Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Political Fads, Hold The Fries

Over at American Enterprise Institute's James Glassman's TechCentralStation they spend a lot of time devoted to the problems of junk science, that favorite snack food that keeps torts lawyers fat. If you trust news reports that cite statistical studies "proving" that certain habits make you a victim of obesity, for instance, you might take a look. John Luik, a health care policy maven, discusses obesity studies:

The subjects [of a study on vending machines in schools and obesity] were divided into four groups based on how frequently they used their school's vending machine in the past thirty days -- with one group of those who did not use it at all or purchased only water, another group which purchased 1-3 items, a third group whose members bought 4-6 items and a final group whose young people bought more than six items. The most frequently purchased item from a vending machine, according to the authors, was not pop but water, purchased by 36.3% of the young people, followed by sweetened beverages other than pop purchased by 31%.

But what was really interesting was that there were no differences in BMI [body mass index] percentile or in calories between the four groups. In other words, contrary to the claims of those who blame school vending machines for childhood obesity, vending machine purchases did not make a difference to the student's calorie intake or to their BMI.

One wonders if the study's director will ever be invited to play golf with the Trial Lawyers Association again. You might want to look at the rest of Luik's article or at another, as well as another revelation on the hold the salt Puritans trying to save us.


1 comment:

Dick Hanneman said...

If you liked Tech Central Station on salt, you can find the evidence discussed in more depth at http://www.saltinstitute.org/28.html.

Dick Hanneman
Salt Institute