Myths of Weight Loss

The wonderful Gina Kolata is in the New York Times today with a serious piece about the many false assumptions we hold about weight loss, abetted by bad (or incomplete) studies. I recommend reading the whole thing, but I do want to highlight this bit:
When [Dr. David B. Allison, director of the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham] talks about his findings [about the many myths and unsubstantiated presumptions about obesity] to scientists, they often say: "O.K., you've convinced us. But what can we do? We've got to do something." He replies that scientists have an ethical duty to make clear what is established and what is speculation. And while it is fine to recommend things like bike paths or weighing yourself daily, scientists must make sure they preface their advice with the caveat that these things seem sensible but have not been proven.
Good for Dr. Allison! But I just love, ahem, how when he reports his findings about the dubiousness, at best, of many of the "facts" about fat, the immediate reaction is likely to be BUT WE'VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING!

What a different culture it would be if fat people weren't a problem to be solved.

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