Are there really more fat people in our society today? Or is it that fat people are disproportionately represented in polls, because they have landlines and are home to answer the phone, while younger, active people are out and using cell phones?
These are some the provocative questions and theories presented by Paul Ernsberger, who has a Ph.D. in nutrition and has been teaching at Case Western Reserve University's medical school since 1989.
"We do not have an obesity epidemic," he says plainly. "While there has been an increase in people's weight, about half of it is due to increased honesty - because people are now telling the truth about their weight, while they were more modest about it in the past."
Ernsberger is a research scientist, and he makes statements that fly in the face of nearly all reported research on the topic of obesity, which state that the majority of Americans – two-thirds – are overweight or obese.
For one thing, he posits that the idea of an "epidemic" of obesity has been created by the media, based on faulty assumptions from questionable research, or a desire for eye-catching headlines.