So I have to start with a small confession. I watch So You Think You Can Dance. Yup, I admit it. I enjoy the music (most of the time), and the creativity and the athleticism of the dancers. No necessarily the most macho thing in the world to admit to but there it is.
Anyway, last night on the show I saw something that sums up some of the stupidity and insanity of the conventional wisdom of the world. The segment started with a nutritionist going through the refrigerators of the dancers and criticizing them for the calorie count in the food they eat. Now if you've ever watched the show or even just seen a professional dancer, you know that in general they are EXTREMELY fit, lean and toned. Talking the them about calorie count is crazy. These people can pretty much eat what they want and stay fit. Granted, I would probably suggest that sugar isn't the best thing for them but they would burn that so fast that I wouldn't argue that the damage would be much more than negligible. But to suggest they should watch their calorie intake is just stupid. Why? Because they are fat and lazy? Weird stuff.
The next segment was another example of the insanity. They were pushing the Gatorate Fit drink and explaining why the sodium in the drink would help in their recovery especially in the case of heavy sweaters. Now that is probably the case but one of the reasons we have the obesity problem we have (especially in children and teens) is that drinks like Gatorade are associated with athletes and as a result are seen as super healthy. Well, I think we need to accept that athletes can consume food differently than the average person. They burn huge amounts of calories in their daily lives that most people do not. They can handle the intake of sugar and refined carbohydrates much better than most because they will burn those types of fuel almost faster than they can take them in. The average person does not.
My main objection to the common 'wisdom' about nutrition is that there is a 'one size fits all' diet for everyone. That was beautifully and horribly illustrated by suggesting to dancers who are extremely lean and fit that they should watch the calories. Sure, if they stop dancing for some reason, maybe they would have to look at their diets and adjust appropriately to their activity level, but while they are as active as they are, that's total crap. And to promote drinks like Gatorade as a recovery drink without doing the responsible thing and informing people that walking around the block does not require a recovery drink to re-hydrate and replace electrolytes.