Scientists working at the University of Alabama have said that there is now "irrefragable proof" that the obesity epidemic, first documented in the 1960's by scientists at MIT, is directly linked to fluoridating agents in drinking water and toothpaste. "It was pretty obvious all the time," said Dr. Walter Siddukus of the Hershey Foundation Laboratories in Tuscaloosa, "So obvious. Been a dog would of bit us."
In a book to be published in May, The Calories Fallacy, and previewed in this months Southern Journal of Obesity Studies, Dr Ira Gottfleisch commented that "It is nothing short of amazing that so little attention has been paid to correlations in this important area of public health." The United States government was aware of the benefits of fluoridation from as early as 1928 when a Texas dentist, Francis McKay, noticed that his patients' badly-stained teeth were also remarkably free from decay. By 1931, the Texas Public Health Service concluded that "fluoride" in the water could be safely used in a ratio of 1:1,000,000 without causing staining.
"What McKay and his co-workers didn't realize," said Gottfleisch, is that regular ingestion of fluoride, whether in water or toothpaste or any other source, negatively affects metabolism. The more fluoridated water you drink and the more often you brush your teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste, the fatter you are going to get. It's as simple as that."
Agreeing emphatically with his co-workers, Dr Siddukis remarked, "Sometimes you don't need a lot of laboratory work to do science. We just rolled out a map and asked ourselves, Where has the water been fluoridated since 1943? Answer: Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Wisconsin, and so forth. And where have people been getting fatter? Bingo. The states I mentioned show a consistent rise in obesity and states that have fluoridated since 1975 are joining the club."
Dr Siddukis noted that the "American Problem" is now also the European problem: Germany, France, Britain initiated widespread fluoridation programs in the 1980's and are now experiencing a mini-boom in weight gain in all sectors of the population.
Dr Magenta Patel, whose focus has been on mapping statistical correlations between fluoride use and morbid weight gain, commented that in addition to tracing the "positive correlation" her group has paid special attention to parts of the world that have never fluoridated their water supplies and where traditional tooth-cleaning methods include the use of pond or river water and branches. "These are the really healthy societies, weightwise," she said. Children and adults, though their life-spans are considerably shorter than in the West, do not suffer from morbid obesity and all the attendant problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. "Indeed, it can be said that these populations are actually thin. We have paid special attention to sub-Saharan Africa, Iryan Jaya and southern India, and we are just beginning to map statistics in Afghanistan."
The study is nearing completion and the team "reasonably optimistic" that their findings will usher in "a new age in thinking about fat." "Science is exact," Dr Patel cautioned, "so it will be some time before we are able to determine whether factors other than fluoridation might help to account for the third-world's freedom from the obesity epidemic in the west." In the meantime, she said, "Don't worry about that extra chocolate bar or ice cream treat: just don't brush your teeth after you eat it."