When I walked into a big bookstore today, I was greeted by a round table just to the left of the main doors, with a sign dangling from above declaring all books below belonged in the DIET and HEALTH genre. Too good to pass up, right? I was looking to see if the bookstore carried the nice little paperback booklet of food exchanges put out by the American Dietetics Association. No such luck.
At any rate, I proceeded to browse through the "healthy" books. It struck me as odd that I didn't notice any of them written by dietitians, so I started to dig. Then I started to count. There were 73 different books displayed on that table. One was misplaced...something about organizing your home. Out of the remaining 72, only 2 were written by R.D.'s (registered dietitians,) and one of those was billed as being "written with" a R.D. I'm never sure if that means that the "with" person is actually a co-author, or its just put in there to make the book title sound more impressive, or to make that "with" person feel good? One of the R.D. authored books was at floor level, tipped back so I couldn't see it until I squatted down. (Exercise!) Funny, I bought that one to preview. I'll let you know what I think.
Why did this seem a little off to me? Dietitians are the ones educated in the field of nutrition and should really know what the heck is the real deal in the world of dieting. One would think they would be the "go-to" authors here. But, Suzanne Sommers is still there on the book table in hardcover. How old is she now? Remind me why we would use her advice?
Lots of M.D.'s have diet books out there,too, and they are highly educated, no question about that. Some of their diets look good, and some look a little iffy. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of faith in doctors, and I happen to actually love a couple of M.D.'s (my son and daughter-in-law!) Doctor's study medicine so intensely that most don't have time to go deeply into the field of nutrition. I was a bit concerned when my son started medical school, as I wanted to be sure he got to study plenty of nutrition (of course!) When I was in college (there really was electricity!) doctors had very little nutrition in their curriculum. One thing my son said during med school has stuck with me: they are taught to defer to the dietitians. Go to the experts. I like it.
When you are looking for a book on dieting or nutrition, look for one written or co-authored by a dietitian, or reviewed and recommended by an R.D. When you are looking for a book on anything medical, I recommend looking for a book written by an M.D. or D.O. in that area of expertise.
Back to Suzanne Sommers, does anyone remember why she's selling diet books? And what's up with special diets for blood types? Eat like this if I am type O? As I paged through all those books, I knew the answer: sales. Eating for blood types is so off the wall, it intrigues people, so they buy the book. Suzanne sells (after how many surgeries....just kidding, I don't actually know if she's had any.) People need to make money, to make a living, and we can't blame them for that...but...
Sometimes I wonder, in all these books and in all these diet plans, is the focus still on helping the reader become healthier, or has the reader fallen victim to the money empire?