Trial lawyers increasingly see dollar signs where the rest of us see dinner. Activists and bureaucrats are proposing radical obesity “solutions” like zoning restrictions on restaurants and convenience stores, as well as extra taxes and warning labels on certain foods. As rhetoric about the “obesity epidemic” has itself reached epidemic proportions, the Center for Consumer Freedom has released a new report entitled “An Epidemic of Obesity Myths,” in which we present evidence that disputes many commonly cited statistics and presumptions driving today’s obesity hysteria.

Citing a wide array of health, exercise and nutrition experts from top universities and the former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, the report undermines oft-quoted myths including:

  • Obesity is a disease
  • Obesity kills 400,000 Americans a year
  • Obesity costs the U.S. economy $117 billion per year
  • 65 percent of Americans are overweight or obese
  • Overeating is the primary cause of obesity
  • Overweight individuals cannot be healthy
  • Soda consumption causes childhood obesity

The report also exposes how the pharmaceutical industry is putting enormous resources behind research that grossly exaggerates the costs of being overweight. And of course, once they convince us of the problem, drug manufacturers will peddle the cure. “In short,” says Paul Ernsberger, a Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology and Neuroscience at Case Western Reserve University, “economic factors encourage a systematic exaggeration of the health risks of obesity.”

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