Usually, The Wall Street Journal is better than this:
The singular feature of American obesity is its steep, out-of-nowhere rise. For most of the 20th century, U.S. obesity rates were stable, with a slight upward trend through the late 1970s. Suddenly, they spiked across all demographic groups and have continued to rise unabated. In sheer body mass, the entire population is heavier than it used to be, and the heaviest are much heavier. Just between 1998 and 2006, obesity rates increased by 37%, according to the CDC.
The sudden upward spike is actually the result of bureaucratic fiat. The fact is that in 1998 the National Institutes of Health waved its magic wand and simply created the sudden, sharp spike with some bureaucratic prestidigitation:
In 1998, the National Institutes of Health lowered the overweight threshold for BMI 27.8 to 25 to match international guidelines. The move added 30 million Americans who were previously in the “healthy weight” category to the “overweight” category.
To be amazed and shocked by this shows a basic lack of fact-checking. People who had previously been completely “normal” (as if anyone really were) were suddenly reclassified as obese. Now the bureaucrats are demanding solutions to the crisis they manufactured out of thin air, so to speak.
And the WSJ fell for it, hook, line and sinker. The authoritarian bureaucrats are creating the next folk devil to scapegoat, villanize and regulate. We should not cooperate.