Emails Show White House Pressured Health Agencies To Highlight ‘Tenuous’ Childhood Obesity Research
When the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) released the results of a major study on obesity last year, some in the federal government — including the office of first lady Michelle Obama — saw a political opportunity.
Sure, sample sizes in the study released Feb. 25, 2014 were small and results were mixed, showing that obesity rates for children between two and 19 years old hovered around 17 percent over the past decade. Other groups, such as elderly woman, have seen obesity rates increase according to the research conducted by Cynthia Ogden, an epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
But the White House seized on one slight glimmer of hope — the finding that obesity rates for children between two and five years old fell from 13.9 percent in 2003-2004 to 8.4 percent in 2011-2012. And as emails obtained by The Daily Caller through a Freedom of Information Act request show, the White House wanted the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to highlight that news while ignoring the rest in order to lend credence to Michelle’s pet childhood obesity project — “Let’s Move.”