Over the years, a number of Little People, Big World fans have called out Audrey Roloff for being arrogant and annoying.
But they may be forgetting something. Specifically, that Jeremy can be just as insufferable.
In this case, what he’s promoting could be downright dangerous.
Jer is talking about using starvation “for health,” suggesting that doing otherwise is a sin. And it has fans worried for his kids.
Little People, Big World fans are recoiling with concern over Jeremy Roloff’s recent post. And they’re not wrong.
“Concerning fasting for health,” he began on his Instagram Story. “Look up ‘autophagy.’”
Autophagy, which literally translates to self-devouring, refers to a cellular process. (It can also be a reference to autophagia, in which people consume their own bodies, but that’s … not the same thing).
“There’s a ton of peer reviewed research on fasting triggered cell rejuvenation, also known as autophagy,” Jeremy wrote.
Just for the record, there is also research showing that autophagy can aid the growth of cancer cells, and that excessive autophagy can damage heart cells.
“It’s pretty amazing that the body was designed to have an internal cell repair mechanism,” Jeremy remarked. Sure? But if cell repair weren’t possible, we likely wouldn’t be around to observe its function. Biology has a lot of survivor bias.
Here’s where Jeremy goes from a valid (if one-sided) scientific stance and delves into weirder territory.
“Unfortunately, due to our gluttony (and many other factors),” he lamented, “fasting has become a forgotten art.”
It feels less like Jeremy is poking fun at a large Thanksgiving meal and more like he’s describing The Sin Of Gluttony as part of the frailty of the human condition. Which may be part of his belief system, but it’s a weird thing to drop into a conversation that isn’t explicitly religious.
“Most people,” Jeremy claimed, “are living out of touch with the [body’s] natural processes.”
That last bit is true.
While many people engage in fasting for religious or spiritual reasons or for physical wellness, most people are a little too busy living their lives to grasp for the latest research on cell repair.
Naturally, many took their concerns to social media as they worried about anyone following Jeremy’s advice — and more.
“Dude seriously needs to stop going on about the benefits of fasting until he proves he himself does what he’s pushing,” one wrote on Reddit.
That same redditor continued: “He’s supporting a seven-day water-only fast, but never mentions his personal experiences.”
“I’m scared of how they’ll raise their kids,” another admitted.
Even if they do not try to do this starvation practice with their children, even seeing a parent’s disordered eating can have a long-term negative impact upon a child’s habits.
“You cannot convince me to ANY degree that Jerm is reading peer-reviewed research,” another pointed out. “He’s taking the words of internet ‘doctors’ who say they’ve read it. None of them have.”
We here at THG actually did read some of the peer reviewed research after Jeremy mentioned this, but we are not doctors. Obviously. That’s why we’re talking about reality TV stars instead of wearing stethescopes.
It looks like the research to which he refers is (mostly) real, but contains both benefits and dangers that can come from temporarily and deliberately depriving cells of new nutrients. Like most things, there’s seldom an easy or clear answer. Biology is so complex that it’s a whole scientific field!
People of many faiths — Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Paganism, Hinduism, Daoism, and more — may practice fasting. Sometimes for holidays, or specific rites. But it’s best to avoid conflating a spiritual practice with alleged scientific benefits. These benefits may exist, but we shouldn’t confuse one for the other.