Filed Under: Big Fat Lies

When Good Studies Happen To Bad Apples

While many Americans name baseball as their favorite pastime, the food police can’t tolerate any celebration involving chili-drenched hotdogs and ice cold beer. Instead, activist groups pass the time by fishing – for statistics to support their agenda."According to the latest study …" has been their anthem for a long time. But neither song, nor cheers accompanied the release of the most recent food study, "Toward the Reduction of Population Obesity" published in Psychological Bulletin. The reason for the dead silence may be the fact that the report did not fall on their side of the food fight.Actually, the authors — most notably Dr. David Allison — debunked some of the food fanatics’ favorite initiatives: Fat-taxes, food-zoning, and all-out bans. The study found that prohibiting food (economically, geographically, or legally) could have multiple unintended effects: making forbidden foods more desirable, disproportionately affecting the poor, and actually driving people to eat more.In fact, past attempts to legislate diet in the form of government subsidized food programs promoted over-consumption: program participants ate 25% more for breakfast than their peers and 33% more for lunch.This new evidence shows that these food policies not only don’t meet desired goals, but can even produce the exactopposite outcome at times. So what’s the response from fat-tax proponent Kelly Brownell? Nothing. Where is the press release from nutritional scold Michael Jacobson? Nowhere. And Marion Nestle’s rebuttal? MIA.Perhaps it’s time for the food police to find a new calling.

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