Friday, September 03, 2004

Where's the Epidemic?

Where's the Epidemic?

By Sandy Szwarc
Published 07/30/2003
TCS

"The war on fat has reached the point where the systematic distortion of the evidence has become the norm, rather than the exception," wrote Paul Campos in the Rocky Mountain News on April 2, 2003. Campos is professor of law at the University of Colorado and author of the upcoming "The Last American Diet."

As many have recognized, the "fat is unhealthy and undesirable" premise has become preordained not just among consumers, but the scientific community we well. The National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance's (NAAFA) policy on Obesity Research notes that scientific research and public policy have historically operated with the sole goal of making fat people thin, believing that permanent weight loss is not only possible, but that it improves health and longevity. "Unproven assumptions about fatness frequently invalidate the basic premise of research studies," it states.

In their comprehensive review of the scientific evidence on obesity treatment, published by Clinical Psychology Review in 1991, David Garner, Ph.D. and Susan Wooley, Ph.D. concluded: "Evidence that it is more dangerous to be thin than fat is either ignored or minimized in analyses that shape public policy toward weight loss."

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