|We shun grains for BRAINS.|
This got me thinking about the giant zombie in the health room: the low-carb diet. There's an idea that wouldn't die (how's that for an extended metaphor?). Quiggin's book is about ideas he thinks ought to be stabbed in the heart with a wooden stake. The low-carb diet, first popularized by Banting, is an idea that goes way, way back (and won't go away) and has resurfaced time and again. This is one zombie that will never die because it works.
I find it somewhat amazing that people were being advised to skip the bread and sugar to lose weight long before germ theory had begun to gain traction. Think about it, people were having leeches affixed to them for health reasons long after the conventional wisdom had decided that starch and sugar were bad.
Nowadays, we have antibiotics, antivirals and, of course, the USDA food pyramid. Talk about one step forward, two steps back.