CDC obesity study flawed and politically motivated?

I don’t know, but this looks interesting.

(Update below!)

The CDC should get the weight of its blemished obesity study off its chest, and help prevent frivolous and unnecessary regulation and litigation…

Science magazine reports that obesity researchers, including some at the CDC, “argue that the paper’s compatibility with a new antiobesity theme in government public health pronouncements — rather than sound analysis — propelled it into print …”

The Wall Street Journal … notes the research “inflated the impact of obesity on the annual death toll by tens of thousands due to statistical errors …”

…A follow-up story in the Wall Street Journal reports that, due to additional problems based on the “authors’ scientific approach”: “The number of obesity-related deaths could be less than half of the 400,000 estimated in the flawed CDC study, according to some scientists familiar with the debate.”

More here.

Embarassing spelling error in the title now corrected.

UPDATE: See this link!!

Um, yeah, it’s a little less than half. The CDC now ranks it as number 7 instead of second on leading causes of death. Car crashes are going to kill far more Americans than those love handles.

The CDC

estimated today that packing on too many pounds accounts for 25,814 deaths a year in the United States. As recently as January, the CDC came up with an estimate 14 times higher: 365,000 deaths.

Nonetheless, “CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding said because of the uncertainty in calculating the health effects of being overweight, the CDC is not going to use the brand-new figure of 25,814 in its public awareness campaigns and is not going to scale back its fight against obesity.”

Of course, it’s just as dangerous (or not) as it always was. The only thing that has changed is what the Cult of the Expert has to say about it. So tell me again why they are the experts?

Bonnet Tip: Wizbang

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