An all-star cast of obesity scaremongers has re-upped its efforts to attribute huge death tolls to overeating. Articles recently published in the International Journal of Obesity and the Journal of Women’s Health aim to poke holes in the revised — and generally accepted — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures on obesity mortality.
Although the CDC once claimed that obesity was implicated in the deaths of 400,000 Americans annually, it has since revised the official number to 112,000 deaths a year — but only after a high-profile campaign by the Center for Consumer Freedom to scale it down in light of new science. The CDC now also says that "overweight" (not obese) Americans actually contribute 86,000 fewer deaths to the U.S. total each year. Which is another way of saying that "overweight" individuals statistically live longer than their "normal" counterparts.
This latest flurry from obesity activists basically amounts to nitpicky musings about the CDC’s biases and methodologies. Unsurprisingly, both articles have at least one co-author with long standing financial ties to the weight-loss industry. Joann Manson, who authored the Journal of Women’s Health article, has been a paid consultant to Interneuron Pharmaceuticals — makers of the dangerous diet drug combination "fen-phen." And one coauthor of the International Journal of Obesity article has accepted funding from weight-loss drug companies like Xenical and Meridia, and popular diet companies like Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, and Slim-Fast Foods. He was also lead author of the study that provided the basis for the government’s now-discredited 400,000 deaths figure.