Talk:Healthy eating

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I have moved this page back to "Healthy eating", where it was before. In cases of issues between US usage and commonwealth usage (i.e. most of the rest of the first-language-english speaking world), articles should remain at their original title, whichever side this favours (Wikipedia policy). ~~~~ 12:44, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Since this is not at all a US vs. commonwealth issue, you have moved the page in error. While it is common and somewhat acceptable to blur the distinction between "healthy" and "healthful", better usage is that "healthy" means "having good health" and "healthful" means "promoting good health". Healthy people often eat healthful diets. To say that a food is healthy is suggestive of it being alive, like bean sprouts or raw oysters. 00:27, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That interpretation of the semantics is a strictly US one. Wikipedia operates under common usage. It is UK common usage to say "healthy eating". In the UK, "healthful eating" is grammatically incorrect - only adverbs are used to describe verbs, and no-one uses the phrase. This article was begun with UK usage, and so, under Wikipedia policy, must remain so. ~~~~ 13:02, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Let me note that as a native speaker of US English, "healthful eating" sounds like a term that would be used for a new fad diet. Actually, no one I know would say "healthful" in any case - while it may be in the dictionary, it is assuredly not in common usage. --Habap 30 June 2005 15:26 (UTC)
I think this argument should be the other way round. Any word which describes a verb is by definition an adverb. If you use an adjective form instead of an adverb form of the same word to describe a verb, then you have made a mistake. In this case healthy and healthfull seem to have different meanings, so one is not a mistake for the other. As a UK speaker, I find healthfull rather an odd word too, but on reflection the normal word 'healthy' ought to sort of imply hearty eating as much as health-bringing. But it would be correct in this context. Sandpiper 21:49, 8 November 2005 (UTC)
I second Habap's remarks. Healthful belongs in Wellville. --Mothperson 30 June 2005 16:10 (UTC)
A Google search shows that "healthy eating" is much more prevalent (by 2 million hits) than "healthful eating," even though "healthful" is the grammatically correct phrase (in the US) as described by User: Although I am not one to promote poor grammar, I would suggest that the "healthy eating" usage is more recognizable to both US and UK users. As an example, one of the many pages in the Google search for "healthy" is from the USDA's own website, which includes something called the "Healthy Eating Index" [1]. HollyAm 2 July 2005 04:09 (UTC)

Google is not a grammar book. I suspect there is no U.S.-U.K. division. Maurreen 2 July 2005 23:02 (UTC)

As a native US speaker of English, I must agree with those who argue that healthful is the correct word. As George Carlin has pointed out, if we were to truly eat healthy food, it would be screaming when we bite it. We eat dead food which is the opposite of healthy, but one hopes that the food is healthful. It is more common for people to say "I could care less" when they mean "I couldn't care less". The fact that it is often used does not make the statement any less nonsensical. When the word modifies "eating" the arguement is not as strong. I suggest that the article remain as "healthy eating" (although incorrect, it would avoid some of the acrimony), but the word healthful be used when modifying the word "food" or "diet"--Counsel 16:44, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Healthy has more than one meaning. That is perfectly acceptable and does not mean that using one meaning is incorrect or less correct than another accepted meaning. Healthy means having or promoting good health. Not one or the other; either. No one I know would use the word 'healthful' at all. Neither term is wrong, but healthful is certainly not in common use outside america. aussietiger 05:08, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Toxins in Food and Drink POV[edit]

This section describes only one POV. While this material is perfectly OK, the article as a whole desperately needs opposing POVs to provide balance and neutrality. GeorgeStepanek\talk 20:50, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Can you please give specific examples as to what "POV" you are referring to, here? At first glance, it appears that instructions like, "the only practical advice is to consume as little processed foods and drink as possible" should be neutralized, removed, or sourced. If you could provide examples of why you added the POV header, I will attempt to neutralize the section and remove the header. --Viriditas | Talk 21:24, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
I would suggest that food manufacturers, for example, would seriously question the assertion that all food additives are "toxins". They would doubtless assert that all their additives are completely safe, even when taken in large quantities. Others (including my partner—a food scientist) say that it depends upon the additive in question. There is a lot of dispute around this issue. GeorgeStepanek\talk 05:52, 30 October 2005 (UTC)
I doubt that anyone would seriously assert that any additive is completely safe, so I disagree. There may be a lot of dispute around this issue (although I don't see one) but if you can't limit the dispute to the article in question (instead of hypotheticals) you should remove the tag and add this article to Wikipedia:Requests for comment. See also the comment I left on your user page. With all due respect, I kindly suggest that you resolve the dispute in whatever way you think best, or remove the tag. --Viriditas | Talk 09:42, 31 October 2005 (UTC)
FYI...I've added this article to Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Society and law. --Viriditas | Talk 10:07, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

The problem is the title. The section should be headed Food Additives, since all but one sentence discusses them. There should be a separate section on natural toxins and envoironmental food contamination by chemicals, pesticides, etc. The food additive section should explain that this is a cultural view held by a minority of people in the US and certain western cultures and that avoidance of additives is more akin to a kosher/non-kosher food issue than to the proven dangers associated with real food contamination by natural or manmade poisons. Evidence for danger of food additives is weak and mixed compared to that for aflatoxins or mercury, for example. They don't even belong in the same category. alteripse 16:44, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

I happened to pass by this article and I found this section indeed hopelessly biased. I'm going to edit it. Also, toxins are by definition natural poisonous substances and it is not the immune system that deals with them in the first place, but rather the liver.Han-Kwang 23:00, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, I read a bit further down this page after editing and it seems that I'm getting myself involved in a controversial issue. Well, I NPOV'd the section a bit and removed some things were really not appropriate (recommendation to drink distilled and boiled water, and some food advice that had nothing to do with toxins). Someone else might add a bit more NPOV stuff for the other side of the story. Han-Kwang 23:29, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Response from RfC[edit]

Viriditas appropriately moved this request for discussion to RfC; I am removing the NPOV tag. I believe the manufacturer's viewpoint is adequately represented -- the article discusses the manner in which they conduct their studies and certify their products as safe. My expertise lies in animal nutrition, however, similar problems with toxins exist. For example, while a particular preservative may be found in safe amounts (amounts which a typical body can naturally filter without assistance) when eaten daily in kibble, if other food items (treats, chews etc) with the same preservative are ingested on a regular basis, the body may not be capable of filtering the increased amount. Some sources discussing the toxicity of additives (especially artificial sweeteners since they are the exemplar) would be appropriate. --.:.Jareth.:. babelfish 18:37, 31 October 2005 (UTC)

Another RfC Response[edit]

After reading this article, much of the article is very good. However, I can see why the Toxins section attracted a Request for Comment- I find it to be very POV and needs to be cleaned up. It implies that all studies of new additives are biased and that all studies follow the same pattern of: biased study > biased results > overconsumption by public. It then goes on to say that Mandatory Food Labeling is an ill-concieved program, and that since the above studies could be biased, the only safe thing for consumers to do is eat as little processed foods as possible. In lieu of a complete rewrite, a solution would be to add several NPOV phrases like "some critics claim that," plus a couple paragraphs of pro-additive arguments. EWS23 | (Leave me a message!) 04:03, 7 November 2005 (UTC)

And another[edit]

Read the article. 'Toxins' starts by saying the immune system can deal with poisons. Is this strictly correct? I though the immune system dealt with invading organisms (live things). Is it medically correct to say it deals with simple chemicals?

I take the point about consuming excess additives, but it applies equally to too much of non-additives. The consequence of eating too many carrots is you turn orange. Possibly also other nasty things happen, but I forget, the orange bit sticks in the mind. It was apparently a side effect of war-time diets. Presumably carrots were available, and are quite nice to eat.

Pure water... I recall something about iodine insufficiencies causing disease? Well maybe that is not exactly a useful comment, but I am not wholly convinced literally pure water is the best possible drink. Would blood be a good nutritious mix? I am not seriously advocating that, but actually it might be. What was the evidence for literally pure water?

The section on difficulties of consumers understanding labels is a little patronising. You do not need to be a chemist to understand a label. All you need is straightforward advice about good and bad things to eat and an idea of the sensible quantity. Also, it seems to me the only way of going about assisting the public to get a good diet. We just discussed that almost anything can be poisonous/ bad diet if just eaten exclusively. The labelling allows people to make an informed choice, if they are interested/concerned enough to do so. How else are they going to decide? go round with a booklet detailing the ingredients of every product by every manufacturer, instead of it being written on the tin?

The statement about processed food may be correct, but it is not processing per se which is to blame. Rather, that manufacturers add things either for their own convenience, or actually because people like them (sugar, salt). So the problem is at least in part persuading people not to buy what they are asking for. Sandpiper 21:38, 8 November 2005 (UTC)

Move / Merge[edit]

Registered Dietician, Spum here. The term "Healthy Eating" relates to your intake of food. This is exactly the same term as "Diet", which refers to the food which is consumed. I am expanding the Healthy diet page, and i have already added the term to the page, and hopefully, it'll be a featured article, as let's be fair, it kicks arse.

Suggestions and feedback are welcome. (Spum 10:38, 14 November 2005 (UTC))

Sounds good. I don't see any reason not to merge and redirect this article to Healthy diet. --Viriditas | Talk 12:52, 14 November 2005 (UTC)
I agree; looks like this content would make a more complete article taken together and diet does seem to be the more approriate term. .:.Jareth.:. babelfish 14:49, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Don't you notice that the two articles differ in their perspective? The healthy diet article sticks to basics about current RDAs and total amounts of macronutrients. This one contains much more detail about avoiding additives. The first represents a dietician's relatively scientific perspective. The second is sort of "folk nutrition" common in current American culture (maybe European too, I don't know). I think it is important to distinguish between the two approaches and to label them clearly. I realize the difference is not always obvious, but if you think you can integrate the two and still keep distinct what is science-based and what is more cultural ideas of "good food" and "bad food" go ahead. If you just drop all the additive and cultural good food/bad food distinctions, someone else will probably create it again or mix it back in with the scientific stuff. Wouldn't it be easier to leave them distinct and try to make it clear where each set of recommendations come from? I do not have a strong desire for or against merging the articles, but I do have a strong preference for distinguishing the nature and sources of the two types of recommendations. alteripse 16:20, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

I completely agree, and hope that a merge will in fact solve this problem, allowing us to focus on one article instead of two. Citing sources should weed out any dubious claims. --Viriditas Viriditas 06:19, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

Reply to Alteripse[edit]

I've conferred with colleagues and they agree with me, Healthy eating is a part of a healthy diet, seen as Diet refers to the intake of food, and healthy eating is a more literal term. The Healthy diet article 'is not finished', and still has a lot of expansion to be done before it is finished. I know that you're trying to go analytical about how i've wrote the diet article, but the difference is nonexistant. In the 1950's, the idea was that healthy "eating" was referred to as what a "Healthy diet" is referred to now.

The main reasons for such a term, was because the balance of macro and micro nutrients was something which did not occur at the time, and was just thought of as something that "helps itself", in fact, back then, the ideal was to drink plenty of milk and eat foods that prevented what was known as "bow leggedness", which occured in children.

The term today is obsolete, because eating is only one of the processes involved in a healthy diet. Most countries now reccomend that people not only monitor the food they are eating, but the nutrients, fat and other properties foods have, as well as the amounts they eat, most of these which were NOT considered during the time in which "healthy eating" was a virtue. The reason for this could be seen as many various reasons but the reality of it is because mostly back then foods were not mass-produced as they are now in supermarkets, and were thus unprocessed, plant-based, or what is now distinguished as "organic" foods, which are not chemically-altered or treated.

I'm sorry if i sound snappy, but i can understand where you're coming from, but rest assured, the above explanation is what is seen as the only difference, and the comparison you are making is between an incomplete article, and an ill-informed one. 20:39, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

Where I am coming from is this: [2]. Just like childrearing, for the last 3 centuries or more, experts have recommended how to eat healthy. Just like childrearing, it usually a curious mixture of science, common sense, and cultural values and idiosyncrasies. I think if you learn some history you will realize that not everything you recommend is evidence-based and some of it will seem downright silly in another time, another place, or another culture. I am not interested in arguing specific details, just arguing that we should acknowledge how culture-bound some of these restrictions are and narrow this view of human eating. I would like the article to show some awareness of the wide range of human eating habits and practices and avoid the ethnocentric American recommendations that seemed to characterize this page. alteripse 23:27, 14 November 2005 (UTC)

I pretty much categorically disagree with that. Throughout, no matter which culture it is, there will, presumably be different foods yes, but the values of a balanced diet, balanced in micronutrients remain. It's not as if a correct balanced diet in afghanistan was eating dried shit, because through the way we know that foods affect our body directly through the nutrients they contain, which balance and consumption of them will keep us healthy and free of deficiencies.

I've been to china, nepal, and other places in europe looking into paricular aspects of nutrition, and i think what you're trying to say is "for the food they have, some people are considered healthy eaters", well, not really. The food that people have availability to is what it is, now if people manage the best they can to get balance from these ingredients, then they will most certainly be healthier than most, but the underlying tone is that, through studies over the past hundreds of years, we now know what a balanced diet is, regardless of circumstance.

for instance, many people in China were worried about their children and kept taking them for injections, although they alleviated the illness temporarily, the after effects were that they had become frog legged. Now, when it was looked at from a health perspective, it was found the children were given nothing to eat, under the premise of "starve a cold", and whilst being underweight, had difficulties with energy because illness had drained them.

Eventually, the children began to eat cetain carbohydrate based foods, and they were able to have more energy to fight off the illness, and didn't need injections. What i am trying to say, is that yes, there is a different "healthy diet" based on country, dependant upon the demographic of people in that country, that is a given. HOWEVER, there are globally-accepted dietary guidelines, and these DO NOT ALTER per country, so it isn't as if the healthy diet in one country would be HUGELY different from another; eg a healthy diet in Japan will be different to one in the UK, just based on the types of foods that are readily available.

Yes, childrearing is important. Again, HOWEVER, what you are referring to are SPECIFIC DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR RAISING CHILDREN, NOT THE HEALTHY DIET, which refers to an 'older' age demographic. On an ironic topic, i am actually writing an article shortly after Healthy diet which deals with nutrition and dietary importance in the raising of children. Again, Healthy diet does not apply to children implicitly, because i think over 2500 calories (the reccomended calorific intake for an average sedentary male) for a child would lead to obesity! :-P. However, this is not to say that children are not encouraged to eat healthily, but what i am referring to is for children of young ages. They require a more "tinkered" version of the healthy diet, which gives them plenty of vitamin c, and other nujtrients to ensure their health and wellbeing.

If you wish to discuss this further, you can private message me, or email me; Spum 10:08, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

No thanks, your answer here suggests you have no need of other perspectives. alteripse 11:45, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

I'm always looking for new perspectives! I'm merely saying, there are perspectives on healthy diet/eatring, but there are many in number, and they'd make the article extremely large. I'm interested in all different perspectives. Again, i think you're jumping the gun a bit in saying i want no other perspective, of course i do, it's just that dietary requirements for children are different to those of adults, and they need to be addressed.

I have already told you i'm writing the article soon, and there's alwats perspectives yes, but it's easier to put it into it's own article because it's a more directly-related sub topic, as opposed to having a lot of information in the same page. I'm sorry you think i have no need for other perspectives, but i do, i was merely stating that the healthy diet is based upon which foods produce balance, and that balance is different in a way because of the availability and differentiation of foods in other countries.

I think i probably answered the wrong person before, but all i am saying to you is; yes, there are perspectives, but the "healthy diet" is an entity which does not change because it is known what balance of micronutrients we require. In different countries, sure, the foods consumed in healthy diets will be different, because foods in other countries are different! However, the basis of the diet, which is balance in micronutrients, not too much fat, and so on, rarely changes dramatically.

Sorry for the confustion! I await your perspective, just please understand that there are many, and they require their own articles if they are expansive enough. Sorry to have sounded one-tracked, but the basis of my post before was ;

  • The healthy diet is a globally accepted "standard" which relates to the balance of micronutrients.
  • Other countries have different foods that make up this balance, and still constitute a healthy diet.
  • Children, Pregnant and Lactating women, and people with heart risk, and so on are a different division from the healthy diet. Sure, they will benefit from it, but they have to have particular foods and supplements reccomended because the way the body works during these stages is different (remember, the healthy diet is supposed to be "within normal sedentary individuals", normal meaning without specific illness of conditions),

Sorry! 09:38, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Your apology is acepted, but I apparently didn't make my point clear. I wasn't talking about dietary advice for children, I was using that as a comparison to explain the difficulty we traditionally have in distinguishing culture bound recommendations about child rearing or diet from truly universal requirements. If you actually looked at the link I provided, it was the description of a recent book that reviewed the last few centuries of "expert" dietary advice. An historical survey conveys the same lesson as a cross-cultural survey: it is extraordinarily difficult to distentangle core science from cultural preferences in "expert recommendations" and earlier versions of this article were a perfect example of a complete failure to do so. I was doubtful you understood this, or had even read my posts carefully, and my response reflected my decision that this wasnt worth fighting over. This is not an area in which I have deep expertise or interest; I just thought the article would be enhanced by an acknowledgement of the issue and at least an awareness (if not an avoidance) of how specifically late 20th century American and not universal some of these recommendations are. alteripse 12:37, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

nuts contain toxins?[edit]

The article states that allergic reactions from nuts result from individual variation of sensitivity for toxins in nut. Is this correct? A toxin is a natural poisonous compound, but is it appropriate to say that an allergen is a toxin?

A heads' up[edit]

Obviously this couldn't go into the main article for being both original 'research', and completely 'POV', but I have found that if you would like to live to be 200, here are The Rules, in descending order of importance:

1. No eating tetrapods (beef, pork, chicken etc.). When you feel like meat, make it fish or seafood. Wild Pacific salmon, in season, is hands down the best -- but you will also find crab, tuna, haddock, eel, clams, lobster, mussels etc etc etc to be highly conducive to good health.

2. No preservatives, or methods of preservation, that occured in a lab. This means absolutely no hydrogenated (or partially hydrogenated) oils (aka trans fats). Citric acid is fine. Sodium benzoate is not. If something on the ingredient list sounds suspicious, see if you can't find a more natural, organic, intestinal-friendly alternative. May neccessitate shopping at more hippy-ish stores.

3. Dairy and eggs are fine, in moderation. But if you feel bloated or gassy afterwards, next time make it one scoop of ice cream instead of three.

4. Carbs are your friend. Seriously, as long as none of the other rules are flagrantly violated, and the carbs you are eating were grown in a happy, healthy potato patch/ wheat field/ rice paddy, never ever feel guilty about eating the whole goddamn bag of potato chips/ loaf of bread/ bowl of rice.

5. Nothing wrong with sugar. As long as your teeth don't feel horrible afterward.

6. If it tastes good, it IS good. Most importantly, compare how different foods make your guts feel 30 minutes later. That hot fudge sunday may have tasted great going down, but how's it sitting now? Could you get up and walk around for two minutes? If the meals you eat routinely fail the gut-check test, chances are good that you're eating yourself to death.

7. Finally: ignore the above rules. If you really feel like drinking anti-freeze, go ahead. Obviously you have a very serious health problem, which neccessitates a very serious treatment regimen. The treatment could mean death, but if it puts an end to your miserable existence, so much the better! :)

Chris 09:00, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Suggesting a major rethink on this page[edit]

Beside the minor problems with spelling (prevalent, not prevelent, for example) and perhaps well-meaning but wrong discussion about olive oil specifically and cholesterol in general, too much of the content here is presented as fact without defensible citation. So far this is a very selective and incomplete discussion of an important topic where mainstream and (reasonable) alternative fact and hypothesis get jumbled in with pretty reckless and often untested/minimally tested dogmatism with tinges of both anti-establishment(Bad doctors!) and pro-establishment(supplement peddlers are evil!) commercial hype.

I'm hoping that as a start, that this page can be flagged as controversial as a prelude to really trying to address what I think are many many problems here.