Group Says Consumers Fed Diet of Obesity Hype
By George Anderson
The Center for Consumer Freedom, a group representing restaurants and food manufacturers, has
launched an advertising campaign accusing the government, medical authorities, trial lawyers and the “food police” of distorting the health risks associated with being overweight.
Full-page ads ran in yesterday’s New York Times, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, USA Today and the Chicago Tribune.
Mike Burita, a spokesperson for the Center for Consumer Freedom, said the ads were being run to put pressure on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to admit previous research on the health impact of obesity was flawed and that a new study showing that the problem is much smaller needs to be publicly embraced.
According to an April 19 article posted on the group’s Web site, “One would be forgiven for thinking CDC stands for Center for Damage Control. Just a year after its widely-publicized and exceedingly controversial announcement that excess weight kills 400,000 Americans annually, the agency is rumbling, bumbling, stumbling toward an explanation for a new study that says the real figure is just 25,000.”
Spokesperson Tom Skinner, told Reuters the CDC has good reasons for not disavowing its earlier estimate. “All the science around computing mortality associated with obesity is still evolving. If you look at the papers and try to compare them, you really can’t do that.”
“It is a well-known fact that obesity is also contributing to other well-known leading causes of death including cancer and diabetes,” he added.
Mr. Burita and others contend that by not taking a stronger position, the CDC is, in effect, encouraging frivolous lawsuits against restaurants and food manufacturers.
Moderator’s Comment: What is your reaction to the Center for Consumer Freedom’s ads alleging the obesity issue is being hyped?
Time may or may not show the Center for Consumer Freedom to be right on the health impact of being overweight.
The group, however, does itself no press or public perception favors by not listing those companies that contribute to its agenda. It makes it appear as
though it is hiding something. If the facts support the Center for Consumer Freedom, agenda or not, its arguments will win out — eventually. –
George Anderson – Moderator
- Big Fat Lies, Study – The Center for Consumer Freedom
- CDC Must Retract Obesity Deaths Study – The Center for Consumer Freedom
Ad Blitz Dismisses Obesity Threat as ‘Hype’ – Reuters