Friday, September 03, 2004

A Matter of Health

A Matter of Health

By Sandy Szwarc
Published 08/11/2003

People either loved it or they hated it. Either way, the recent 10-part series on obesity was a success. It got people thinking - I hope more critically -- about the current beliefs surrounding weight and dieting.

The series set out to be an empirical, evidence-based, investigation on obesity which would reveal the findings even if they went against every tenet popular today. Although the information presented merely hinted at the overwhelming body of research along these lines, it offered a viewpoint not found in mainstream media.

So, the first main accusation made by dissenters -- that this series was biased - is, in a sense, correct. It was meant to be. Part of the misunderstanding, I suspect, is because there wasn't an introduction to the series. The series wasn't about telling us what we already know and hear at every turn. Its goal was to reveal the information we don't hear, the other side. And, it was to examine the underlying reasons for obesity, demonstrated by the bulk of the soundest evidence, that go far beyond the myths that have become popularized.

Huge numbers of you welcomed this. The series resulted in a tremendous outpouring of gratitude and support from consumers, clinicians and researchers. I thank all of you who took the time to write. I sincerely hope it has helped those who've been hurt in this war on obesity.

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