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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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How to Eat Healthy....

How to Eat Healthy

While I hadnít really noticed this before, I have lately begun to suspect that there is a vast conspiracy out there to make people fat. It seems I have been so busy watching the diet industry that I paid little attention to the shenanigans of the rest of society, and they have had unrestrained freedom in conspiring to seduce us into their trap.

Take, for instance, the commercials we are forced to watch on the television set, unless we have the good sense to avoid such digital diversion, which most of us donít. In the middle of a CSI autopsy, a commercial breaks in at a most unexpected moment. The screen flashes a succulent dinner that titillates our taste buds in spite of the inappropriateness of the interruption.

And should we be seduced into going inside a restaurant, we are certain to be victims of foul play. As soon as we are seated, we find a bucket of roasted peanuts in front of us and are offered liquid refreshments, nearly all of which are high-calorie and nourishment-empty.

If we manage to resist these delights, a basket of yeasty-smelling bread is placed in front of us, butter on the side. Then we are asked about ordering an appetizer, as if the other condiments are not there. Scanning the menu, we find not one single meal that does not appear to be high enough in calories to give us air sickness. After ordering, we receive salad to go with the buns. By the time the actual meal arrives, we are not even hungry. As soon as our forks have touched the food, we are invited to order dessert.

So, we try to stay away from these businesses that, after all, are doing what they do best, feeding people what they perceive that people want, high-calorie, fat-laden, and belly-fattening food. People who try to avoid the eating out syndrome do not fare much better. Unlike other addictions, eating cannot be up entirely if we value our life, and if we judge by the amount of fat consumed these days, we value it highly.

Certainly it is possible to find low-calorie, fat-free food if you look hard enough, but while looking, you must crawl over piles of cake and donuts, pass by cases of ice cream, look past frozen pizza, run around fried chicken, and go through aisles lined with potato chips, snacks, and every type of candy invented by ingenuity. Suddenly, our bag of lettuce and frozen diet dinners seems as worthless as confetti after the party is over.

And we havenít even considered the deceptive labeling. Candy is fat-free. (What about calorie-free?) Ice cream is low-fat (but not no-fat), pork has no carbs (but plenty of cholesterol), and potato chips are baked (but still starchy). Could anyone really expect us to think this stuff is good for us? Or do they just wish to make the choices so difficult and confusing that we donít know what to buy?

Generally, while the mind is confused, the stomach takes control and somehow fills the grocery cart with all-beef wieners, (all beef fat, that is) breakfast cereal (50% sugar), low-fat cheesecake (Donít even ask.), salt-free popcorn (Butter flavor is optional), and caffeine- laden energy drinks. We are somehow brainwashed into believing we are eating well, and swearing that we will never give unhealthy foods a ride in our shopping cart.

Itís a conspiracy, I tell you.

We are controlled by outside marketing forces determined to fatten us up whether we need it or not. It is futile to resist. We might as well let bon-bons be bons-bons, so to speak. And since we are already overweight and outwitted, we might as well have one of those artificial chocolate, meal-to-go candy bars before passing out from hunger.

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss

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