Jim Geraghty recounts an absolutely amazing anecdote from Richard Wolffe's book, wherein President Obama essentially forces an overweight staffer to eat salad for lunch.
You'll Eat Salad -- and You'll Like It
Carol Platt Liebau
11/29/2010 5:21:15 PM - Carol Platt Liebau
After citing the relevant experiments, Lehrer concludes:
[Scientific test results] suggest that we're programmed to enjoy calories regardless of their taste: We would still crave McGriddles and mashed potatoes even if these foods tasted like wheat germ and spinach. That's because a distinct part of gustatory pleasure has nothing to do with our tongues, with the savory and sweet sensations that we detect with our taste buds. Instead, we are delighted by the very calories we're supposed to resist.
For better or worse, there it is. What's more, the Obamas might want to keep in mind part of the underlying psychology of some food disorders: Deciding what one will (or won't) put in one's mouth is one of the ways individuals seek to exercise some control over their lives. Could it be possible that, the more the government tries to control us in every other area, the more Americans will seize autonomy where we can, namely, in our food choices?
As applied here, let's hope the theory isn't a good one -- otherwise, all of us will be grotesquely obese by the end of the first Obama term (or, God forbid, the second).