Today, as some docs want to regulate toxic sugar I’m reminded of a blog I wrote on this day in ’05:
June 4, 2005 – Every day we are bombarded with media messages about the “obesity epidemic“. The AP puts a new story on its wires and TV news writers end up rewriting the wire copy for broadcast, so the propaganda ends up in our living rooms.
Who is distributing the Press Release? What is their motive? What have they got to gain by scaring the public into believing we’ve all got one foot in the grave? Turns out, a lot of folks have a lot of money to gain.
In 1988, the World Health Organization (WHO), officially declared obesity a disease. You can’t declare something a disease unless it’s widespread and statistics back it up. Recently, we have seen how the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) admitted inflating those numbers. The CDC was able to receive about $40 million dollars a year allocated towards obesity based on their previous numbers.
In 1993, a study by McGinnis & William Foege, M.D. published in JAMA estimated that the most prominent contributors to mortality in the U.S. were, in order, tobacco, diet and activity patterns, alcohol, microbial agents, toxic agents and firearms with “dietary patterns and sedentary lifestyle being the most common source of unnecessary death and disease among Americans“.
That was 19 years ago, yet we keep getting told the same information as if it’s new.
They want us to believe that obesity has surpassed tobacco deaths. Maybe the people who quit smoking started eating. Although, the alarming number of deaths due to obesity that Foege quoted back then were the same wrong numbers derived from the CDC.
Obesity programs are funded primarily by the National Center for Chronic Disease and Prevention. There’s that word “disease” again. The budget? $747,472,000.
Turns out, a lot of folks want to get their hands on that money under the guise of conducting “obesity research”. The Medicaid Obesity Treatment Act of ’01 required medicare prescription drug coverage to cover drugs medically necessary to cover obesity.
By declaring obesity a disease many unhealthy strategies for weight loss (stomach stapling, liposuction, diet pills, body wraps, herbal remedies, etc.) might become warranted. Doctors could justifiably use these treatments and feel confident that they are improving the client’s health simply by decreasing his or her weight.
Pharmaceutical companies would be able to market their quick fix pills and quacks could promote radical diets that promote fast weight loss. It must be emphasized that the effect of these treatments would only be temporary since they don’t address long-term behavior change, such as lifetime physical activity and improved dietary habits. In addition, even if weight loss is achieved and maintained there is no guarantee that it will be accompanied with health benefits.
It’s bureaucracy growing in inverse proportion to its effectiveness. It can justify more government taxing under the guise of “tax policy as a social engineering tool”. There are so many special interest groups that want us to buy into the obesity epidemic under their insatiable search for funding. When the truly obese do not respond to their efforts — then they go after the mainstream. More numbers enables them to justify their perpetual fundraising efforts.
The so-called obesity epidemic brings in revenue. In order for these organizations to keep the money rolling in they have to expand the nationwide guilt trip and falsify numbers. The motive is money. Plain and simple.
Foundations redirect their funding when a new disease pops up. Millions of dollars in grants have been awarded under the “obesity epidemic” war. There’s some obese person out there somewhere who seriously needs help and doesn’t have money, but that person probably never gets help.
If these foundations really want to help people, why not make the grant application open to the obese individuals instead of research institutions and organizations that keep getting grants merely to reinforce that a problem exists. That would cost less and help more.
Long-term diet and exercise modifications are the only effective lifestyle changes that affect obesity. It doesn’t take billions of dollars to make people aware of that. Yes, some people have a genetic predisposition towards obesity, but even they can make changes in their eating and activity level.
Stop lowering the threshold for who is considered obese, so that more and more people fall into a category so companies can sell more drugs to them. So far, adults, children, elderly and even newborn babies have been included in this ever-expanding “Greed” epidemic.
A lot of wallets expand along with waistlines, and consumers need to be wary of studies and research reports that keep reinforcing the same ol’, same ‘ol with a new twist. The new twist is usually a result of some people sitting in a room saying, “We have to figure out to get more money” from this.
How does telling you you’re fat get them more money? Because then you go to the doctor and ask for help. He recommends drugs or surgery. Fast food? The government puts another “sin tax” on it. What’s next? A “sin tax” for computers and televisions because after all, they do contribute to inactivity. Let’s not forget the lawyers who benefitted from tobacco settlements who would love to go after another big industry as well.
2012 UPDATE – 7 years later. The headlines as predicted want to include MORE PEOPLE in this “epidemic”. More people. More money. The headline should be: Obe$ity Greed Epidemic Much Worse Than Americans Believe.
Study: American Obesity Epidemic Much Worse Than CDC Believes
The traditional measures of obesity are inadequate, according to a new report
The American obesity epidemic might be much worse than many experts believe because of the limitations of the Body Mass Index, which is the most popular number used to diagnose the condition…
Pets are included now.
Statistics tell us there is no change in this epidemic.
A recent article I read by Pope in the New York Times backs this up. It’s not because there are a lack of medications. I begin to wonder if all these pills are merely placebos. The side effects that kill tells me that’s not the case. At least not in a few batches.
Here’s a link to all the pharmaceutical drugs available to treat obesity. http://www.drugs.com/condition/obesity.html
There is also an organization called Obesity in America. The website is www.obesityinamerica.org. It was created to educate, legislate and reverse obesity. It will also feed information to reporters. That’s enough sugar-coated sweetness to make one obese.
There are people who require medical intervention. They need to be the focus here. I cry if I watch The Biggest Loser. I can feel their pain. I often wonder why God didn’t create bodies that stayed exactly the same no matter how you eat. Why do people have to suffer over how their bodies look or how they perceive their bodies to look? Why is it so hard to lose and so easy to gain?
Being thin doesn’t make you immune to stress and challenges either. It’s easy to blame extra weight for every problem in your life. When that extra weight is gone –it gets harder because when you discover the problems are still there you begin to feel even worse. Only now you can’t comfort yourself with ring dings. It’s a vicious cycle. You absolutely have to have new coping mechanisms and habits to deal with any triggers that made you reach for comfort food in the past.
On “The Biggest Loser” people are led to believe that once they lose the weight, they will be happy. Many of these people actually look into the camera and exclaim, “I’m SO happy now!” Happiness doesn’t work like that. You could be happy obese. Obesity doesn’t make you unhappy. Happiness does not rely on external factors. Once you attach it to an external factor –it will crash because things do not stay the same. They change. Look at nature if you want to understand how this works. If you can change, yet stay the same –you will be happy. Your habits result from your beliefs.
Establishing good habits from childhood is so important. Habits are things we do automatically. When I was a kid, we ran outside to play after school. They will tell you being poor or being stressed will make you a fat kid. That is baloney.
Bikeriding was big after school. So was jogging, touch football, tag or stoopball right on the steps. And I played tennis with Rob Bonomolo in grade school. We learned how from watching “Hart to Hart” on television. Jump rope was big after lunch in the lunchroom. Susan Favola, Lorelei Donofrio and I made sure to cover the entire alphabet while jumping.
What belief system did we have then? We associated being outdoors with freedom. Freedom from homework (presumably that was done before you ran outside), freedom from sitting in a stuffy classroom, freedom from work, freedom from carrying heavy books, freedom from wearing a uniform.
We could dump our way too heavy book bags, get into comfortable clothing and run free.
Think about that feeling. Close your eyes. Fresh air. Running. Not a worry in the world. We weren’t sitting staring at screens. We were active outdoors. Flying free. Like birds.
Wrong photo. Those birds are sedentary. You get the picture. Visualize flying ones.
If the economy were as it is right now when I was growing up and my Dad was out of a job –I would still run outside and play, even more.
You don’t need Big Brother telling you you have a disease and you’re part of an epidemic that is bigger than HIV (it’s not).
Maybe if the government focused on fixing the economy, as much as they focus on fixing your waistline, the stress would go away for the unemployed, underemployed, single mothers, single fathers, uninsured and kids.
It’s not an epidemic. Thinking that releases the exact kind of stressful hormones you don’t want in your body. Remain calm. It’s your private health. Take care of it one day at a time. Make good choices. Stay positive. You are going to be okay.
June 4, 2013 – Link to Today’s EVERYDAY HEALTH article:
- Fat fighters: Docs declare war on obesity epidemic ‘bigger than HIV’ (mirror.co.uk)
- Health experts chew fat over obesity epidemic (abc.net.au)
- New Research Shows Shift in Opinion on Obesity Epidemic – Soybean Products – United Soybean Board (soyconnection.com)
- Food Processing and Obesity (education.com)
- Health News Roundup 4/16/12 (fatchic.net)
- Obesity strategy ‘failing’ say doctors – Telegraph.co.uk (telegraph.co.uk)
- Obesity epidemic in America found significantly worse than previously believed (medicalxpress.com)
- Study Links NAFTA to Obesity Epidemic in Mexico (commondreams.org)
- International Trade and Economic News: Global Obesity Epidemic (worldtradedaily.com)
- What Obesity Epidemic? (education.nationalgeographic.com)