Integral Theory – Five Elements : Assignment #3 – A Levels analysis on nutrition recommendations
Obesity and its relational metabolic diseases are the cancer of our society at the moment (besides the cancer itself which is the #2 cause of death in the Western World). What went so terribly wrong that in 50 years previously pretty rare cardio-metabolic disease is the #1 killer of our time? At this text I am considering on the facts that have happened and the probable reasons considering consciousness, morality and self-identity of the developmental lines. Hawkes (1869) wrote on The Practice of Medicine nearly 150 years ago that, “Farinaceous foods are fattening, and saccharine matters are especially so… During this harvest the saccharine juices are freely consumed; but when the season is over, the superabundant adipose tissue is gradually lost.” About 50 years ago, several international forums agreed that the only way to feed the rapidly increasing world population was to produce and distribute grains and cereals as primary food sources for humans (Barry Groves; Trick And Treat, 2008). At the same time, scientists hypothesized a link between cholesterol and heart disease with very narrow scientific evidence and announced that saturated animal fats “are bad”. This lead to the replacement of dietary fats with carbohydrates – starches and sugars found in bread, pasta, rice, potatoes etc. – as a preferred energy source deriving also a rapid growth of a multi-billion dollar industry, which provided low-fat, high-carbohydrate “healthy” convenience foods.
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I could write about this situation a long paper, but I try to concentrate here on the reasons why this has happened. First, the concern of how to feed all humans rose from and Orange altitude Values considering the World’s needs with a financial profit strategy behind that. This also quite clearly ignored the overall human health neglecting the huge amount of data and experience on how sugars and starches are causing humans diseases. Secondly, according to a few biased fat-studies conducted by Angle Keys (1950s) lead to a belief that cholesterol was the root of all evil causing most of the cardiovascular illnesses on earth. This went further to a dogma that animal fat was bad for our health, with poor evidence. I see this as a really egoistic act based on Amber stage of consciousness especially on the values line of Keys; and it seems that on the self-identity line he probably was on Amber/Early Orange searching for approval from other researchers. I am not sure whether it was the overall center of gravity on values lines at that time in the US that gave assistance to Keys’ actions but that must have played a certain part in it.
In Finland the Health and Welfare institution is following fairly accurately the US recommendations despite of the research facts that are provided in thousand of scientific articles that show exactly the opposite evidence to what the official nutrition guidance tells us. The chief person (professor Puska) on our Health and Welfare institution has done research co-operation with companies that make this “healthy” low-fat foods loaded with carbohydrates. The official nutrition recommendation accepted by Puska is based on very narrow or zero scientific evidence but rather on “expert statement” which is clearly political. Prof. Puska is not admitting that he went wrong on his research in the 1970s, but rather sticks with it “till the end of time”. This is arising from Amber self-identity and values lines, since the behavior of the person is nearly egocentric. The cooperation between food industry, pharmaceutical industry and Health and Welfare institution needs to be re-evaluated on the basis of Turquoise values which is holistic and recognizes that “everything connects to everything else in ecological alignments” (Wilber et. Al; An Overview of Developmental Stages of Consciousness, 2007).