Fat as a partisan issue
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Society, reviewing CDC figures, says that obesity has leveled off. Though it's based on data I accept as credible, I do have to say that what I see at the mall, at a ballgame, or at the airport, I still see a lot of overweight people. Maybe I'm just looking for them, based on my sensitivities.
But what made me want to comment is this:
But for the Democracy Institute, a free market think tank, the new data in the JAMA exposes the myth of the obesity epidemic.
Democracy Institute director Patrick Basham, who is also a lecturer in health policy at John Hopkins University, and controversial pro-tobacco campaigner John Luik penned a comment saying the figures “completely undermine the claims of an obesity epidemic.”
The two free market thinkers, who co-authored “Diet Nation: Exposing the Obesity Crusade” with tobacco industry lobbyist Gio Gori, claim the steady levels of obesity show that government is trying to impose regulations to cure an illusionary disease.
OK, so they have a book to peddle (soon, so will I), but they are not credible. "'Completely undermine'"? One study? And, 'the government is trying to impose regulations to cure an illusory disease?' Even if figures haven't continued to rise, what do they say about the 145 million Americans adults already in those ranks?
They are identified in the story on the NutraIngredients-usa website as "free-market thinkers," which gives a clue of their political bent. If they oppose government action, and clearly they do, that's one thing, a political stance.
But they undermine themselves when they say that obesity doesn't exist. That's just not believable at all, and if they're willing to deny what's obvious to further their political aims, what else are they willing to trim the truth on?