Don’t Believe This (DBT) – Obesity Myths

June 3, 2010

Starting a recurring post: the DBT (Don’t Believe This) Files. You know, the stuff that’s out there that may (or may not) be commonly believed, but is so not to be believed it warrants its own little corner of the world.

In this installment, I highlight Obesity Myths dot com (by the way, I’ll typically refrain from actually linking to the sites – I know it’s silly). Came across this site after doing a little reading in connection with my recent post on corn syrup. Here are a few whoppers:

  • Myth: High Fructose Corn Syrup Uniquely Contributes to Obesity
  • Myth: Soda Causes Childhood Obesity
  • Myth: Obesity Has Made Diabetes Epidemic

Turns out our friends at Obesity Myths are an offshoot of The Center for Consumer Freedom. Here’s what CCF say about their funding sources:

Who funds you guys? How about some "full disclosure"?
The Center for Consumer Freedom is supported by over 100 companies and thousands of individual consumers. From farm to fork, from urban to rural, our friends and supporters include businesses, their employees, and their customers.
The Center is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. We file regular statements with the Internal Revenue Service, which are open to public inspection.
Many of the companies and individuals who support the Center financially have indicated that they want anonymity as contributors. They are reasonably apprehensive about privacy and safety in light of the violence and other forms of aggression some activists have adopted as a "game plan" to impose their views, so we respect their wishes.

It would be funny but it’s hard to laugh while fighting the gag reflex.

Another perspective given to us by the crowd can be found at

The Center for Consumer Freedom (formerly called the "Guest Choice Network") is a front group for the restaurant, alcohol, tobacco and other industries. It runs media campaigns which oppose the efforts of scientists, doctors, health advocates, environmentalists and groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, calling them "the Nanny Culture — the growing fraternity of food cops, health care enforcers, anti-meat activists, and meddling bureaucrats who ‘know what’s best for you.’"

Starting out smoking

Rick Berman launched the Guest Choice Network in 1995. Its initial funding came entirely from the Philip Morris tobacco company. Guest Choice Network was formed so as to appear not to be "owned" by Philip Morris; address restaurant owners lack of interest in Philip Morris’ "Accommodation Program" and broaden industry appeal. According to a September of 1995 letter from Mr. Berman to Barbara Trach, PM’s Sr. Program Manager for Public Affairs, GCN was designed to:

"Create an aggressive mentality by (restaurant) operators (to oppose) government smoking bans."


Well, it was probably already obvious to most readers that these people are just shillin’, but I thought I’d drive the point home here since it passed my field of view.

Stay tuned for more on the DBT front. I’ve got a few more queued up for you. These next ones might not be such a slam dunk for some of you.


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