This post is inspired by the logic of a post by Ollie Lovell.
Like most of you, I had come to believe that eating cake makes you fat. I was convinced by the evidence that cake is an energy dense food of little nutritional value and that, all other things being equal, eating lots of it would lead to weight gain.
I personally avoid eating much cake, preferring a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and so I had come to think of myself as being on one side of this debate.
However, a couple of things happened recently that made me reevaluate my position by rethinking the definition of ‘eating cake’
First of all, it is quite possible to eat cake only rarely, while enjoying a diet full of healthy food and while pursuing an active lifestyle involving plenty of exercise. Such a combination is actually very good for you and won’t make you fat. In fact, it is probably one of the healthiest lifestyles out there. And yet, technically, someone following this balance of food and exercise could be described as someone who ‘eats cake’.
Nevertheless, I continued to be unsatisfied. The definition of ‘eating cake’ was still expressed only in behavioural terms. It didn’t seem anywhere near complicated enough.
So I read some papers by cake lovers in order to gain a more nuanced understanding which I will now share.
Let us think about what happens when you eat cake: You roll it around in your mouth, tasting it with your tongue and even smelling it. It is a sensation of flavour. We could therefore argue that any time we have this sensation – any time we taste any food – we are in essence ‘eating cake’.
With this new definition, there is clearly no relationship at all between eating cake and weight gain and so I think it has the potential to end this divisive debate, once and for all.