The Corner

Attacking Snacks

The Center for ‘Science’ in the ‘Public Interest’ has been on the warpath again – against snacks. The excuse? As always, ‘the children’ and that famous obesity of theirs. Writing for Fox News the Cato’s Steven Milloy has more:

“There may or may not be more overweight kids today than 20 years ago. No one knows for sure.

None of the data are very reliable. They’ve been collected by telephone, not in person. Surveyors call random households and ask the heights and weights of children in the household. These “data” are then used to calculate a dubious indicator called “body mass index” — a ratio of weight to height. Too high a body mass index and a child is assumed to be overweight.

Even assuming that the correct height and weight figures are offered up by whoever answers the phone — none of the data are verified for accuracy — body mass index is a lousy indicator of weight problems among healthy children…

A recent study in the British Medical Journal studied a group of children from birth in 1947 to age 50. The researchers reported, “Little tracking from childhood overweight to adulthood obesity was found … No excess adult health risk from childhood or teenage overweight was found. Being thin in childhood offered no protection against adult fatness, and the thinnest children tended to have the highest adult risk at every level of adult obesity.”

None of this, of course, is to condone the drinking of Dr Pepper.


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