New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are in, and they — like much other data — don’t forecast an impending Obesity Apocalypse. It turns out that even the “calories in” side of children’s energy balance equation is getting better: Boys reduced their average daily calorie intake by 158 calories while girls cut down by 76. While that may not be enough for food scolds like Marion Nestle, it certainly suggests that as long as the “calories out” side hasn’t changed, the prophecies of doom issued by the food police are not credible projections.
So, how do the new data compare with the hyperbole spewed by the food police? Well, let’s just say that they might not need Nobel Prize ceremony tuxedos.
- Robert Lustig says obesity is “bigger than the bubonic plague” — except it’s not getting worse, and a third of the population hasn’t died.
- Kelly Brownell proposes that “food addiction” is hooking us all on tasty food — except we seem to be eating less fast food, according to other CDC research, and less sugar overall, according to research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
- The Center for Science in the Public Interest claims that regular soda is a “bioweapon” and must be subject to Prohibition — except we’re drinking less of it through voluntary action.
- New York Times columnist Mark Bittman also demands that regular soda not be sold — even though it was the frequently high-calorie recipes in his tome How to Cook Everything that made his name.
- The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine — a group of vegan animal liberationist PETA-style wingnuts that’s 90 percent doctor-free — suggests that Presidential burger-eating photo-ops will make us fat, even though there is literally no evidence to suggest that it might.
Some commentators even worried that Nanny Bloomberg’s “hop on pop” soft drink Prohibition doesn’t go far enough — but 74 percent of Americans in an Associated Press poll disagreed with the whole idea of banning portion sizes. And soft drink taxes are as unpopular as ever. Given the data, people are right to be skeptical of the effectiveness of and need for oppressive food regulations. Personal responsibility takes time to work, but it seems to be on the right track.