Obesity in the News; Nutrition Advice in Corporate Pockets


“For first time, more than 4 in 10 women in U.S. are obese” reads a June 8, 2016 headline in The Seattle Times. And, of course, the reason for this depressing milestone, according to the article, “remains a mystery to health researchers.”


Of course it’s a mystery; it’s always a mystery.  The reason can never have anything to do with what people are eating.  How pedestrian and naïve would that be?


Yesterday (June 12, 2016), in the Parade magazine supplement that sneaks its way into most Sunday newspapers, a page was devoted to The Skinny on FAT, and of course the Skinny is that dietary fat is now the elixir of good health.  The first sentence on the page says it all: Eating fat doesn’t make you fat.  Right.  Nor do guns kill people.  Nor does playing footfall cause CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).


I think you’ve heard this story before.  Low and behold, after all these decades thinking that dietary fat is anything but salubrious, we are now finally enlightened to the magic of “good fat” and the “neutral” impact of “saturated fats – once considered bad guys,” to quote from the Parade magazine.


I’ve notice recently that a lot of the nutrition “studies” that support these outrageous claims about fat are published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a publication of the American Society for Nutrition (ASN).  I’ve also noticed that the ASN maintains an untoward propinquity to many of the pillars of healthy eating in America: Coca Cola, Monsanto, the Sugar Association, ConAgra, McDonald’s, Mars, the National Dairy Council, Pepsi, etc.


Okay, call me cynical, or maybe even a conspiracy theorist.  Or — maybe the “mystery” about why American women are now suffering a 40 percent obesity rate is hiding somewhere in the information above.  And, maybe, the causes of obesity are not a mystery among those who know and believe in the fundamentals of human nutrition.