SIRC Media Watch Archive
The Pick – November 2004

Overstating the obesity risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention should always present facts based on unimpeachable research. Science should never take a back seat to politics. That's why a brewing controversy over a widely publicized CDC article asserting that obesity was on the verge of overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of preventable deaths is so disturbing. San Francisco Chronicle

Science and Health Media Watch   CDC Study Overestimated Deaths From Obesity. Federal health officials said yesterday they had overestimated in a high-profile study the number of Americans dying from being overweight. Officials at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they will submit a correction to the Journal of the American Medical Association, which published the paper March 10, to set the record straight … Beyond the correction, the agency had also asked the Institute of Medicine, which is an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, to bring together experts from around the country next month to try to develop a better way to determine the health effects of being overweight. That move was welcomed by critics, who have been saying that the impact of obesity has been exaggerated. Washington Post

Need to know? Claim Researchers this week presented an American Heart Association meeting with excellent trial results for a pill which simultaneously treats obesity and stops people smoking. What made us really take notice was praise from David Haslam, of the National Obesity Forum, who hailed the results as "very impressive", saying the arrival of this drug in Britain was a "mouthwatering prospect". What you should know The drug is manufactured by a company called Sanofi-Synthelabo. This year the National Obesity Forum received sponsorship from Sanofi-Synthelabo for its annual conference. Miracle cure prospects Unmouthwatering. Times

Science and Health Media Watch Fussy can be dangerous. Orthorexia — an obsessional interest in the quality and purity of food — can lead to severe weight loss and social isolation, writes Raj Persaud. Never before have we been so obsessed with the quality of our food. We are concerned about whether it contains too much sugar, is too processed, whether it is genetically modified, organic or not. These widespread worries appear to be producing a new eating disorder. Orthorexia is the expression used by eating disorder specialists to describe an unhealthy fixation with the purity and quality of food. This can lead to such an obsession with healthy eating that sufferers avoid most foods and have their lives seriously disrupted. Among the many consequences is a severe and dangerous loss of weight, though, more often, an orthorexic's fussy demand for nothing but "perfect" food leads to social isolation, as the sufferer won't indulge in the everyday dishes that friends and colleagues eat. Telegraph