Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Red Light, Green Light

If it has a little red light on, it's not green.

In other news, the International Journal of Epidemiology has published a study in which modeling was used to quantify the rather obvious supposition that obese people consume more resources and generate more carbon emissions than non-obese people. I don't have access to the actual write-up in the IJE, but I consider this "duh" study to be dubious. For example, a lot of assumptions are made about behavioral differences, apparently, so that increased emissions from use of cars is not simply a matter of increased fuel, but also increased use of cars. OTOH, it may be that the study itself didn't really attribute the differences to obesity directly, since it merely compared energy use of modeled population body compositions from the US and VietNam. IOW, it could be our fat-hating media blowing the obesity component out of proportion in what might really be a more complex analysis that merely notes and takes account of the obesity factors.

Can anyone with actual access to the study help me out here? I'm in total agreement that being thin and vegetarian is likely greener than being an obese carnivore, and I don't see anything wrong with try to quantify that, but the reporting of this study is over-the-top. The FoxNews headline on my google page, for example, reads "Do fat people cause global warming?" [I won't link to a FoxNews anything, you'll have to look it up yourself if your interested.]

1 comment:

MizFit said...

off to see what I can uncover...