Press Release

Is Obesity an Epidemic?

Washington, DC – As ABC News and Time magazine convene a major gathering this week to discuss the nation’s expanding waistline, rhetoric about the “obesity epidemic” has itself reached epidemic proportions. In a new report entitled “An Epidemic of Obesity Myths,” the Center for Consumer Freedom presents evidence that disputes many commonly cited statistics and presumptions driving today’s obesity hysteria. The report also exposes how the pharmaceutical industry is putting enormous resources behind research that grossly exaggerates the costs of being overweight.

Citing a wide array of health, exercise and nutrition experts from Case Western Reserve University, George Washington University, the University of Virginia, and the former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, the report undermines oft-quoted myths including:

  • Obesity kills 400,000 Americans a year
  • Obesity costs the U.S. economy $117 billion per year
  • 65 percent of Americans are overweight or obese
  • Overeating is the primary cause of obesity
  • Overweight individuals cannot be healthy
  • Soda consumption causes childhood obesity

    The hype behind these obesity myths has become the driving force for trial lawyers who see dollar signs where the rest of us see dinner and activists who advocate radical “solutions” like zoning restrictions on restaurants and extra taxes and warning labels on certain foods.

    Along with today’s release of “An Epidemic of Obesity Myths,” the Center for Consumer Freedom distributed an obesity prevention kit, which provides those concerned about weight gain with plenty of common sense “warning labels” including a mirror, doggy bag, pedometer, a calorie expenditure chart and a glossary of terms. All items in the kit emphasize personal responsibility—not government intervention.

    Click here to download “An Epidemic of Obesity Myths”. To request a copy of the Obesity Prevention Kit, contact the Center for Consumer Freedom’s media department at (202) 463-7112.

  • Founded in 1996, the Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization devoted to promoting personal responsibility and protecting consumer choices. For more information, visit


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