You've no doubt read about the this article in the New York Times by Gina Kolata, in which she covers the "fat is contagious" study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
As a fellow journalist, I understand that Kolata had to cover the story. An obesity reporter's gotta cover what an obesity reporter's gotta cover (which is why I left the world of hard news long ago). But the tone of this article is a little too uncritical in my opinion, a little too quick to accept the study's dubious findings as valid research.
The quote that sent me reaching for my keyboard: When a close friend becomes obese, obesity may not look so bad. “You change your idea of what is an acceptable body type by looking at the people around you,” Dr. Christakis said.
In other words, size acceptance causes obesity.
I'm not even going to try to unpack all the assumptions here. Like, for instance,the fact that thin people can become fat, or that fat is always Bad with a capital B, or that it's better to be thin than to be comfortable with yourself, whatever your size is. And then of course there's the fact that these researchers don't seem to understand that--repeat after me, class--correlation does not equal causation.
Kolata certainly didn't try. She appears to have reported all this with a straight face, more or less, despite her considerable knowledge about obesity and scientific research and, well, bullshit.
Gina, Gina, Gina. I may have to take your book off my shelf.