A panel discussion on obesity at the Institute of Ideas' The Battle of Ideas Conference 2006.
The health panic about obesity seems to know no end. We are constantly warned that being overweight is dangerous, and that obesity will soon be the biggest 'preventable' cause of ill-health, even overtaking smoking.
That has meant an endless diet of keep fit and lifestyle shows, a crusade about school meals and a ban on 'junk food' advertising to children - including that famously poisonous concoction, cheese. Hospital patients have even been refused surgery if they don't slim down. What are the facts about obesity, and what should we do about it?- IoI
Camera by David Dunbar for http://www.18doughtystreet.com
Stanley Feldman is Emeritus Professor of anaesthesiology at Imperial College London.
Feldman is author of Poison Arrows: The Amazing Story of how Prozac and Anaesthetics were Developed from Deadly Jungle Poison Darts, and coeditor of Panic Nation: Exposing the Lies We're Told About Food and Health.
Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick is a GP in Hackney, London. Michael has a longstanding interest in politics, the history of ideas and the contemporary attacks on reason, science and rationality.
He regularly contributes to spiked, and writes for the Lancet and a variety of medical publications. Recent publications include The Tyranny of Health: Doctors and the Regulation of Lifestyle, a topical and controversial discussion of the dangers of the explosion of health awareness for both patients and doctors.
In the light of Michael's day-to-day experience as a practicing GP, he questions the current crusade of government to improve public health, and the consequent increase in the level of state intervention in every aspect of people's lives.
He is also author of MMR and Autism (2004), an explanation of why he believes the anti-MMR campaign is misguided, with the aim of both reassuring parents considering vaccination, and also relieving the continued anxieties of parents of autistic children.
Rob Lyons is a writer for the online publication spiked. Topics of interest include science and health issues, particularly the panic about obesity and the way food has been treated as a problem in recent years.