Recently there have been a spate of headlines fueling hysteria towards the obesity epidemic: “Doctors forced to break babies bones to deliver them safely” cries one, while just last week another headline screamed “Even one extra kilo raises death risk!“
We’re also seeing increasing problems with conflicts of interest in obesity research, leading to harmful health promotion strategies being implemented by the very organisations that are designed to protect us. For example, just last week the FDA approved lowering the minimum BMI for lap-banding surgery in the US.
What the FDA casually glossed over was that the meeting was held at the request of Allergan (a major lap-banding manufacturer). Allergan also conducted the study that was presented to the advisory committee, had its own stockholder chair the meeting, all in full knowledge that the lowering of minimum BMI would give Allergan a further 30 million potential clients -and that’s just in the US alone!
This is all getting very fishy … especially when we see the potential dangers of lap-banding surgery so frequently minimised.
Admist the cries to halt the obesity epidemic, we are simulatenously hearing increasing concerns about the harms of obesity prevention: that the continual promotion of body shame and hysteria towards fatness is leading to increased cases of eating disorders. So, what to do? What is the best way to promote health when it seems so easy to tilt the scales too far one way or the other?
Co-director Lydia Jade Turner discusses this very issue with Anita Tibbertsma from Queensland Radio 4CRB 89.3FM – listen to her advice herePart 1 Part 2