Western society, goes the lecture we have all heard time and time again, is in the grips of an "obesity epidemic."
Our kids are too fat; we are too fat; our dogs and cats are too fat and only the all-knowing, all-wise state can save us from ourselves.
Only the state, we are told, can whip us all into shape -- perhaps with mandatory exercise regimes; perhaps with state mandated diets; perhaps by banning McDonald's.
Yet are we citizens really eating ourselves into a extra-large coffin? Do we really need to be saved from ourselves?
No says Patrick Basham of the Washington-based Democracy Institute. In fact, Basham contends the obesity epidemic is a "myth manufactured by public health officials in concert with assorted academics and special-interest lobbyists."
Actually he contends there are four myths out there concerning obesity: that we and our children are fat; that being fat is a certain recipe for early death; that our fatness stems from the manufacturing and marketing practices of the food industry.
Read all about it here.