A recent NYT article shows an alarming number of potential conflicts of interest in US health care guidelines especially to do with obesity, cholestoral and hypertension.
The Institute of Medicine reports recommended that those with industry conflicts of interest should generally be excluded, or limited to “a distinct minority of the panel.”
At least eight of the 19 members of the obesity panel have financial ties to a phalanx of private business interests, records show. GlaxoSmithKline, maker of Alli, an over-the-counter product, has made payments to four of them. Four have financial ties to Allergan, maker of the Lap-Band stomach device. One is paid to speak or advise 11 companies with obesity products. And others consult for companies like Nestlé or Weight Watchers. Dr. Ryan disputed the number of conflicts but would not elaborate.
I don't think having almost half a panel with a conflict of interest is fair and unbiased. Why do the foxes decide what's good for the hen house? With the massive push on fat people to get surgery, take drugs, go on commerical weight loss plans, should the guidelines be pushed by people who make money off this? Especially when weight loss in the long has a high failure rate.
Please remember that Americans spent 60.9 BILLION dollars on dieting last year. That's quite a nice piece of pocket change. And weight loss surgeries which are pushed as easy quick fixes cost up to $25,000 and is now at 5.7 Billion dollar business. (The link will open to a word doc.)
Potentially corrupted guidelines can lead to healthism. Like these companies who are trying to charge fat people more for their health insurance, whether of not they actually costing more.
So now more employers are trying a different strategy - they're replacing the carrot with a stick and raising costs for workers who can't seem to lower their cholesterol or tackle obesity.
Meanwhile a study shows that you do in fact have a hormonal reaction after dieting that causes you to eat uncontrollably sometimes to at least a year after dieting. Great, thanks. I only figured that out about 20 years ago.
The findings suggest that dieters who have regained weight are not just slipping back into old habits, but are struggling against a persistent biological urge.
The study of course doesn't indicate we should stop pressuring people to diet but that they need to create long-term strategies to counteract this change may be needed to prevent obesity relapse. In other words, lose weight and then we swear to God we'll try to create a drug to stop your body from thinking it's starving.
And yes, one of the study's authors had financial ties to Nestle.