Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Junk Science, a Play in Three Acts

Act the first: Mayor Bloomberg should require 32 oz Big Gulps:
In analyses not adjusted for diabetes or hypertension, only severe obesity was associated with mortality (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.00–1.59). After adjusting for diabetes and hypertension, severe obesity was no longer associated with mortality, and milder obesity (BMI 30-<35) was associated with decreased mortality (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.81; 95% confidence interval, 0.68–0.97). There was a significant interaction between diabetes (but not hypertension) and BMI (F [4, 235] = 2.71; P = .03), such that the mortality risk of diabetes was lower among mildly and severely obese persons than among those in lower BMI categories.
So don't worry about those few extra unsightly pounds being anything more damaging than unsightly.  I mean, this is peer reviewed!

Act the Second: We need to be more like Europe, except for the Global Warming causes cold summers thing:
But the key question – of whether man-made global warming is putting a dampener on British summers – will take several years to solve, according to Stott. "This is an open question in terms of research – it is too early days to be able to say," he said.
Hey, that's crazy talk!  We already know that Global Warming causes everything!  Don't lose heart, Guardianistas!  It's all Thermageddon's fault - I mean, the Scienciness is settled:

Act the third: We're all melting!  And Freezing!  And it's Global Warming's fault!
Is climate change giving our weather just a little nudge to make setting heat records - like Washington, D.C. just experienced - vastly more likely? That’s the opinion of one NOAA scientist.


It also describes how climate change altered the odds of recent weather experienced in the United Kingdom. It examined very warm weather that occurred in the UK in November 2011 and very cold weather in December 2010 and possible connections to climate change. NOAA summarizes its findings:

“In analyzing these two very different events, UK scientists uncovered interesting changes in the odds. Cold Decembers are now half as likely to occur now versus fifty years ago, whereas warm Novembers are now 62 times more likely.”

Whereas scientists are making advances in linking climate change and extreme weather, the NOAA/UK Met Office study cautions: “Currently, attribution of single extreme events to anthropogenic climate change remains challenging.”
Silly old Met Office!  Of course it is!  And it's hot hot hot in Washington D.C., and so the WaPo flacks are all over Global Warming like stink on a dog, even if you're all turning your furnaces on over in Blighty.  After all "Global" means "in Washington D.C. and New York City" at the same time.  You'd better send that Guardian scribbler to DC for re-education - I mean, he's getting off message.



ProudHillbilly said...

Little Optimum.

Sabra said...

There is actually a fair amount of research out there putting the lie to the old saw that being fat means you will die soon. I had a blog called Junk Food Science in my 'roll for years, but she hasn't updated in a coon's age.

Anonymous said...

What Sabra said. I used to read JFS, too, and she once said this "paradox" of mild obesity being better for your health has shown up so many times, she wondered when they would stop calling it a paradox.

SiGraybeard @ work

GOober said...

Being overweight is actually okay. being morbidly obese is still really, really bad.

The problem lies in their mesaurement metric, which is BMI, which everyone knows sucks horribly.

BMI says I'm morbidly obese. I'm most assuredly not even obese, much less morbidly. I'll agree that I'm overwieght without question, but the problem with BMI is that it is a height/weight ratio, and that accomplishes nothing when you have a lot of muscle packed onto your frame. Tom Cruise, Shaq, Michael Jordan, the entire US olympic gymnastics team - ALL obese according to BMI because it can't tell the diffference between body fat and muscle.

So these stuides could be flawed, too, if they are using BMI and grouping healthy, muscular people in with truly overwieght people because their BMI is the same, and then getting a result that says overweight people live longer when what they are really finidng is that muscular people (who show up as overweight on the BMI scale) live longer.