|The World According to Nick|
|My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.|
Friday, June 04, 2004
Obesity Program Recognized (emphasis added):
This is where people playing games with statistics really bothers me. Please pay special attention to how those numbers are reported. They basically lumped together two very different groups together in one, as if they were the same. Overweight, and At-Risk of Becoming Overweight are two very different things. What's worse is they don't explain what makes someone at risk? In reality, anyone is at risk of becoming overweight. All you have to do is stop exercising and eat a lot. Done. What's worse is that the problem that they're trying to report on may not exist at all. According this report, it is very possible that 1% of Arkansas children are overweight, and 39% are at risk (whatever that means). That puts things into a much different light doesn't it? This is yet another example of journalists making that statistics fit the story that they want to tell... instead of making the statistics tell the story.
On a similar vein (no pun intended) is the "increase" in diabetes cases this year. I happen to know that this is really B.S. My mother has adult onset diabetes, and found out at the end of last year that the guidelines for blood sugar levels changed. So while last year she was in a border line safe category (and taking a very mild dose of an oral medication), this year she was suddenly diabetic and put on a much stronger dose. Her blood sugar levels hadn't changed. Of course her doctor discussed it with her, said he agreed with the new guidelines, and recommended the change. That's not the issue. The issue was how it was reported in the media as if something major had happened to cause so many more people to become diabetic. Well, something did happen. We changed what diabetic meant.
For a different take on the current obesity debate... see this series of articles on TechStation (via Instapundit).
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Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States
I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.
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