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What do you think about these billboards targeting America's consumption of cheese?
A sensational new billboard in Albany, N.Y., wants to scare people away from cheese. Its creator, a physician turned health activist, says Americans should abandon cheese altogether to prevent obesi...
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Adam Woodard's profile photoJessica Oudbier's profile photoScott Gladden's profile photoJM Bosquesillo's profile photo
81 comments
 
I liken it to the how I heard anti-grain sentiment from pretty much everyone. A balanced diet can have many parts, but it needs to have balance.
 
Funny, but on a low-carb diet that included a fair amount of cheese, I lost weight and my blood numbers all improved. Some people need to get a life.
 
Now I want bacon-wrapped cheese. If the point wasn't to make you hungry for bacon and cheese, then the advertising was entirely ineffective.
 
That's kinda silly. Moderation, cut back on the quantity or portion size but you shouldn't have to cut out something at all.
 
Sorry, I spend my formative years in the Netherlands. Real cheese rules!
 
The only thing better than cheese is.... BACON!
 
Moderation, moderation in everything.
 
we need dairy. This is irresponsible and nonsensical.
 
+Michael Kilinski See, this is what I'm talking about. I lost around 100 pounds and currently have very low blood pressure resulting from that, but I certainly don't eat a low-carb diet and never have. Balance and moderation!
 
Moderation in everything except... Moderation!
 
Don't be moderatin' my moderation!
 
They can pry my cheese from my cold, prematurely aged hands.
 
The more things like this I see, the more convinced I am that everyone is going to die some day.
 
Wisconsin fires back with a billboard campaign against bagels.
 
Everybody dies. I think death by cheddar is a preferable way to go.
 
A "physician turned health activist"?!? Should all physicians be health activists? Targeting cheese, though, instead of, say, sugar or other cheap carbs and vegetable oils is the wrong way 'round, IMO.
 
Cheddar, Provolone, Mozz, Monterey Jack, Swiss, yum, yum yum yum...
 
Neil - Don't get me wrong; I think that solutions are different for each person. What worked for me may not work for you, or others - and quite frankly, it surprised me that a low-carb approach worked for me. I'm not about to argue with it, though. And yes Sheila, none of us get out alive.
 
hey - you can eat skim mozz all day long... no worries and lots of stringy goodness
 
Every food is unhealthy ? maybe we should start eating air...
 
i think they're wrong. i say lets cut out the processed carbs, wheats, grains & go back to eating meats, salads, root veggies. knock the sugars out!
#paleo #primal
 
Michael, I too found that on a low carb diet my weight went down and blood numbers also improved. The best part of the diet was the cheese!
 
Skeptics I know had looked into the background of this organization last time they did a stunt like this. There was one before. I have to find that link....
 
...now, if only they went with an anti-HFCS campaign..oh, wait, all those are subsidized by the Government which is why it shows up in so much processed foods..that's right..
 
eat better, do more. Nobody needs any other diet advice than this
 
+Neil Hodges you can lose weight without being low carb. just cut out the processed crap. cheap carbs. wheat/grains have no nutritional value in their natural state. that why they all say 'enriched'.
 
A life without cheese is not worth living.
 
you will have to pry the cheese out of my cold, dead and apparently fat hands...
 
PCRM is the enemy of the people, right? Might be wise to think before rejecting them outright. You have a chance now to save yourself from heart disease and diabetes, while at the same time opting out of one of the most disgusting practices in modern America.
 
This post inspired me to buy some Cabot Horseradish Cheddar for lunch... mmm it's tasty.
 
I read it and now I'm ready for a three cheese grilled cheese sandwich!
 
It isn't cheese but lack of physical activity that I'd blame the fatty butt cheeks and gut in those pictures.
 
As someone who eats cheese twice a day and is not at all overweight, I take exception to the assertion that cheese should be abandoned!
 
All things in moderation. Piles of cheese, pasta, bread, bottled drinks, and potatoes shouldn't be on your plate every day--especially if you're not getting regular exercise (3 or more times a week). Those things aren't what's making you fat, YOU are making you fat. Let's not demonize fresh foods that pre-date industrialized production, not all cheese is cut from the same cloth.
 
I would bet money it was OVEN, a fringe group who would have us all be vegans.
 
Cheese isn't causing obesity. Eating too much processed crap, then sitting on your can all day and not exercising causes obesity.
 
I love mac and cheese and often live on it for weeks at a time by choice. It is awesome. It's the calories that kill you, not the form they come in.
 
Yeah. Sure. Whatever. I don't care if it takes years off my life, I'd rather have a short life but a cheesy one.
Wait...ach, you know what I mean! :D
 
I go by Michael Pollan's criteria: if my great grandparents would recognize it as food, then it's food. Cheese qualifies. It should also be balanced by Pollan's other two criteria: not too much and mostly plants.
 
My philosophy is that if my dogs recognize it as food, then it's food. Animals are more in touch with their instincts than we humans are, so why not? My dogs love cheese.
 
+Paul Chinn - Dangerous philosophy, my friend. My dogs think damned near anything is food. They like to snack out of the cat box. NO THANK YOU.
 
+Paul Chinn Your dogs will happily eat the feces of other animals, but will probably not eat broccoli. You might want to pick an animal with a digestive system more similar to yours for that.
 
At least they're off my back for smoking for a while. NOW I'm in trouble for smoking AND cheese. Next it's billboards against chocolate and caffeine. Eventually, they're going to demonize everything that I enjoy on a regular basis and I could care less. I'm just glad that these doctors are getting outside, putting up billboards, and feeling like they're making a difference. Whatever makes them feel warm and fuzzy. It doesn't mean however, that they're going to go door to door and attack anyone who eats cheese... or are they?
 
This sounds like PCRM. Their goal is to have everyone eat a vegan diet.
 
+Paul Chinn I know a dog that ate a pincushion, and another that ate an entire pair of pantyhose. Dogs = dumb. Very cute, but dumb. 
 
I understand what you're saying, Holly. There was quite an uproar years ago, when beef, pork, and chicken billboards were everywhere. I don't pay attention to billboards of any type, quite frankly, Holly. I do one thing. I drive the car. ANYWAY, people are built to be omnivores. People who eat meat are not horrible people. My daughter, her husband, and ten month old baby are vegetarians. I was vegetarian for a number of years. It is a matter of choice.
 
Actually, Adam, dogs don't eat odd things because they are dumb. Some dogs are subject to the disease called Pica, which is an irresistable urge to eat weird stuff. Some people have this problem. I forget the cause...just google it. My Alaskan Malamute is quite intelligent. Believe it!
 
we need dairy. This is irresponsible and nonsensical.

Umm, actually no one needs dairy. In fact, a huge percentage of the world can't even digest dairy properly. I attempt to be vegan because I know it's better for animals and probably better for myself... but it's rough because eating out and getting vegan food is tough and cheese is, unfortunately, delicious. I had an easier time giving up meat than cheese. :)
 
As an anti horse-slaughter activist, I do hear you, Holly. People do need to be made aware of what goes on behind closed doors at slaughter houses, and the horrible ways in which the animals (especially horses) suffer during transport. But billboards are not gonna do it. It's going to take education family by family, person to person. People cringe at the acronym PETA, because their actions seem...well...stupid. Better to educate pregnant women on the value of breast feeding, and starting babies in vegetarian diets. Pediatricians discourage women from doing that, calling it dangerous. I have a bouncin baby grandson who is THRIVING on a diet of mostly breastmilk, and organic veggies. We are on the same side here. By the way. Would you please call your Senators today and ask them to support the bill that will make horse slaughter for human consumption forever illegal in this country. at slaughter they are cold-cocked....which sometimes doesn't work the first time....some are still alive when being gutted. Contact me sometime and I will help you out. Blessings
 
I'm sorry Ms. Haworth, did you just make the argument: "If you eat cheese, you have no soul"? And that's what we're surprised about. After years of seeing advertising saying "eat cheese! You know it's amazing!" (and we're looking at each other saying "well, duh! Cheese is awesome!") we're seeing the opposite. That's the sensational part. What's not to understand? People react to change, thus this discussion thread. We're raised on cheese and peanut butter and caffeine and fatty foods and nicotine, we get comfortable with them, then someone says it's evil, we get upset because we enjoy consuming those things. I'm sure this isn't beyond most readers, and there is nothing wrong with stating out loud "but I LOVE cheese...". No need to call us all soulless.
 
I find it very interesting how cheese in this thread has quickly become part of the larger conversation including organic living, veganism, breast feeding, and animal torture. Fascinating.
 
Yeah, but dogs aren't eating those things because they're food. They're eating them because they're board or they're trying to cover their tracks from predators or stake territory or whatever. My dogs will eat a piece of plastic, but they won't beg for it. They will beg, roll over and do flips for a piece of cheese.
 
No need to be rude. I was being hyperbolic on purpose.

The only point I was making is that we all really shouldn't be surprised that people are reacting to change the same way they always have, and there are people who would literally grieve the loss of a food group. Many people who view these billboards don't automatically think of the means in which cheese is made, or think about animal torture. For many people, to think about animal torture every time they went to the grocery store or ate a meal would be emotionally taxing at a level they literally couldn't handle.

And comparing my comment to the motives of pedophiles (it feels good, therefore it is good) isn't what I was saying at all.

What I'm worried about is that we're going to have yet another campaign shoved down our throats for the wrong reasons with misleading information and inflated lies as the basis for "cheese is evil" just like they're currently doing with tobacco as well as breastfeeding. Yes, there are things that are bad for us, but lying to the American public, using the slippery-slope logic structure, and using hyperbolic statements (not jokingly) and images are insulting to those of us that do read and research what we do on a regular basis and how it impacts others.
 
I'm obviously not communicating my point correctly. So I'll rephrase:

I am not surprised people are reacting negatively to a billboard demonizing something that almost everyone in the US has grown very accustomed to. People react very strongly to change in varying degrees on a regular basis. I was wondering why anyone was surprised at the wave of indignant responses usually stating "But I love cheese..."

The hyperbolic statement "you eat cheese, therefore you are evil" was meant as a teasing joke, obviously in poor taste (pardon the pun).

I have never been for the torture of animals. Ever.

I do extensive medical research on any topic that interests me because I choose not to have cable television and I need something to do while I'm on maternity leave. Right now I'm researching breastfeeding research and how it's conducted and why results have been intentionally skewed for a cause that's not even worth the effort.

And lastly, was it really necessary to correct my grammar on a public forum? Really? Are we that petty?
 
Meanwhile, we should all stop using our computers, regardless of how wonderful they are as tools because they're assembled in China by slave labour. Good point all around Mr. Young. Good point indeed.
 
+Paul Chinn +julie woods It's called Pica in humans, but not in other animals. And I know that some dogs are smart for...well... dogs. I'm not going to take nutritional advice from them, though. hehe

+Holly Haworth +zechariah young You guys are kind of stacking the deck when you say that anyone who knows of industrial food production methods, by which a hefty percentage of this country's food is obtained, is condoning "torture of animals". It's like the old lawyer joke.. "Mr. Jones, can you please tell the court if you have stopped beating your wife? Yes or no."

+zechariah young And dude, calm your ass down. Your grade school cafeteria "gross out" scenarios are juvenile and ridiculous.
 
+Holly Haworth +zechariah young Do you two have any idea what kind of corruption exists in our society? Any, whatsoever? You're so inclined to criticize others do you pay attention to where your money goes? The taxes you pay support, among other things, torture of humans (I'm assuming here, perhaps incorrectly, that you're Americans). How many union members, leaders, and their families down in Colombia have had problems thanks to Coke and their complicity with people who, shall we say, have a nature less than wholesome. How much chocolate do you eat? Cocoa that is picked by slaves (in a very literal meaning of the word) in Cote D'Ivoire, many of them child slaves. Nike and sweatshop labor in Vietnam. Technology companies and something approaching, if not actually being, sweatshop labor in China. Manufacturers of clothes "made in the U.S.A" made in sweatshops in the Mariana Islands. Construction in the city of Chicago where the mafia gets a rather large cut of the profits. Gambling everywhere (especially Las Vegas and the riverboat casinos in Illinois). Same thing. Even the public education system in NYC has had the mafia's hands in it. (All of that an extension on what +Jessica Thayer said in her last post)

So, you think you two are immune to this? You think for one moment you can accurately play the morally superior card here? What you're complaining about is what happens to cows (something which, admittedly, doesn't interest me. I just want to eat the meat we get from them and drink the milk). What you're using your money as your vote for is for the torture, murder, abuse, and slavery of women, men, and children. Blood diamonds out of Africa. How much oil have you bought recently? Been to Citgo? Marathon? Shell? All three have moral issues. And oil itself is a racket that supports some of the worst dictators in the world. If you truly believe what you wrote, then I hope you're prepared to live in a more Amish fashion, as that's the only way to avoid it. This is the real world we live in.

I have trouble stomaching hypocrisy from people taking self-righteous tones. Most especially, in this case, +zechariah young . You're just as down and dirty on the ground looking up at the white horse as the rest of us.

Other than that, as for your cheeseburger scenario (I like what +Adam Woodard referred to it as) , I've seen the pictures, I've seen the videos. So what? It tastes good, and harms no human, and even if it did, I couldn't do anything about it. Good enough for me.
Omar S
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Dumb. Let's stop eating anything tasty! How about stop being gluttonous fat-asses, and just eat what is both natural and tasty? We need campaigns against GMOs and over-processed artificial foods, not "let's hate on an entire category of food".
 
Funny..."Cheese and other dairy products are the leading source of saturated fat that our kids are swallowing". Keep in mind "dairy products" includes butter, i.e. nothing but saturated fat, which gets slathered on all sorts of things and in all sorts of cooking. But they don't bother mentioning that.

I'll stick with my cheese, butter, milk, and everything else, and just pay attention to how much I consume, instead of cutting out anything that might be unhealthy.
 
Fine with me too. American don't eat anything without cheese, not realizing how much fat it has in it.
 
Do we really think the obesity problem exists because of cheese? I was under the impression we had all come to understand what should be fairly obvious: the single biggest cause is a more sedentary lifestyle. From what we do at work (e.g. industrial labor versus white-collar jobs) to how we spend our free time (e.g. Wii Tennis instead of actual tennis). I work at McDonald's. We get plenty of thin customers. And plenty of fat ones. Cheese itself is unlikely to be a problem, the immoderate consumption of, say, fast food in combination with little to no exercise is. The people who hand the drive-thru person their bag of food and empty pop from the day before, or even earlier in the day, are far more likely to be fat. Moderation of unhealthy foods and different lifestyles are the ticket to reducing obesity, not the elimination of entire food groups.

As far as the billboards are concerned, it's a free country. So long as we claim to support free speech, hard to have a legal or rights-based problem with it. But I do find it obnoxious. Same as the pictures on cigarette packs now. I don't smoke, I find smoking to be unpleasant and I very much do not appreciate the smell of it. But those pictures are ridiculous. Self-righteous, obnoxious moralizing isn't the answer to the problems we think we see around us. It turns people off your cause as much as anything else. And the guy/group sponsoring these has what seems to me to be questionable-at-best evidence to support their anti-cheese claims. What's this? Butter has saturated fat? You don't say? Cheese and other dairy products are also leading suppliers of protein and calcium, though. This reads to me like a pro-vegan group trying to convert everyone to their vegan lifestyle by claiming (erroneously) that it's in their own self-interest to do so. Bullshit.
 
I eat "good for you" foods and "not so good for you foods". But, I have always eaten in moderation and small portions. And, I have never had a weight problem. Portion control is one of the keys to control your weight. And, any type of exercise that you are able to do is also key. Crazy diets, deprivation and starvation are definitely not long-term solutions.
 
+Holly Haworth You mistakenly used the word "humble" in that last post. The word you were looking for is narcissistic. 
 
As much as it's touching for you to vouch for her character, +zechariah young , her post (and yours) points out something that I believe we all frequently forget. We're all "called" to brighten our corner of the world in one way or another. For some, it's speaking for the furry tasty animals, and for some others, it's exposing the darker parts of human nature through insightful dialogue. For some it's healing the sick, and for others it's raising empathetic and responsible children. When you take your method of brightening your corner of the world and say out loud "My way is BEST! My way is RIGHT! And everyone else is WRONG!" and imply that nobody else is doing a damn lick of good, yes, it does raise some eyebrows and the BP of some more easily excitable characters. Why are you surprised?

When activists and journalists go from being informative and persuasive to being obnoxious narcissists who have nothing but the most self righteous and annoying things to spew at the public, the cause is lost. Do you know why nobody cares about animals as much as you'd like them to? Because the tactics used by the people who "speak" for them are too annoying and insulting to convince the general population otherwise. Perhaps if you both weren't so obnoxious about how you present your points, people would genuinely care about what you have to say and not feel the need to defend themselves so vehemently.

And yes, this conversation does have something to do with the topic. What goes through our heads when we see billboards such as these? You imagine tortured cows, I roll my eyes at the hyperbolic dialogue, and most other people in this thread mutter to themselves "over my dead body, I love cheese. To hell with a long healthy life, and who wants to be 90 anyway?" (I'm with the latter group too, by the way). Images and questions make us think. And because we're all different, we all thought different things upon seeing this posting asking us how we felt about billboards demonizing the effects of cheese on the human body.

In short. Relax sparky and put the shovels down. You're doing more harm than good at this point.
 
+Holly Haworth I in no way meant that because you care about animal rights that meant you didn't care about human rights. I think some of the things animal rights activists fight for/against is harmful for humans (e.g. no animal testing), but I know it's not meant that way. I didn't say that you didn't care anywhere in my post, and I had no intention of implying it. The reason why all the examples I used were ones of humans is quite simple: those are the ones I care about. As I've already said, the death of cows doesn't interest me. Same applies to lab rats, pigs, etcetera. So examples pertaining to humans are what I used.

And if you want to do what you can with yourself, and boycott practically everything under the sun, then good for you. You're obviously not boycotting everything that has problems (you do still pay taxes, I presume, and you're on a computer that was almost assuredly made under bad conditions), but you're doing what you can this side of an Amish lifestyle or prison.

I have nothing against vegetarians, vegans, etcetera. One of my sisters, who I love dearly, is one. Here's when it bothers me: when they go recruiting. By all means, inform me what's in gelatin. I like knowing things as much as the next person, and being rather hard to gross out it won't affect my appetite. But don't try to convince me to stop eating skittle because of gelatin, or, in this case, cheese because animals are tortured in the process. I like cheese, and I don't really care how many cows are pumped up with drugs then sucked dry by machines to get the cheese and milk to me. The recruiting is what bothers me. And, to bring it to the original npr article, that's what the billboard is attempting to do.

I feel like there's something in that last paragraph I should object to (other than the religious references in it I couldn't possibly be less interested in) but I'm honestly not sure what your point is there.

+zechariah young Is someone who accused +Jessica Thayer of supporting animal torture really going to lecture +Adam Woodard on ad hominen attacks? Obviously it's a logical fallacy. That wasn't the point of Woodard's post though. Woodard, Thayer, and I have all made references to the tone you and Haworth have taken in this discussion. Calling her narcissistic wasn't Woodard's attempt to prove his point, just an expression of annoyance with her morally superior tone. And yours. Want to talk about ad hominen attacks, though, how do our respective ages have anything to do with this discussion? They don't. It wasn't an ad hominen attack on your part, though. But it can be read that way, the same as you read Woodard's comment that way.

Most of us believe humans are better than animals. I am far from an exception to that rule. Most people, nearly everyone in fact, also values their own life more than the life of some random person they don't know. I'm guilty of that too. My life is worth more to me than other humans', never mind animals.

The truth shall set you free, eh? Said a crazy guy who, admittedly, had a couple of good teachings, in the first century AD. The truth sets no one free. Knowing the truth doesn't make anyone better, and it doesn't always help anyone. It's just nice. And it doesn't have to be expressed with the tone you express it with. You can deny it all you want, but clearly your tone is one of moral superiority. Maybe you don't mean it that way. Doesn't matter. That's how it's heard.

If you really find it that agonizing to live in the US because of the suffering that simple fact causes, there's an easy solution. Move to southern Canada and live like an Amish person. That's cause as near no suffering of animals or humans as makes no difference. If you're not willing to do that, then I take your claims in that regard as what it is: talk, nothing else. It's easy to talk a good game about feeling horrible that what you do causes X, Y, and Z. I could do it too. Doesn't make it so, though.
 
And do me a favor, +Holly Haworth & +zechariah young , and don't end your posts with whatever the fuck that was. Fuck your heaven, fuck your hallelujahs, and fuck your wish for me to have "peace". I don't need your Christian "We disagreed strongly and I think you're heartless and/or soulless but I wish you well" bullshit. Love the enemy but hate the sin? The most fucking bullshit doctrine, or at least one of the most bullshit doctrines, I've ever heard. You have a problem with me, fucking say it. I have no interest in your fucking lame-ass polite hypocrisy. If I ever get to the gates of your fucking heaven, before I get consigned to hell, I'll blow the fucking things up. Then stab that son of a bitch you worship ten thousand fucking times. Then go to hell willingly, because it has to be better than spending an eternity with fucking good fucking Christians. That'd be my own personal hell. Grow a fucking pair, hate me if you think I have no soul or heart, and leave off your polite blandishments for someone who gives a fuck. I'm not that guy.
 
Upon reflection, I've decided I shouldn't have posted angry. That would've meant less cuss words in my last post, if nothing else. That said, I stand by nearly all if what I said. Except for the part where I said "to grow a pair". I meant "to stop being cowardly" and the phrase I used was one with a sexist background that's uncalled for and unnecessary (and unintentional). That slight modification aside, though, I stand by what I said.
 
We should eat more (non pasturized) cheese. Also, its illegal to feed growth hormones, etc to cattle in Europe.
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