What the study really said

If you’ve not already read the post on Junkfood Science, please, go do so now.

http://junkfoodscience.blogspot.com/2009/06/even-obesity-paradoxes-cant-excuse.html

Looking at corrected BMIs, according to the breakdowns adopted by the world’s governments, the authors found that compared to ‘normal’ BMIs (18.5 up to 25):

● being overweight (BMI 25 up to 30) was associated with a 25% lower risk of dying

● being obese (BMI 30 up to 35, which includes about 80% of all obese people) was associated with a 12% lower risk of dying.

● And the risks associated with the most ‘morbidly obese’ (BMIs 35+) — the uppermost 3% of this Canadian cohort— were statistically the same as those with ‘normal’ BMIs. [RR=1.09 (0.86-1.39, 95% CI) versus RR=1.0.]

Because physical activity could be a confounding factor, and also associated with age and health problems, they analyzed the data using models that excluded and included physical activity. Physical activity had no statistical effect on their findings.

Wow.  Just wow.  It’s looking like fat, even the “morbidly obese” isn’t, well, what kills us.  And it’s not any more likely to kill us than anything else.  It also looks like what has the most impact of dying, is age!  So, instead of trying to get fatties to stop being fat, why don’t they try and get old people to stop being old.

Oh, right, they do.  It’s called plastic surgery.

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5 Responses

  1. And the ones with all the plastic surgery STILL die, perhaps even sooner because of all that tampering, though who knows how much of the original organic material is left of what is put into the ground. I will be 60 in September & cannot afford to do all this foolishness, but would not if I could afford to. What you see is what you get. And I always knew that it was no accident that all my fat relatives have been living well into their 80’s & 90’s, usually longer than the few thin ones. I currently have two ‘morbidly obese’ brothers in their 70’s &, as we know, men are more likely than women to die young, so I think I will take my chances.

  2. I actually looked at the abstract of the study that Sandy linked to, and I think there’s an important error in Sandy’s post re morbid obesity.

    Sandy says that the RR of morbid obesity is 1.09 and not statistically significant, while the abstract says that the risk is 1.36 and that it is significant (p < 0.05). That is, the study says that people with a BMI of 35+ are 36% more likely to die than those of normal weight, and that this result is statistically sound. I'm not sure where Sandy got her numbers, but something's amiss here.

  3. The importance of reading the actual study versus the abstract. Examine the data in the actual study: Table 1 shows the only tenable RR is from age (RR- 18.72 at age 55-65, rising to 119.1 at age 75). Table 2, AS WAS NOTED IN THE ARTICLE, was of corrected BMI and controlled for sociodemographic factors, showed a RR of 0.86-1.39 for BMI 35+. Table 3, which broke down the BMIs into 9 categories, found no “dose-relationship” with RR up, down, up, down, up, down at the smallest BMI changes. In other words, THIS was a data dredge and these NONTENABLE correlations were random chance.

  4. [sorry, clicked return and it posted…]
    It is important to understand TENABLE correlations in population observation studies and not be taken in by these untenably small relative risks that only sound scary and meaningful. Those are the source of these studies that claim to find one thing one day and something opposite the next. Nontenable findings can be do to chance, statistical errors in their computer modeling and confounding factors. Until a correlation is at least a relative risk of 3 (200% higher), credible scientists don’t take them seriously. So, those RRs for age — those are tenable. Unless an epidemiological study found tenable correlations, reputable journals once wouldn’t even publish them as showing positive results. Things have changed, as Drs. Kassirer and Angell, can atest. Hope this helps.

    • Thank you, Sandy, for responding.

      If you’d not seen this, I was going to email you and ask you to reply. You got here before I had a chance to. 🙂

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