Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Maybe Randy Newman Was Just Ahead of His Time

At lectures and other events, many sponsored by drug or medical supply companies, Dr. Oliver heard about the dangers of obesity. "Wherever possible," he said, "data were interpreted to portray obesity as a major problem, no matter how weak the actual findings were."

One talk, he said, involved data correlating obesity with the risk of deaths from auto accidents, with the preliminary finding that obese men are more likely than thinner people to die when they are in a car crash.

Such a conclusion would contradict the so-called obesity paradox - the frequent observation cited by experts like Dr. Katherine Flegal, a statistician at the C.D.C., that the obese tend to fare better than thinner people if they are sick or injured.

Dr. Oliver said he was surprised that the proposed link between obesity and auto fatalities was taken so seriously. But he said he realized that "an association that is dedicated to the study of obesity presumes that obesity is a problem."
A New York Times story (free registration required) puts it all together for us. Whether justified or not, now that smokers are out of the way, fat people are the next target in our politically correct society. And what will it be after that? Short people?

Thanks to my mom for the heads up on this story.

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