Saturday, June 18, 2005

Obese Budgets


There are some immutable laws of nature. For instance, a psychiatrist will never tell a patient that they are problem free, an exterminator will never tell a customer that the vermin is completely gone, and researchers will never conclude that they need less research funding.

Inertia is word often used to describe government agencies because once born, it seems they never go away. In fact they invariably grow like amoebas or octopi, stretching their agendas, purviews, and budgets to billowing heights.

Consider the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, or the CDC. Read about how this $7 billion agency completely botched a report on obesity.

In a report published in March 2004, four of CDC's scholars stated that 400,000 people a year in the U.S. were dying early as a result of obesity and that obesity might soon pass smoking as the country's leading cause of preventable death.

One of the four scholars was CDC boss Julie Gerberding (pictured above), who had earlier compared the obesity epidemic in America with the plagues of the Middle Ages. Announcing the new findings, she said, "Our worst fears were confirmed."

Come April 2005 a research report offered a quite different perspective on obesity. This time the researchers were led by a CDC epidemiologist named Katherine M. Flegal. Their report estimated obesity-driven deaths at 112,000, and added that moderately overweight people gain some protection from the extra poundage, so that net deaths from overweight were in the neighborhood of 26,000. The new finding transformed obesity from fearsome killer to pitiable also-ran, ranking in seventh place on the CDC's list of preventable death causes. It came in just behind gun-related incidents.

As Forbes says, so much for comparing obesity to “Black Death”. Make no mistake, the CDC might be embarrassed, but they are definitely pissed. Just think of all the new funding they “missed” from this lost epidemic. I wonder what it like to sit around and root for epidemics.

Generally speaking, public sector research, polls, and intellectuals are not to be trusted. Their biases are pronounced and only allegiant to their own self-interests.

As I have stated in a previous blog, I really have no opinions on “obesity”. I just find it curious that while life expectancies keep rising, big media (MSM) and academics would have everyone believe the opposite.

(Lest anyone forget, those academics subsist mostly on the taxpayer funded tuitions and research grant money - a welfare demographic in and of themselves.)

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