Thursday, March 17, 2005

Food Nannies Hawk the Hawkeye State

Food Nannies Hawk the Hawkeye State
By Sandy Szwarc
Published 03/16/2005
TCS

Like newspapers across the country, the Des Moines Register has published a special series addressing the "obesity crisis." The Register series, which began last Sunday, was entitled "The Losing Battle" -- appropriately named, just not in the way the newspaper believes.

The weight loss industry faces a losing battle selling their diets and bariatric surgeries among residents there. Iowans are known for their old-fashioned common sense and aren't getting on board with the panic over their body weights and the need to lose weight being marketed. The Register, however, has. And their series offers consumers across the nation an eye-opening illustration of obesity doublespeak at work.

Iowans don't know that obesity is a deadly medical condition, the Register tells readers. Writer Anne Carothers-Kay reports that 60% of Iowans are either "overweight" or "obese." This "bad news," she notes, makes Iowa the 15th-most obese state in the nation. According to reporter Jennifer Dukes Lee, this is a "crisis."

But is it?

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