I was at Ruby Tuesday's having dinner in Miami Lakes, FL. Ruby Tuesday's is becoming a new favorite when I am traveling because of their huge list of fresh fit sides and other healthy options on their menu.
Today I tried a new summer special item called the Seafood Mixed Grill. I had them 86 the rice pilaf and subbed an extra side in. For the sides I had their roasted spaghetti squash and broccoli. In the main dish it was a smaller cut of Mahi Mahi, 3 grilled shrimp and small portion of grilled salmon made it a SUPER healthy, low calorie dinner.
Back to the tragedy that happened next to me.
It was a family of a mom and three kids. The oldest child was a boy of probably 13-15 years old. He was chubby in all of the places it comes first....butt, chest, hips and tummy. Not grossly fat but certainly overweight. He must be getting picked on about it or is self-conscious because when the waiter took the drink orders, he sheepishly asked for a diet coke. The waiter left and the mom said, "The diet soda is more fattening than the regular!"
There is NO way I could have heard that correctly. Maybe she was winking at him and just being sarcastic.
Is this the newest entry in the 'Eat This, Not That' book series?
This is better for you than that?
Now I would agree that water would be the best bet if we were playing Unwise, Better, BEST! **Incidentally, I had that shirt on tonight!!**
Later, the waiter came back and offered refills. The mother spoke up that he should bring COKE this time for her son, not Diet Coke. Picking my jaw off the table, I realized that what I heard the first time was accurate. She believed this. When the waiter brought the new glass, she ACTUALLY TASTED IT to be sure it was not diet! She was CERTAIN that the diet was a horrible choice her son had made.
The only explanations I can conjure up is one of three possibilities:
1) Good old fashioned ignorance. Let's call it 'A lack of education'. This is the main problem in our country when it comes to obesity and health issues.
2) Perhaps she thinks the whole 'Diet' label is a super secret conspiracy and it actually is worse for you!
3) Maybe it is all of the stories about how diet soda tricks the body into thinking that it is real sugar and makes you react in a way that makes you eat more. Perhaps it is a misunderstanding on the study.
I wanted to say something, politely of course....but I did not because if it is scenario 1 or 2, she would never listen. Even on the off chance she would have answered my query as to why she thinks that, it was too risky in the middle of a restaurant and probably not my business.
I have lived both an active, fit life and an unfit, unhealthy life. I know which is easier. I know what it is like to be picked on or judged. That boy was trying to take a small step to make a difference and he was thwarted. I have never been a sugar based soda drinker. I cannot imagine how much worse off I would have been if I had that as an addiction along with food. Food alone put me in a very bad place.
So I ask you....what would you have done? Would you say something or have asked? Would you have left it alone like I did? What if you were an expert in the field like Bob Wright? Would you have said something then?
I am still speechless.