Posts Tagged ‘Obesity’

Guess Who, Fat Boy?

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Earlier this week, the Journal of the American Medical Association came out with a huge study of obesity that concludes that the obesity hysterics are, indeed, hysterical. Their results indicate that being moderately overweight or even very mildly obese doesn’t make you more likely to die than a thin person. In fact, it may make you less likely to die, to the tune of 6%. (Severe obesity, however, did show a strong connection to higher death rates).

Now you would think that this would be greeted with some skeptical enthusiasm. If the results are born out by further study, it would mean we do not have a massive pending public health crisis on our hands. It means that instead of using cattle prods to get moderately overweight people into the gym, we can concentrate on really obese people.

So is the health community greeting this with relief? Not exactly:

That’s the wrong conclusion, according to epidemiologists. They insist that, in general, excess weight is dangerous. But then they have to explain why the mortality-to-weight correlation runs the wrong way. The result is a messy, collective scramble for excuses and explanations that can make the new data fit the old ideas.

William Saletan at Slate lists a dozen different explanations for why this study is wrong, definitely wrong, absolutely wrong, no sir. Most of these cross him (and me) as trying to rationalize away an inconvenient scientific result.

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Monday Linkorama

Monday, January 23rd, 2012
  • Whooping cough is making a comeback. Oh joy! Thanks, anti-vaxxers.
  • The obesity rate has leveled off. Not that I expect the Nanny Staters to admit this. I suspect we’ve simply reached our natural maximum.
  • The CDC needs to stay out of social engineering. They seem to keep finding was to make problems seems much worse than they actually are.
  • I am just so glad to see the company behind those creepy King ads is down for the count. Let’s get rid of all the ad agencies.