A May 10 Another View editorial on obesity (“Diabetes, obesity should be treated like a real epidemic”) states, “It’s time for an all-out national public health campaign to change the foods children eat.”

Study after study has proven that body weight is not related to disease. The diet and pharmaceutical companies make billions on this belief.

The Journal of the American Medical Association has disclosed that eight out of nine members of the board of the National Task Force on the Prevention and Treatment of Obesity (funded by the federal government and in charge of setting national health policy) were university-affiliated professors and researchers with financial ties to a minimum of two, and up to eight, commercial weight loss and pharmaceutical companies.

It is lack of physical activity and poor nutrition that cause disease.

Scores of studies in the U.S. and Canada all show similar results — BMIs between 25 and 32 (overweight and obese) are associated with the lowest mortality rates. BMIs under 20 have the highest mortality rates. So what does this mean for children? Make a variety of foods available, but don’t limit children to just “healthy” foods.

Withholding fun foods like ice cream and chips only causes children to want more of them when they are available. Studies show that children who are not restricted in their food selections tend to be able to moderate their consumption of these foods easily.

Make physical activity a part of your family’s life and make it fun. Being active and eating a variety of foods is what really staves off disease, not being a certain BMI.

Amy Dye is a registered dietitian who lives in Portland.