- The Washington Times - Friday, August 1, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

If the recent dire predictions of future obesity rates were right, 100 percent of us would become overweight or obese in just a matter of decades (“American figures fatten,” Page One, Tuesday). Think about that. According to the study led by a Johns Hopkins researcher, no one in America - not supermodels, not Olympic athletes, not a single movie star - would be normal or underweight.

Fat chance.

This study drastically oversimplifies weight gain, assuming a steady continuation of previous trends. (It’s like imagining that based on recent trends, smoking rates will soon drop to zero - an unlikely scenario.) Yet the latest federal study found that child obesity rates haven’t increased in almost a decade, and the rate among adults has slowed considerably.

Apocalyptic (and bogus) statistics of “skyrocketing” rates of obesity only serve as justification for the increasingly intrusive government regulations sought by activist groups and overeager health officials. Thankfully, individual decisions - not statistical models - determine our individual health.

TRICE WHITEFIELD

Senior research analyst

Center for Consumer Freedom

Washington

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