The Rats, the Breakfast Cereal and the Cardboard Box

Friday, May 23

Today's prompt is to discuss a controversial comment that you have received on your blog.  A comment that was left recently on a blogpost that I wrote in November 2012 came to mind.

This is a copy of the the post that I wrote titled:

The Rats, the Breakfast Cereal and the Cardboard Box

A few months ago, I was chatting to someone who certainly doesn't radiate with good health, and we were discussing healthy lifestyle choices.  She said "I think I'm alright really, I mean I eat a high GI diet, but I'm ok." As discussed previously here, there really are a frightening number of people that feel more positive about their body images than they should.

This very overweight lady then went on to tell me, "I always eat breakfast too.  Sometimes twice." I must have looked confused as she then elaborated.  "Well I eat Sugar Puffs at home in the morning, and then by the time I get to work, I'm hungry again, so I have another bowl of them."

I tried to share some of my newly acquired nutrition wisdom about the horrors of sugar and why fibre is important etc...and within 30 seconds I realised that she wasn't listening, didn't care, and that nothing that I said was going to make any difference to this woman.

I thought of her today when I read about this study in the book Journey to Hope that I am reading, and then googled this study further, and copied the below from here:

Another unpublished experiment was carried out in the 1960s. Researchers at Ann Arbor University were given 18 laboratory rats. They were divided into three groups: one group received corn flakes and water; a second group was given the cardboard box that the corn flakes came in and water; the control group received rat chow and water. The rats in the control group remained in good health throughout the experiment. 
The rats eating the box became lethargic and eventually died of malnutrition. 
But the rats receiving the corn flakes and water died before the rats that were eating the box! (The last corn flake rat died the day the first box rat died.) But before death, the corn flake rats developed schizophrenic behavior, threw fits, bit each other and finally went into convulsions. The startling conclusion of this study is that there was more nourishment in the box than there was in the corn flakes.
This experiment was actually designed as a joke, but the results were far from funny. The results were never published and similar studies have not been conducted.
So you may be better off tomorrow eating your cereal box rather than cereal in your bowl...So what to eat then? Well I am no dietician or nutritionist, but I can safely recommend that anything that has the word Sugar in front is not a good one. And as discussed here, Oats are a winner.  A great Oats recipe here too.

Anonymous wrote the following recently: 
  1. You're basing your info off of an unpublished study? A study that was never peer reviewed, or duplicated. It's more likely that that study was never done and people have been repeating it for years, it's as likely to be true as the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus.

    Now I know that there are many bloggers (particularly the very successful ones) who have had really horrible comments left on their blogs.  There are entire websites and forums dedicated to slagging off people on the internet.  I am thus extremely grateful that this is the most negative comment that I have received, but oh my goodness it really did rock me!

    I then answered with the below. 
  2. Hi Anon, Thanks for taking the time to comment! And I am glad that it has made you think. Whilst it may be an old wives tale (which is why I mentioned the source from which I had copied the information from), if it makes anyone think twice about consuming a sugary breakfast cereal, then perhaps it is a good tale to be repeated? What is your breakfast of choice?

    What do you think?

    P.s : I know the photo is very random, but seriously, what vaguely attractive picture could I have put here that related to the post??
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