For the last time…

…the fact that most overweight people regain most or all weight they lose does not imply that it carries no health risks or that weight loss just isn’t possible for some people. If you carry on certain behaviors that promote slimming, than abandon them and return to old ones, of course you’ll get fat again. That’s common sense.

I write this because of a passage in an otherwise excellent posting about quackery and its shoddy label, “evidence-based medicine”:

I am broadly sympathetic to Paul Campos’ claim that medical guidelines on obesity tell you much more about the attitudes towards fat in the upper middle class social stratum that doctors occupy, than about reliable scientific evidence on same.

But policy demands certainty. And so you get obesity guidelines advising everyone to diet and excercise to shed their excess pounds, even though it’s as close to a scientific certainty as anything is that most people simply regain any weight they manage to diet off. And you get absurdly precise economic forecasting, even though in many cases, the better answer would be “who knows?”

Perhaps a lot of doctors and others are biased in favor of alarmism to some extent, and carry around prejudices. However, one can’t just throw out all of the unequivocal evidence that extra weight is a health hazard just because white-coats rub you the wrong way. Paul Campos is a crank and has been for years.

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  1. #1 by llewelly on June 6, 2009 - 2:50 am

    Eat less, exercise more works for individuals. But the policy of advising people to eat less exercise more has been dominant for decades, and people have gotten fatter and fatter. It is a complete failure.
    The fact that a specific piece of advice is correct does not mean that providing advice will increase the number of people following it. And in the case of obesity, providing advice is demonstrably insufficient.

  1. For the last time… | How to Lose Weight and Reduce Fat News and Information
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