Who is Dr Fatima Cody Stanford? Physician who said ‘obesity is genetic’ appointed to Biden’s food panel

Who is Dr Fatima Cody Stanford? Physician who said ‘obesity is genetic’ appointed to Biden’s food panel
Dr Fatima Cody Stanford caused a backlash after being appointed to Joe Biden's new food panel (Craig Barritt, Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the members of the 2025 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, and one such member to be included in Biden's food panel is Dr Fatima Cody Stanford. The Committee is responsible for forming new eating habits for Americans over the coming years. The first meeting is said to take place on February 9-10, 2023, and will be available to the public via webcast. Now, people have unearthed Dr Cody's comment on obesity and are unhappy with it.

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The Committee, prepared under Joe Biden, is said to consist of 20 nationally recognized scientists which will examine the relationship between diet and health across all life stages. The appointment of Dr Fatima Cody Stanford has caused some backlash due to her comments on obesity as she palliated the value of diet and exercise in weight loss in an interview with 60 Minutes. Dr Cody said, "The number one cause of obesity is genetics. That means if you are born to parents that have obesity, you have a 50 to 85 percent likelihood of having the disease yourself. Even with optimal diet, exercise, sleep management, stress management."

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Who is Dr Fatima Cody Stanford?

The comments have taken the Internet by storm simply because of Dr Cody's expertise in this particular area. She is an obesity medicine physician scientist, educator, and policy maker at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Dr Cody received her BS and MPH from Emory University as an MLK Scholar. She then got her MD from the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine as a Stoney Scholar and her MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a Zuckerman Fellow in the Harvard Center for Public Leadership.

Dr Fatima Cody Stanford. (Instagram/
askdrfatima)
Dr Fatima Cody Stanford (Instagram/ @askdrfatima)

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She was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, where she attended the Atlanta Public Schools and was a valedictorian of Benjamin E. Mays High School. Dr Cody is also a recipient of the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation Leadership Award, and am AMA Paul Ambrose Award for national leadership among resident physicians in 2009, as per Harvard Medical School. To top it all off, she has served as the chair of the Minority Affairs Section (MAS) for the American Medical Association, and the American College of Physicians Obesity Advisory Committee. She has also been an executive committee member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Obesity, The Obesity Society Advocacy, Public Affairs, and Regulatory Board of Directors member, the American Board of Obesity Medicine Outreach and Awareness Committee, and the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Heart Association Board of Directors.

'That’s just scientifically false'

One user said, "This is shocking and scary. Weight can be controlled through diet, lifestyle, and making good choices." Another user wrote, "I think it was Alan Keyes who said that people want issues to be genetic so that they can't be held morally accountable for their choices." One more user tweeted, "OBESITY SHOULD NOT BE ENCOURAGED! The children of the future deserve to live long and healthy cancer free lives!!! The parents need livable wages - to buy food, in order to cook healthy meals for their kids." Another user wrote, "This type of obesity belief-system/dietary guidelines promoters seem like "New Calvinism" - our nutrition recommendations don't work, so it must be predestination." One more user said, "That’s just scientifically false. The uptick in processed foods could be correlated to Obesity rates."

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This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online

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