Holy crap, what a dumb name for a book. I know it’s been on the bestseller charts for a while, but I’ve been ignoring it because 1) it’s a diet book, yawn and 2) its title is so exceedingly lame.
But last night John and I went out in the world and spied this little volume with our own eyes. And I realized when I saw the cover that this was not your typical benign-but-forgettable book of diet advice.
See, the title wasn’t just the result of a lazy or uninspired author. Eat This Not That is literally the point of the whole book: it provides specific suggestions for what to eat and what not to eat at some of America’s most popular chain restaurants. Try the chili onion rings, not the nacho cheese bacon poppers. Order the fried butter, not the ham-and-lard sandwich. In other words, eat this [unhealthy garbage] instead of that [even more unhealthy garbage]. The book features two pages for each establishment—Applebee’s, Taco Bell, Cici’s Pizza—providing a list of thises and thats for each beloved, nasty greasehole.
Boy is this the perfect “diet” book for the modern era. Only Americans could be so retarded as to think that eating a Big Mac instead of a Whopper with Cheese will help them lose weight (yes, this is actually one of the proffered suggestions). That people would seriously buy and recommend this book (it’s got almost five stars on Amazon)—and that someone in good conscience could publish it—absolutely boggles the mind.
The only merit to Eat This Not That, I would say, is that it exposes just how horrible and fattening this kind of food really is. Even I didn’t know that a plate of Denny’s pancakes packs a walloping 980 calories, and I’m pretty obnoxious when it comes to caloric awareness. The book also goes on to offer general suggestions for making healthier food choices, but frankly the main thrust of the content is so ridiculous that I can’t give Eat This Not That even the teensiest endorsement. But maybe that’s not entirely fair. After all, while dieting you could be kidnapped and forced to eat at Popeye’s, and then this book would be totally useful. Riiight.
Look, I’m not saying I never ever eat this type of food—I do—but never would I dream that it was going to result in anything but bulges and flab. The plain truth is that no dieter should even breathe the fumes of any of these restaurants, and the fact that thousands of people are buying a book like Eat This Not That shows we are nowhere near to facing, let alone solving, our ever-swelling obesity epidemic.