Q: The nutrition community is fascinated by the French paradox — the fact that the French eat seemingly fattening food but don’t get fat. In your book you describe an American paradox. What is it?
A: Americans are a people so obsessed with nutrition yet whose dietary health is so poor. That strikes me as a paradox. We worry more about nutritional health, and we see food in terms of health. Yet we’re the world champs in terms of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and the cancers linked to diet. I think it’s odd. It suggests that worrying about your dietary health is not necessarily good for your dietary health.
The above passage comes from a Michael Pollan interview. I read and thoroughly enjoyed his Omnivore’s Dilemma, especially for its behind the scenes look at the organic food industry. That book prompted me to see him speak in Seattle last month, and buy his newest book, In Defense of Food, which I haven’t yet read. But little revelations like this make me look forward to it all the more.