What has Gwyneth Paltrow been smoking? Certainly not gluten. The 40-year-old actress has taken her goopy eating habits and transferred them on her two kids, eight-year-old daughter Apple and six-year-old son Moses.
Yes, she's insisting that her growing kids do without pasta, bread and rice, leaving them to subsist on goji berries and what, kumquats... (Who knows what Gwynie actually ingests, other than helium.)
“She’s foolish to believe eliminating carbohydrates will leave her children healthier," warned nutritionist Jeannette Jackson in an article in the UK Sun. “They are required for a multitude of vital processes, not least building a child’s brain. She could end with up with children less able to concentrate than their counterparts.”
That's the bad-case scenario. Worst case would see the local council turning up at her door with child abuse accusations in their stead. Most kids are taken away from their parents for malnourishment, typically that's due to starvation but in some cases can extend to faddy or inadequate diets.
Yes, gluten intolerance is a thing. Yes, sometimes kids are affected. But is it really possible that Gwyneth and her entire family, including Coldplay hubby Chris Martin, can't digest gluten, dairy, and chicken eggs?
Her new cookbook, It’s All Good, comes out next month. But I'm really not sure if she's in a position to dole out healthful eating advice.
In 2011 Gwynie opened up about experiencing "a searing pain in my head, I couldn’t speak and I felt as if I couldn’t breathe. I thought I was having a stroke.” Turned out she was severely anemic and vitamin D deficient.
Is banning carbs a wise move for young kids? After all, as many doctors will attest, carbs give the body and mind energy to develop. Here's what our own resident doctor has to say about gluten.
You may have heard of the hoopla surrounding a woman named Lisa Epsteen whose doctor threatened to sic the police on her for refusing to have the emergency C-section he recommended. Well, her fifth child, who was a week overdue, has mercifully been born without incident.
But though Dr. Jerry Yankowitz perhaps didn't handle the situation as sensitively as he could have, he had reason to be concerned. According to an article in Mommyish, Epsteen had gestational diabetes, and an ultrasound revealed signs of fetal distress. Dr. Yankowitz feared the baby might die or be born with brain damage.
As the article points out, Epsteen is being lauded as a modern heroine for honouring her maternal instincts when, really, she just got lucky. I can't help but feel the ending could quite easily have been an unhappy one.
Sure, there is increasing pressure on women to have needless interventions during childbirth. In most cases babies should be born as naturally as possible. But nature doesn't always go to plan. That's where science steps in. Doctors do usually know best. Usually they know their routine from their emergency. And I'm guessing most would rather not operate unless they had to, recommending a C-section only in cases when they genuinely fear the baby might come to harm.
The letter was a bad idea, granted. But we have to trust that Dr. Yankowitz must have had the infant's best interests in mind when he recommended the procedure. That the threats were a last-ditch attempt of a desperate professional to get a woman to see sense, if only by stealth?
Was Epsteen a role model or simply reckless for refusing the procedure?
What do your Facebook 'likes' say about you? More than you can imagine. According to an article in the Guardian, a lot about a person is revealed simply by liking certain pages. From "sexual orientation, drug use and political beliefs," 58,000 Facebook users in the U.S. unwittingly revealed all kinds of sensitive data in a recent study.
Even if users didn't reveal things like race, IQ, sexuality, substance use, personality or political views, researchers were able to infer such information based on a user's preferred subjects. So even when you think you are keeping some cards to yourself, you're not.
"The important point is that, on one hand, it is good that people's behaviour is predictable because it means Facebook can suggest very good stories on your news feed," said Michal Kosinski, the lead Cambridge University analyst who teamed up with Microsoft Research for the study, which is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) journal.
"But what is shocking is that you can use the same data to predict your political views or your sexual orientation. This is something most people don't realize you can do."
So even though you might not mind Facebook marketers and their affiliates knowing your taste in music or movies, you may be more reluctant passing on your political or sexual leanings. Researchers have staggering accuracy of 88% when predicting things like homosexuality (e.g., liking "Wicked the Musical" is kind of a dead giveaway).
And now, with Facebook partnering with "four of the world's biggest data brokers," users can expect even more specific marketing, which can target even your location and shopping habits.
Just me or is this too Orwellian for comfort?
For fun, the Guardian rounded up some of the study's inferences based on 'likes':