I am a CrossFitter. I love the sport. I love a good WOD and some of my best friends are people from my favorite box, Beartooth CrossFit.
I am also a dietitian. I decided to go into dietetics to help people learn how improve their health and live the best life possible. I work with some of the most elite CrossFit athletes in the country to maximize their performance and fuel their workouts. It’s the best job ever.
I also work with a most fragile population, those who have the chronic illness known as obesity. I am passionate about obesity; I care for those who struggle with this awful chronic disease which is, in fact, an epidemic. I celebrate their victories (loose fitting clothes, lowering medication use, being able to walk without pain) and I choke back tears with them when the scale moves in the wrong direction.
The problem with obesity stems so much deeper than a lack of dietary recommendations as referenced in this article by The CrossFit Journal.
American’s are not obese because they are following the US Dietary Guidelines. Obesity is a complex disease with multiple physiological, psychological and environmental factors. I could list them, but this blog would need to be textbook long and nobody has time for that.
Yes, the lack of movement paired with excessive serving sizes and availability of high fat, high carb and high calorie foods is deadly in this county. But I will tell you that dietitians have never recommended that you hit the drive through and spend your weekend conquering 2 seasons of Breaking Bad on Netflix. Though the info we have put out may appear to be boring, it is not what has caused obesity. Do we blame our math teachers for the fact that the average American household has over $16,000 in credit card debt? Do we blame our history teachers for the current political climate? And do we blame the DARE program for the drug use in this country?
Were there some truths behind this article, absolutely! Are there some boring dietitians out there? YES! Are some of the policies flawed? YES! Have you ever been to a shitty CrossFit gym where safety is no concern and some punk is using all the 10s to 1RM his deadlift? YES. Wait, what? Oh, maybe you don’t want to be lumped in with all CrossFit gyms as I don’t want to be lumped in with dated recommendations that were published when I was still in Junior High.
So let’s work together Lon Kilgore. Let’s get the right information to those coaches on the front lines and make nutrition a priority in the CrossFit community and society as a whole. While parts of what you wrote are true, we must face this epidemic together without playing the blame game. As nutrition professionals, we need to keep up with the hype and ahead of the curve. As do you, because if you did not notice, carbs are cool again, fruits and veggies are trending and eating like a caveman is out!
By the way, anyone else wonder if the obesity epidemic has improved since CrossFit was born? I’ll give you a hint…it hasn’t.
Anna & Christina
Power and Grace Nutrition