When Common Sense Does Not Make Sense

An editorial  by Dr Dhurandhar discusses two papers just published in the Nature journal: International Journal of Obesity  that seem to contradict common sense.  The studies, in fact, fall right in line with the arguments I make in my forthcoming book: The Food Police.  

The first study reports results of an experiment that questions the argument that obesity is caused by food addition.  The second study questions the wisdom of mandatory calorie labels (such as the ones mandated in Obama's health care bill).

Here is Dhurandhar (footnotes omitted):

These two studies do not settle respective issues and additional and larger studies are needed. Yet, they are important because they challenge conventional thinking and commonsense. One study questions the validity of the obese stereotype, and the other suggests that well-intentioned, commonsense solutions may be too simplistic to counter the obesity epidemic. Such studies call for an assessment of the field of obesity research. Perhaps, some other conventional approaches, although well-intentioned, intuitive and deeply entrenched, provide nothing more than a false sense of accomplishment, and thus impede the need to develop better strategies.


Unfortunately, it appears intuitive to consider an obesogenic lifestyle as the root cause of obesity, and deceptively easy to modify. However, over 5 decades of manipulation of diet and activity, including composition, quantity and duration, has repeatedly failed to modify behavior in a biologically significant manner for the majority of people over an extended period of time. Albert Einstein is credited for the quote that ‘insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result’.