Government Overreaching on Obesity Control, States Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons

TUCSON, Ariz., March 9, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Obesity is a major health problem, with one-third of American adults now considered to be obese. Arguably, we are no nearer to a solution now than when the rise in body weights was first chronicled decades ago, writes Michael Marlow, Ph.D., in the spring 2015 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Government interventions to combat obesity are based on pervasive, popular myths unsupported by scientific evidence, Marlow states.

Presumptions that eating more fruits and vegetables (without other changes), eating rather than skipping breakfast, and cutting out snacks protect against obesity are not supported in good research, Marlow points out.

Ineffective government policies include requirements to post calorie counts, taxes on sugared beverages, and attempts to ban large servings of sugared drinks. Marlow states that because such policies are not subject to a market-based test, regulators have great latitude in promoting myth-based intervention.

Instead of a heavy hand of government, Marlow favors allowing free-market solutions to evolve. Sellers, he states, can systematically profit when marketing healthier products to customers interested in controlling their weight. There is an ample consumer market for weight control.

"Government overreach on obesity control is a recipe for expanding government with inflated promises unlikely to be fulfilled," he concludes. "Meanwhile, taxpayer resources are allocated to poorly informed theories based on myths that are often developed within laboratories insulated from real-world interactions of profit-minded suppliers and weight-conscious consumers."

The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943. The Journal is committed to "promoting open debate and scientific integrity." Articles represent the views of the author, and do not necessarily reflect an official position of AAPS or the Journal.

CONTACT: Michael L. Marlow, Ph.D., (805) 756 1764 Jane M. Orient, M.D., (520) 323-3110, janeorientmd@gmail.comSource:Association of American Physicians and Surgeons