The Five Dumbest Obesity Sound Bites of 2013

The dumbest obesity sound bites just sit there and beg for attention. This year has offered up plenty of health reporters and wannabe newsmakers who miss the mark. Here’s a sampling.

  1. “I was a little peeved because I think that we’re normalizing obesity in our society.” This fitness blogger got herself banned from Facebook for her rant against people with obesity who love their own bodies. The episode served a purpose apart from letting her bask in 15 minutes of fame. It made the point that hate speech against people with obesity is not OK. Click here to read more.
  2. “Calling obesity a disease further seems to be a way of ignoring the fact of personal responsibility.” When the AMA finally declared that obesity is a disease in June, the news brought out a lot of lame thinking about the dangers of letting people with obesity off the hook. This particular quote came from an employment lawyer who sees a seed for the destruction of civilization coming from the radicals at AMA. Fortunately most legal analysis of this issue has been much more objective, pointing out the need to treat people with obesity respectfully. Click here and here to read more.
  3. “Doctors told to get tough with patients about their weight.” This gem came from the Associated Press when they reported on new obesity treatment guidelines that said absolutely nothing about getting tough. “Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story” is an ethic that remains alive and well. Click here and here to read more.
  4. “Lose weight: eat breakfast.” WebMD is one of many expert sources that dishes out authoritative, yet unproven advice that people who skip breakfast are doomed to gain weight. The data just don’t support this conclusion. But people who like to believe it keep spreading the word, without waiting for the research that will answer the question. Click here and here to read more.
  5. “Oreos are just as addictive as cocaine.” A press release from Connecticut College grabbed headlines for a week with the assertion that undergraduate research — soon to be presented at a neuroscience conference — proved that Oreos are just as addictive as cocaine. Who needs peer review when you have a great headline? Click here to read more.

We could keep going, but it’s time to eat the leftovers.

Silly, photograph © Lotus Carroll / flickr

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