Clinton To Governors: Why Do Research When You Can Have Spin?

If you haven’t already read up on the endlessly fascinating proceedings of the annual meeting of the National Governors’ Association, you probably missed the news that former President Bill Clinton addressed the governors yesterday to give them a mouthful about childhood obesity.

Feeling our pain, Clinton fed the notion that life expectancies will be getting shorter on account of obesity — a myth we’ve debunked here. He also relied on bad science about high fructose corn syrup, which we’ve taken to task as well.

In case this sounds like so much empty politicking, keep in mind that two weeks ago the William J. Clinton Foundation’s Alliance for a Healthier Generation announced that it received an $8 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to fight childhood obesity.

One sign of hope: The former president did acknowledge the obvious. When talking about Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s weight loss, Clinton did not point to any junk science or intrusive laws. “Look at Huckabee,” he said instead. “You’ve got to consume less and burn more. There is no other alternative.” Sensible enough, right? Well, he immediately followed up those remarks with: “And to do that, you’ve got to change the culture.” Mike Huckabee: a culture of one.

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