Questionable

http://www.livestrong.com/article/347234-fast-food-and-childhood-obesity-in-america/

This is an article regarding the increase of obesity in America. While I do believe it true that Americans, as a whole, are gradually carrying more weight, this article is lying to us in several ways. The biggest of these is their use of facts.

The author starts by addressing the percentage of obese kids between the age of 6 and 19. They give no reasoning for why those ages where chosen. And, they don’t give comparative statistics to show that number has any significance. For all we know, that percentage could have been exactly the same 40 years ago.

Consider the date of the facts used as well. Although this article was written in 2013 their facts came from 2010 and even 2003. If there is such a startling change occurring right now, why are they talking about the past? What has happened in the last 10 years? It seems to me there should be more recent facts to support their claim.

The author also uses vague statistics. Most percentages are accompanied by the word “about” making the information less sure. Words like “school age” or “adolescent” also accompany the facts. Most people don’t know exactly what those words encompass and, therefore, don’t know what the facts mean.

The sad thing is that everyone seems to believe statistics, no matter where they come from. No matter the source, we assume they have truth in them. Most people see numbers and think someone else already did the search and figured out the results for them. However, we can’t assume that. Results can be interpreted differently depending on who looks and them and what they want to get out of them. Also, there are many ways statistics can be tweaked or reworded to dramatize or emphasize aspects to fit the thesis. When read out of context or without background knowledge, the facts can seem significantly more noteworthy than they are. Sometimes, by the time the facts hit the page, they have been reworked so much they aren’t even truth anymore.

While there might be some truth to this article, there are many ways the author is tweaking information to fit the mold. Obesity might be on the rise, but this is not the way to prove it.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Questionable”

  1. I like that point you made about bringing up the past of a present issue. I have never thought about that before. Also, your mention of vague statistics was very interesting to me. I too used that in my blog. It is true that people tend to believe in most statistics for reasons unknown. Good post!

    Like

  2. Great Post! You had some very good points to why the statistics in this particular article were misleading. It is interesting that the author uses statistics from 2003 without comparing them to more recent statistics in order to support their argument. I would agree that most people believe statistics even without knowing if they are from a credible source. This blog post was great just like your artichoke will be!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s