should be extra vigilant when teens suddenly become vegetarians. They may say they’re trying to protect the animals, but they may actually be trying to camouflage some unhealthy eating behaviors.
First of all, the word “since” is used wrong in the top quote. The writer should have used the word “because.” “Since” should only be used to imply the passing of time and not as a cause word. i.e. Since 1987 only seven people have tried meth in Canada. There. Now you know.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
Vegetarians have enough trouble trying to convince their friends and family that they aren’t crazy. What the frick? Although this study may have merit, the article about the study frustrates the crap out of me. It’s enough to make me want to throw my tofurky sandwich across the room.
For one, why is it that using will power to maintain a healthy weight is only bad when it means giving up animal products? What is it with our precious attachment to eggs and steak, while we go around preaching the benefits of a sugar-free and sans trans fat diet?
I happen to believe that if Americans switched to veganism our obesity problems would significantly decline. If your teen is trying diet pills, throwing up or eating nothing, then you’re right, those ARE unhealthy ways to cut calories.
But if your child is 25 pounds overweight and is simply avoiding animals products as a way to cut calories, then that can actually be very healthy.
The article is written in such a way to imply that ALL teen vegetarians have eating disorders, rather than to say that teens with eating disorders might try vegetarianism as a way to mask it. I’m sure that people who have emotional eating problems will try all sorts of ways to mask their problem and vegetarianism may be one of them.
But to imply that ALL teen vegetarians have a problem would be the same as saying that everyone who needs to borrow $10 from you is broke because of a drug habit and wants your money to go buy meth.
Now I’m not going to pretend that my love of veganism isn’t connected to a desire to be a healthy weight. It is. (My recent tweets about fitting into a smaller jean size are clear evidence of that). But I’m not STARVING myself. I’m not eating JUST a stick of celery for dinner (as the picture with the TIME article would imply). I’m eating normal, healthy, filling meals. That’s NOT an eating disorder.
I’d argue that the same is true is for teen vegetarians. If they are eating JUST a stick of celery for dinner and attributing it to vegetarianism, they have a problem. But if they are eating normal, healthy, filling meals, that are simply without steak, then they are just living well.
It’s called common sense folks. Let’s start using it agian again, shall we?