Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine has posted two billboards in Albany warning residents that cheese makes them fat.
This really steams my buns.
Yes, we do have an obesity epidemic in the United States. But to demonize a single food is misleading at best and is potentially dangerous. By pinning the blame on cheese (and ignoring, for example, ice cream, donuts, potato chips, candy bars, etc...) PCRM is giving the impression that cutting out cheese alone will make people slim.
The PCRM billboards completely ignore one of the major contributing factors in the rise in obesity: our increasingly sedentary lifestyle. We no longer work in factories or on farms. We work at desks. We no longer walk to the grocery store. We drive.
And perhaps more importantly, there are no documented studies that link cheese consumption to obesity. The France counter-factual proves that no causal link could be drawn between cheese consumption and body fat. The French public consumes more cheese, per capita, than any other nation on earth (more than 50 lbs/person, on average each year, compared with about 30 in the U.S.) yet France has a very low obesity rate - about 10 percent, compared to 30 percent in the U.S.
Cheese alone is clearly not to blame.
In fact, 100 years ago, Americans were encouraged to eat less meat and more cheese. During World War I cheese was a convenient way to get important nutrients, like protein, at a time when meat was in short supply.
|Source: U.S. National Archives|
My point here is that the PCRM ads are political, not science.
There are studies that prove an active lifestyle and sensible, balanced eating habits do reduce incidence of obesity. PCRM chooses to ignore these facts. Instead they are trying to scare people into believing that cheese is the root of all obesity evil.
This sort of bad "science" just makes me mad.
I'll bet the "doctor" behind these ads is lactose intolerant.
What do you think?