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HEALTH: Don’t hop on pop; obesity has complex causes

Letter by J. Justin Wilson, Washington, D.C. on Oct. 12, 2012 at 12:56 pm with No Comments »
October 12, 2012 12:56 pm

Re: “Put down that sugary drink – or put on the pounds” (editorial, 10-1).

The causes of obesity are far more complex than the occasional soft drink. Obesity is caused by an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories burned, not a particular food or beverage item.

That equation can be put out of and back into balance by changes on either side. Consider that a University of Illinois researcher found strong correlations between total miles driven and obesity rates. Another study from Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis found that kids who lived near soccer fields and tennis courts had lower body mass indexes.

The increased prevalence of desk jobs and labor-saving devices is a much more appropriate place to begin than concentrating only on single food items. We need a holistic approach that empowers personal responsibility, not ham-fisted government compulsion.


(Wilson is a senior research analyst with the Center for Consumer Freedom, a business-funded advocacy group.)

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