Sometimes I feel like my Facebook feed is a little psycho. The very same people who regularly post about the importance of healthy eating often simultaneously drool over recipes for cupcakes and brownies.
Yes, there’s a place in the diet for everything. And as anyone who has read pretty much anything I have ever written on this topic knows, I don’t demonize any food. Not even Pop-Tarts. Enjoy your junk (I do). That’s not what this is about.
What’s fascinating to me—remember, I’m a sociologist—is the difference between how people respond to a photo or recipe for chocolate cake compared to how they respond to something like a vegetable stir fry. The cake elicits oohs and aahs. The stir fry? The comments are typically tamer. There’s emotion behind the cake and reason/brain behind the veg.The juxtaposition of our response to the healthy and the junk illustrates the pickle we Americans find ourselves in: We talk a good game about healthy eating, but our heart is really in the cookie jar. It’s not a coincidence. Rather, our cultural obsession with nutrition has produced ourlove affair with sweets and treats.