Friday, April 22, 2005

What the fat?

TCS: Tech Central Station - Whoppers and the End of an Epidemic: "Apart from this huge downward revision in the numbers of people supposedly dying from fat, there are several things in this study which signal the end of any legitimate linkage between obesity and premature death. First, for the merely overweight with BMI's from 25-30 there is no excess mortality. In fact, being overweight was 'associated with a slight reduction in mortality relative to the normal weight category.' Being overweight not only does not lead to premature death, something that dozens of other studies from around the world have been saying for the last 30 years, but it also carries less risk from premature death than being 'normal' weight. In other words the overweight=early death 'fact' proclaimed by the public health community is simply not true.

Second, for individuals aged 25-59 the risks of premature death from being underweight are substantially greater than those of being overweight and they are also slightly greater than those of being obese. For those aged 60-69 the risk of dying from being underweight is much higher than from being even significantly obese, that is with a BMI > 35. Again, the total number of premature deaths due to obesity is 25, 814, while the mortality attributable to being underweight is 37, 746. If anything this points to an epidemic of not fat but thin caused death."

Now would be a good time to buy Krispy Kreme stock.

Soon scientists will have the credibility of politicians if they keep making false claims like this. Maybe it's politics that's driving the science anyway (see here)

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