Cupcake PanicWe wrote late last spring about a bogus projection from health economists touted by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) that 42 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030 unless drastic steps are taken (read: bureaucrats make food decisions for you). Well apparently, those projections are still likely to be wrong. In addition to childhood obesity rates actually having fallen in recent years, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that adult obesity rates have now remained effectively constant for five consecutive years.

Overall, CDC researchers found that only 28 percent of the U.S. adult population is considered obese, approximately the same level as it’s been since 2008. That’s not exactly on pace to reach the 42 percent by 2030 projected by the “garbage in, food police out” models.

But what about TFAH’s projection from last year that 39 states would be more than half obese by 2030? It’s not doing too well either. While 13 states were over 30 percent obese, only Arkansas saw a statistically relevant increase in its obesity rate. (Colorado remained leanest, with only 21 percent of its residents qualifying as obese.)

While these new data may not lead to an admission that the 42 percent projection was overstated, it wouldn’t be the first time researchers blew estimates of the harm from fatness out of proportion. Which makes us wonder: Should we listen to them at all?