27/04/09 Junk Science at its Best (Worst?)

We are all familiar with junk science.  Some of us intimately so.  Each and every one of us knows of the deceit and spin put into anti-smoking studies, and many of us thought that these were the pinnacle of what is known as ‘junk-science’.  But, that has now changed, for this week sees the release of what is most probably the greatest piece of trash ever to carry the name of science.

The piece in question is trying to prove that overweight people are contributing to global warming, partly because their extra weight applies more pressure to a vehicle, thus causing more fuel emissions.  I kid you not: “British scientists say [obese people] use up more fuel to transport them around and the amount of food they eat requires more energy to produce than that consumed by those on smaller diets”[1]

Oddly enough, the so-called researchers (I am using the word fast and loose) are from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, so one cannot help but wonder what their credentials are to permit them to conduct such a study.

Researcher Phil Edwards and his colleague Ian Roberts stated in the Lancet that slimmer people eat less and are more likely to walk than use cars they lower demand for food and fuel.  A thoroughly amusing theory, but in truth as weak as a single strand of hair.  In order to reach such a conclusion, one needs proof – that dirty word that has become the scourage of scientists in recent years.  Nonetheless, it is still an integral part of scientific research, and in its absence we actually know no more than we previously did.  Dr. Tim Church, chairman in health wisdom at Louisiana State University, made the glaringly obvious and utterly necessary point that “most of our food overproduction is due to waste, not overeating.It is estimated that one-fourth of the food produced in the U.S. goes to waste. Does having 50 extra pounds in a Chevy Tahoe really affect gas mileage? I do not think so.”

Dr. Church is absolutely correct. Over a third of food in Britain is wasted, one would expect obese people to actually lower this content, thus being beneficial.  It appears the study researchers neglected to conduct any research, and mistook a hypothesis and whimsical-fantasy of the nu-Aryan world-race for real science.

The war on smokers was stage one. We said a long time ago that they would move on to new targets, and now we have to sit on the sidelines and watch our country get demolished. Reject junk science and make the world a better, fairer, safer place.

[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1973230/Fat-people-blamed-for-global-warming.html

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