Every five years, the U.S. government puts together nutrition guidelines that “serve as the foundation for national nutrition programs, standards, and education” and among the 20 “nationally recognized scientists” appointed to serve on the panel tasked with putting together the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans under the Biden administration is a woman who, just weeks ago, stated that genetics, not lack of exercise or a fast-food obsession, are to blame for obesity.
In a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) press release, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the appointment of members to the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (the Committee).
“The Committee will be tasked with reviewing the current body of science on key nutrition topics and developing a scientific report that includes its independent assessment of the evidence and recommendations for HHS and USDA as they develop the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” the release states. “The Committee’s review, public comments, and input from other federal nutrition experts will help inform HHS and USDA as the Departments develop the 10th edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”
Joining the Committee is Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, an obesity medicine physician at Mass General Health in Boston, whose appearance three weeks ago on CBS’s “60 Minutes” drew considerable backlash after she said obesity is “a brain disease.”
“It’s a brain disease,” she told host Lesley Stahl. “And the brain tells us how much to eat and how much to store.”
She said that, when it comes to willpower, “we should throw that out the window.”
The COVID-19 pandemic, she asserted, created a new, higher “set point” for Americans.
“When you have a chronic stressor and you get to a certain weight and maintain that weight for, let’s say, at least three to six months, then you recalibrate that set point to a different set point.”
“It’s a brain disease.”
Dr. Fatima Cody Stanford, an obesity doctor at Mass General Hospital, says that obesity has little to do with willpower and is determined by what a person’s brain thinks their body needs. https://t.co/K2U70bkIKw pic.twitter.com/Oyd8vkJViZ
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) January 2, 2023
Her “scientific” explanation went over like a chocolate-covered lead balloon on Twitter:
Likely more about the horrible food people eat and then the lack of movement
Look at the obesity rate of other countries and what they eat
— TakemetoTexas (@takemeto_texas) January 2, 2023
They pee on our heads & tell us it’s raining.
— Jay (@Jay72496664Jay) January 2, 2023
Where was obesity in the 50’s? We consume seed oils and junk food like never before. This is hogwash. Where is a Dr. on the other side? Propaganda. A push for more pharmaceuticals.
— Live free (@Livefre94036204) January 2, 2023
One user warned, “Brace yourselves, folks. The ‘woke’ of today are the ‘scientists’ of tomorrow.”
Brace yourselves, folks. The ‘woke’ of today are the ‘scientists’ of tomorrow.
— Jason (@Jason2K14) January 2, 2023
So, naturally, the Biden administration put her on a panel that will ultimately determine what your child is served for lunch at school.
Many argue it is the latest move from a “woke” movement that, for reasons not yet completely understood, is hell-bent on “normalizing” obesity.
These four photos are related.
USDA Food Guidelines have nudged us into obesity
Obese people are more susceptible to COVID
Media is working overtime to normalize and redefine obesity
Resist and fight: Go carnivore and fast like your life depended upon it. pic.twitter.com/sisKTlJIg6
— JB (@SimmonsBart) January 24, 2023
The claims have become, in recent months, increasingly absurd.
One Twitter user who purports to be a “Fat-Affirming Dietician” with a “PhD in Body Positive Medicine” objects to even the word “obese,” comparing it to a forbidden racial slur.
“You wouldn’t call a black person the N word,” the delusional doctor tweeted, “so you shouldn’t call a fat person the O word.”
You wouldn’t call a black person the N word, so you shouldn’t call a fat person the O word.
— Dr. Anita B. Etin, PhD 💕 (@DrAnitaBEtin) January 25, 2023
“The number one cause of obesity is genetics,” Dr. Cody said, according to the Daily Mail. “That means if you are born to parents that have obesity, you have a 50 to 85 percent likelihood of having the disease yourself. Even with optimal diet, exercise, sleep management, stress management.”
It seems that the USDA was more concerned about its appointees’ take on “equity” than science.
“The 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee will examine the relationship between diet and health across all life stages and will use a health equity lens throughout its evidence review to ensure factors such as socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, and culture are described and considered to the greatest extent possible based on the information provided in the scientific literature and data,” the agency stated in its press release.
Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated, “In most obese people, no single genetic cause can be identified,” the Daily Mail reports.
But that, it appears, has been dismissed in favor of a more equitable “lens.”
“We are fortunate to have a committee of nutrition experts who will provide science-driven recommendations with health equity in mind,” Vilsack said. “I am confident this committee will provide our Departments with evidence-based recommendations that help all Americans achieve better nutrition and health.”
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