"Do we look like caloric calculators? How much is that in pizza, damn it."
The entirely bullshit 2,000 figure is the product of a hilarious series of false conclusions, and only exists because when the FDA was trying to come up with nutritional guidelines, they made the astute observation that surveys are a lot easier to do than reliable science. So they looked into a number of USDA surveys on how many calories Americans generally eat. This Family Feud approach to settling a highly important, nation-defining question gave them the slightly low yet semi-accurate ballpark of 1,600-2,200 calories per day for women and 2,000-3,000 per day for men. However, the FDA immediately proceeded to fuck up their hard-earned data by deciding to play averages, and set the recommended daily caloric intake at 2,350 calories, regardless of age or gender.
Then they decided that this completely baseless figure was a stupid-looking number, and decided that 2,000 calories looked much better and thus should be the official guideline. Sources don't explicitly state that this was because percentages are a lot easier to do with a nice round figure, but come on -- there's no way that wasn't at least part of the equation.
Conveniently forgetting that "round figures" was what they were trying to prevent in the fucking first place.
And then there's fat. If you want your body to be low in fat, then you need foods that are low in fat, right? Hell, that's basic science! But then that turned out to be complete and utter horseshit, too. When the U.S. started clumsily coughing up its first dietary guidelines in 1977, heart attacks had recently taken the throne as the leading cause of death. There was nothing in the available data to support the claim that dietary fat increases the risk of heart attack, or any sort of death at all (except maybe those caused by slipping in a puddle of bacon fat). However, officials were eager to do something to at least appear to deal with the situation, so they grabbed a bunch of arbitrary evidence pointing toward fat and declared it the enemy.
This is despite the fact that studies have found that a high-fat diet doesn't even play a major role in cholesterol buildup, and that our constant fat-avoidance makes us consume copious amounts of carbohydrates instead. Incidentally, carbs break into sugars and a different sort of fat called triglyceride, which may cause more harm to your cardiovascular system than any amount of animal products you could chow down.
"I'm not sure; let's blame eggs and be done with it."
Okay, what about sugar and high-fructose corn syrup? Hasn't science declared them to be Public Enemy #1 these days? Sure, and you're wise to cut down on them ... unless you replace them with artificial sweeteners, which appear to cause as much weight gain, if not more, for a variety of reasons that mostly come down to "They make you hungrier afterward."
Confused? Good. That means you've gained an accurate view of what is a truly confusing situation. Any jackass who smugly proclaims, "It's about calories in versus calories out, people!" is the most ignorant of all. It's like saying that solving crime is simple because all we need is everyone to "stop doing crimes." If they're not stopping to consider the causes of this sudden worldwide caloric imbalance, they're being, well, as lazy as they accuse fat people of being.
Did you know that even with diet and exercise, the odds are against you making a permanent dent in your fat? Read all about it in Fat Is Officially Incurable (According to Science). Or see why you're probably chubby in 5 Surprising Things That Are Secretly Making You Fat.
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