26 thoughts on “2 Things

  1. Col, you have NO IDEA how much I needed that! I love Fillyjonk for trying, but one post was simply not enough.

    (Oh, and if anyone’s wondering, all of these came from clipart.com, where I have an account, so it’s legal ‘n’ stuff.)

  2. I read the myth-busting article a day or so before Sandy posted it and it was interesting reading, for sure. I’m sure this is one of the many reasons fat acceptance has problems gaining ground. Not many people want to face the fact that what they think they know (and has been thought to be factual) is not really the truth once all is said and done. How many people actually apply a healthy dose of skepticism to what they hear and then want to see proof? How many people know how to dig into studies to see what they really proved, not what the diet industry/big pharma skewed them to say? I know I don’t know how to read them very well, and if you don’t get the journals they’re published in, you have no way of finding out what was left out, what were the original criteria, etc, etc. That’s one of the main reasons I read Junkfood Science. Sandy explains things and goes into details I wouldn’t even think of considering.
    Maybe we should have the guys from Mythbusters on Discovery Channel take on the dieting industry? But then again, do people really believe it when Jamie and Adam bust those myths?

  3. Sarah, the short version is that telling people that popular myths aren’t true is potentially counterproductive; people remember “oh I heard something about that” but not WHAT they heard, so new facts can reinforce their prejudices even if they contradict them.

  4. I had a funny moment today when I said “you know, I read something about how violent crime increases during heat waves,” and I had to stop and think “wait, did I hear that it does, or did I hear that people think it does but actually it’s common cause?” I’m still not sure. But it was a great illustration of the Mythbuster Principle.

  5. Fillyjonk, I know where I heard that, and it was from Melissa McEwan, who heard it in her Sociology 101 class, as an illustration of how correlation does not equal causation.

    It went like this: the murder rate consistently rises at the same time as ice cream consumption. Does that mean eating ice cream causes murderous impulses? No. In fact, the two independent results are both caused by hotter temperatures.

    That doesn’t mean it’s true, of course. It just means you can blame Liss for the misinformation.

  6. ICE CREAM! That was the missing link. I was pretty sure that heat -> violence was the real causation, but couldn’t remember what the red herring was. Thanks Kate!

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