The premise behind the Mishuggah Factor is that the crazier and more preposterous an idea is, the greater is the attraction for many of us.The influence of TMF is most apparent in the health and nutrition world, where a diet of wheatgrass and grapefruit juice can cause some people to gush with excitement.
I remember one such manifestation of this phenomenon which occurred in the mid 80s, when the EST movement was at its height of popularity. Several European Physician members, who had just returned from India, were lauding the health benefits of consuming ones urine. I kid you not. There were many non questioning individuals, who just assumed that this prescription was too bizarre, not to be true. Hey, during those times, it was certainly better than drinking the Kool Aid.
The diet world regurgitates a new and improved version of a variety of cockamamie weight loss diets at an alarming rate. As Dean Ornish has said, ‘’losing weight isn’t the issue; three weeks of chemotherapy will handle that quite well. Keeping the weight off is much more difficult for most people.’’
The Center For Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado established the National Weight Control Registry in 1994. James Hill PHD and Rena Wing PHD were the principle researchers. They have followed over 5000 individuals who have lost at least 30lbs and have kept the weight off for over a year. Their findings weren’t sexy, and won’t titillate us on Oprah or in the National Enquirer. What these successful dieters had in common, was that all exercised at least one hour a day, consumed a lower calorie diet, that was high in fruits and vegetables, and were keenly aware of their weight at all times.
For many of us males, the style over substance issue, has plagued us since we were in high school. It’s the girl of our dreams, going gaga over the dangerous and mysterious Fonzie type, while ignoring us dependable, loyal and boring boys. Nothing has changed.