…that there’s no evidence behind the War on Fat Kids. According to a review of weight monitoring in children published in Health Technology Assessment:
No sound evidence supports weight monitoring to identify and treat obese children, according to a review of worldwide research published this month in the United Kingdom.“The relative benefits and harms of monitoring have not been determined, and the effectiveness of current treatments is doubtful,” say review authors led by Marie Westwood, Ph.D., of the University of York.
Also the press release points out another admission – this time by the American Academy of Pediatricians – that there was no evidence behind the AMA’s recently released weight loss protocol for kids. (Which, to review, instructs doctors to use increasingly aggressive weight-loss “interventions” for 15% of children, including dieting, “behavioral modification” and “consideration of” very low calorie diets, medications and surgery):
The American Academy of Pediatricians, members of which served on the expert committee, acknowledges the lack of evidence on prevention and early identification of obesity in children. Their policy statement adds, “The enormity of the epidemic, however, necessitates this call to action for pediatricians using the best information available.”
Let’s set aside that it’s completely disingenuous to imply that “the best information available” suggests that either “prevention” or enforcing weight loss on children works (just the opposite, actually). What’s phenomenal is that in one fell swoop both the rules of evidence and the principle of “do no harm” have been tossed aside.
And how do they justify this suspension of the normal checks and balances? “The enormity of the epidemic necessitates” it. What they’re really saying is: “the sheer size of the population who will be affected by our recommendations means we don’t need any evidence.”
Come again? With any other “condition” the size of the affected population is precisely what restrains public health officials from making recommendations without solid evidence. If millions of patients (especially children) will be affected – that’s when they are ordinarily compulsive about evidence – because the potential for harm if you’re wrong is staggering.
I have never heard of – nor can I really imagine – another situation where the size of the target population alone was the only reason given for not using caution and not waiting for evidence.
It is a mind-blowing abandonment of both restraint and logic.