The Obesity Argument: A Matter of Priorities

There’s an interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal that challenges the recent projections published last month in the Obesity research journal. The WSJ provides this graphic which illustrates the forecasts in question:

According to the WSJ:

In 40 years, every single American could be overweight, according to a recent study. Employing that same logic, 13 out of every 10 adult Americans by then won’t have landlines. The phone forecast is impossible, of course, but it’s arguably no less solidly grounded than the obesity forecast. The weight projection uses three data points spread out over nearly three decades to estimate a linear trend — then brazenly draws that line into the future.

I agree, but the focus of the article should not be a polemic on the merits (or lack thereof) of statistical forecasting. Instead, the article should express alarm at the current high rate of obesity which is expected to grow in any case.

I have this strange image of a roomful of pale, doughy-fleshed analysts arguing vociferously over numbers while they graze on pizza and soda…

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