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Is it Time to Update the Word of Wisdom?

Fair warning: I know that Thursday is Thanksgiving, so this post will probably be a killjoy.

The Word of Wisdom was written in Joseph Smith’s day and primarily concerned the major health problems of the day: alcoholism and and tobacco.  These were industries of “conspiring men in the last days.”  But obesity is turning out to be a bigger problem today than pre-Prohibition alcoholism, and smoking rates have dropped by 50% between 1965 and 2006.  Mike S at Wheat and Tares has said that

  • Obesity costs the United States alone $190 BILLION extra in medical costs, or 21% of all medical spending.  This raises the premiums on EVERYONE to pay for the obese.  We’ve shown that “second-hand smoke” has costs.  So does obesity.  Incidentally, this amount is also enough to solve the “uninsured” problem.  We could give EVERYONE insurance in the country for $190 billion.
  • The health care costs of obesity are higher than those of tobacco.

Last year I lots 50 pounds on the HCG diet.  Basically, I went on 500 calories/day for 6 weeks, upped it to 1500 calories for 6 weeks, and then repeated the process.  The diet makes a big deal about eating no sugar, which is really hard because most foods have sugar, including things you wouldn’t think of:  ketchup, salad dressing, peanut butter, so the diet is quite restrictive.  A recent video told us that 600,000 food items in the grocery stories America (80%)  have added sugar.  Why is that?

There are 2 main reasons.  Sugar is added to bread, for example, to help it last longer on the shelves.  It’s good for business to throw away less stale bread.  Secondly, nearly all of the “fat-free” foods are loaded with sugar.  The problem with sugar is that it turns straight to fat as soon as we eat it, so the fat-free foods are actually making us fatter.  Why do they add sugar to fat-free foods?  Because food with the fat removed takes terrible.

Sugar is even in baby formula.  We have obese infants now.  The obesity epidemic over the last 30 years coincides precisely with the introduction of high fructose corn syrup, a sugar substitute in nearly all foods.  It’s cheaper than regular sugar, and sugar has the same addictive qualities of cocaine.  Yet the sugar lobby has successfully prevented putting a % recommended daily allowance on packages.  It is likely that many foods would be greatly in excess of 200% of recommended daily allowances.

Of course, sugar isn’t the only problem in our diet.  Farmers feed cows and chickens corn to fatten them up faster, and they don’t want them exercising.  Meat with lots of fat tastes better.  Fatter cows and chickens make farmers more money.

So, this Thanksgiving, I’m thinking about starting back on HCG (because I’ve already gained back 45 of my 50 pounds.)  While the Word of Wisdom has served us well, is it time to update the Word of Wisdom to deal the current crop of conspiring men making us fat?

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2 comments on “Is it Time to Update the Word of Wisdom?

  1. I don’t really think it needs to be updated. We just need to apply the revelation that we all ready have. I have found that we tend to focus on the don’ts too much and not on the Do’s. The WoW empasises eating grains and fruits. As a church we should be almost vegetarians.

  2. Thanks for the provocative questions! I agree: we should all pay much more attention to the counsel in D&C 89. I believe the dietary advice is needed more in our day than ever before. Previous generations did not have the unlimited options we have today in regard to what they ate. We do, and it has gotten us into a lot of trouble!

    How would you feel about giving the Word of Wisdom a try instead of hCG? I’ve been collecting stories of people who are embracing the Word of Wisdom (see: http://discoveringthewordofwisdom.com). People who follow this wisdom not only heal from all kinds of diseases, they get down to their ideal weight and stay there, because the diet is not a temporary fix, it is a lifestyle, just like the rest of the gospel.

    Secular research is helping us Mormons finally understand the value of Section 89 in ways we have not appreciated before. A Word of Wisdom diet compares very impressively with a “whole food, plant-based diet,” a diet of wholesome (not processed/refined) foods, meat sparingly and only in times of need, and grains as the “staff of life.”

    If you are interested, I recommend the DVD documentary, Fork Over Knives. There is also lots of information about a Word of Wisdom diet in the menus of the website: http://discoveringthewordofwisdom.com

    I think the Lord is very interested in the health of His Saints. He has given us some powerful counsel. He will probably not give us more until we pay more attention to it. I hope more and more Saints will prayerfully study D&C 89 and then do the things they feel prompted to do. The Saints who are doing that, are finding that the Lord is true to His promises. He will give us “wisdom and great treasures, even hidden treasures.”

    Bless you!

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