Over the past six months, we at MedShadow Foundation have published the following information on the obesity epidemic:
- packaging of children’s food (BPA) might cause obesity, scientists have found a link but don’t yet understand the connection
- diabetics who lose weight are no less likely to have a heart attack, doctors don’t know why
- diet drugs and surgeries are often not effective or offer “modest” weight loss despite the fact that science and logic indicate they should work
On December 1, 2013 the New York Times ran an OpEd piece by Kristin Wartman noting several studies leading to the conclusion that fetuses exposed to too much refined and processed foods are born with a preference for such foods. Babies fed formula also prefer limited flavors of food — those with little nutritional benefit. As she stated in her OpEd piece: “If babies are developing food preferences in utero and before 2 and 3 years of age through no fault of their own, how can we then blame them when they become obese children and adults?”
Our most recent article, an insightful overview of diet drugs, notes that obesity has been considered a behavioral problem. The medical community blames the victim: The patient eats too much, the patient gets fat. The patient should stop eating so much. As Dr. Phil would say, “how’s that working for ya?” Given that 69% of adult Americans are fat, I’d say not so great. Maybe it’s time for the medical community to stop blaming the victim and consider other possibilities.
As a society, we need to call on our government to either conduct or support research on the true basis for obesity. Why do the risks faced by overweight people not always drop when the weight is lost? Why are some people unable to lose weight despite fewer calories in and more calories out? What is the genetic role?
As a society, we need to reconsider bottle feeding our children when we’ve always known that breast is best. Why is formula funded by WIC (Women, Infants and Children) programs when the majority of healthy women can breastfeed? Why are some breastfeeding women harassed if they feed their children in public?
As a society, we need to stop advertising unhealthy foods to our children. We need to put gym, exercise, recess, and playtime back into the day for all ages.
As a society, we need to make sure that healthy food is available to all people, of all ages, at all income levels.
We have a long way to go. As a society, we can work together to make life better for 69% of us.