Re “Study finds obesity loves company,” July 26

If obesity is contagious, so is stupidity. By claiming that people “catch” obesity from their friends and family, a recent study not only defies logic but removes any notion of personal responsibility from the obesity debate.

Alleging that fat is contagious (like flu or polio) moves weight loss from an individual responsibility to a social burden. This opens the door to lawsuits and government regulation, lends credibility to public officials who want to ban junk food outright and supports health activists who campaign for Twinkie taxes and food service zoning limitations.

If “second-hand obesity” is as infectious as the latest study claims, how long will it be until sit-down restaurants offer “obese” and “non-obese” sections?

Trice Whitefield
Research Analyst
Center for Consumer Freedom