There's no reason anyone should doubt the advice of his or her family doctor. Physicians who know your medical history generally have your best interests at heart. But when media-seeking experts in lab coats publish opinions in support of a political agenda instead of a purely medical one, it’s helpful to wear an extra layer of skepticism. The editors of Vermont’s Brattleboro Reformer disagree when it comes to obesity crusaders with the letters “M” and “D” after their names, claiming that it’s not for us to question any health professional’s advice:
[W]e should be listening to health care professionals whose only agenda is seeing that we all lose weight and get healthier.
The Reformer editorial specifically advises strict adherence to the anti-obesity hysterics propagated by resident Yale University blowhard Dr. Kelly Brownell and New York City food cop-turned-CDC chief Dr. Thomas Frieden—simply because of their titles.
Frieden and Brownell have teamed up to push taxes on soda as an experimental approach to reducing obesity levels. The Reformer thinks we should blindly go along. But as we’ve explained before (see here, here, and here), there’s no convincing medical research that indicates Brownell and Frieden are likely to accomplish anything beyond sucking more dollars out of taxpayers’ pockets. (And on April 15, who wants to think about that?)
Brownell and Frieden specialize in a kind of preventive medicine that severely restricts the amount of personal freedom and individual liberty enjoyed by Americans. And there are plenty of medical professionals who disagree with their unforgiving tactics. (It’s both sad and amusing to watch newspaper editors choose sides when equally credentialed MDs issue conflicting opinions.)
Public health activists have as much of an agenda in the obesity wars as anyone else. So, doctorate or no doctorate, let’s not automatically accept anyone’s food policy prescriptions.