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Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Religion Obesity, Global Warming and Evolution

As I have long suspected the obesity issue especially when it comes to children has taken on religious significance to many especially those in public health. A recent blog post by Marion Nestle Professor of Nutrition at New York University, staunch advocate of public health policy and proprietor of the Food Politics blog demonstrates this very point.

In her post Nestle an advocate of increasing government regulations to protect the health of the public recently made comments equating the science behind childhood obesity to the science that supports global warming and evolution. The comments were from a letter to the Obama administration asking that they support voluntary standards for how food manufacturers can advertise their products to children as established by the Interagency Working Group.

To true believers in the epidemic of childhood obesity Dr. Nestle et al there can be no alternative or dissenting point of view. To the faithful there is an epidemic and that is final. This point of view of course constitutes faith. Furthermore the faithful conclude this epidemic of obesity is caused by a diet high in sugary and fat laden junk food and low physical activity. Members of the church of childhood obesity also believe that this epidemic is destined to break our national healthcare bank and result in shorter lives for those plagued with obesity a.k.a. the new leprosy. These are the tenets of the fat faith.

If these “truths” are as rock solid as global warming and evolutionary science then their faith may be a house of cards. Global warming is far from accepted science by every member of the scientific community. Just because the church of global warming is attended by celebrities, hippie activists and former communists with a former vice president acting as prophet, priest and king does not equate to an infallible message. Many on the other side of the global warming argument have demonstrated that the hole in the ozone layer is naturally occurring, SUV’s are not killing polar bears and our continent is not about to sink into the ocean.

Likewise if the science supporting childhood obesity is as sound as the science of evolution then it is on shaky ground. Over and over the so called missing links found in remote locations around the globe typically turn out to be those of animals. The idea that humans an observably complex organism made up of billions of cells all working in concert to sustain life are a result of a great cosmic case of happenstance is a very shaky doctrine. It would seem that any educated individual could observe that order does not come as the result of chaos. In other words life as we know it and see it was either accidental or it was intentional which is more logical?

 You may be fully immersed in the thought that obesity, evolution and global warming are true and have no detractors but you would be mistaken. Each of these ideas has at least one who doesn’t worship at the altar.

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