Junk science met betrekking tot overgewicht komt op stoom

Nu men in de gezondheidsindustrie het gevoel krijgt dat de ‘War on Tobacco’ op een haar na gewonnen is, verlegt men de aandacht naar de ‘War on Fat’. Dezelfde methoden worden toegepast door dezelfde instellingen maar nu tegen een andere doelgroep.

In een krant uit San Francisco werd gewag gemaakt van een onderzoek, uitgevoerd door de uit de anti-roken strijd beruchte American Cancer Society, waarin men ‘bewijst’ dat overgewicht de kans op kanker sterk doet toenemen.

“men in the highest weight groups were 52 percent more likely to die from cancer than those of normal weight, while women in the highest weight groups were 62 percent more likely to die from it.”

Een professor aan de Universiteit van Colorado ging terug naar de gegevens die voor het betreffende onderzoek gebruikt waren en kwam tot onthutsende conclusies.

Now consider the study’s actual data. Among supposedly “ideal weight” individuals, (Body Mass Index 18.5 to 24.9) the study observed a mortality rate from cancer of 4.5 deaths per 1,000 subjects over its 16-year course. Among “overweight” individuals (BMI 25 to 29.9 – a category that currently includes about twice as many adult Americans as the “ideal weight” cohort) the mortality rate was 4.4 deaths per 1,000 subjects. In other words, “overweight” people actually had a lower overall cancer mortality rate than “ideal weight” individuals!

In short, what this study actually found was a negative correlation between increasing weight and cancer mortality for the majority of the 135 million Americans who are currently categorized as overweight or obese, and only a small increase in risk for all but the very fattest people. (A good illustration of the depth of America’s weight hysteria is that the risk for cancer death among “morbidly obese” women in this study was still lower than the risk faced by “ideal weight” men. Yet it’s unlikely that this statistic will lead to a surgeon general’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Masculinity.)

Just as in the war on drugs, the war on fat has reached the point where systematic distortion of the evidence has become the norm, rather than the exception. The strategies employed in these two wars are strikingly similar: Treat the most extreme cases as typical, ignore all contrary data (there are dozens of studies indicating cancer mortality decreases with increasing weight), and recommend “solutions” that actually cause the problems they supposedly address. And, as in all wars, truth ends up being the first casualty.

SFGate.com: beschrijving onderzoek

Rocky Mountain News: Analyse door Prof. Paul Campos

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