Jack LaLanne has passed away.
I remember seeing his show as a mere child back in the 60's; I had no idea his television show ran into the 80's.
And he went out strong:
Mr. LaLanne promoted himself and his calling into his final years, often accompanied at events by his wife, a physical fitness convert but hardly a fanatic. He brimmed with optimism and restated a host of aphorisms for an active and fit life.
“I can’t die,” he most famously liked to say. “It would ruin my image.”
MORE: Glenn provides a link to a YouTube clip of Jack LaLanne giving nutrition advice. The gist:
Breakfast: Fresh fruit, eggs or a meat patty, whole wheat toast and honey, skim milk or coffee.
Lunch: Big raw vegetable salad and meat, fish, or low-cal cottage cheese
Dinner: Big vegetable salad, two undercooked vegetables (steamed), and meat or fowl, and fresh fruit with yougurt for dessert.
That advice holds up well and I guess America wasn't listening. For comparison, here is the Harvard Food Pyramid. Walter Willett, the chair of the Harvard Nutrition Department, is on the anti-refined carbs program but is OK with whole grains. As a practical matter, any plan to feed the planet will have to include wheat, corn and rice, so focusing on refined products may be shrewd for countries, if not individuals.
Another guy who would like the Jack LaLanne diet is Gary Taubes, a science writer playing Galileo to the Ptolemaic view of the nutrition establishment that dietary fat is a health problem. Taubes would argue that refined grains and sugar are the bane of the Western diet, and have been the bane of native populations wherever they are introduced.
OK, back to Jack - the Times includes this:
“He was perfect for the intimacy of television,” Robert Thompson, a professor of television and popular culture at Syracuse University, told The San Jose Mercury News in 2004. “This guy had some of the same stuff that Oprah has and Johnny Carson had — the ability to insinuate themselves in the domestic space of people’s lives.”
It is possible I am having a 60's flashback, but watch this clip and see for yourself whether Jack LaLanne drips charisma.
And let's get some fire and brimstone from Jack on the subject of sugar. Now you're fired up!