Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Obsession for Researchers

What the hell is the matter with people?  This time: Researchers.  I just read an article about a study which showed that girls who read magazine articles about weightloss were more likely to go to extreme measures to lose weight.  And for these researchers, that showed that these magazines cause these problems.  

As it said:
Teenage girls who frequently read magazine articles about dieting were more likely five years later to practice extreme weight-loss measures such as vomiting than girls who never read such articles, the University of Minnesota study found.

What the fuck?  That’s just stupid.  Sure, it’s possible.  But more likely, girls who are obsessed with their weight are more likely to read those magazines, as well as being more likely to take extreme measures to lose weight.  That just makes sense.  A real no-brainer.

Yet that idea isn’t even mentioned in the article.  The closest they come is when they write:
In the new study, it was unclear whether it was the diet articles themselves or accompanying photographs of thin models that made a difference.

Or maybe it’s that people who are obsessed with something are more likely to learn more about it and do stupid stuff related to that obsession.  Duh.  

Oh, and then there was this little piece of idiocy:
"The articles may be offering advice such as cutting out trans fats and soda, and those are good ideas for everybody," said Alison Field of Harvard Medical School, who has done similar research but wasn't involved in the new study. "But the underlying messages these articles send are 'You should be concerned about your weight and you should be doing something.'"

Oh no.  How dare anyone send a message that people should be concerned with their weight and actually DO something about it?  What kind of fool would do such a thing?  Oh, well, except for almost the entire fucking medical community.  But besides them, nobody would suggest that people should be concerned with their weight.  You can only get that kind of advice from magazines.  Schmucks.

1 comment:

John of the Dead said...

Ah, the old "post hoc ergo proctor hoc" logical fallacy. "After this, therefore because of this." It's also sometimes refered to as the "False Causality" fallacy. You are correct in your assessment. It's far more likely that those predisposed to try extreme weight loss methods would be drawn to read weight loss articles. To infer that the articles themselves caused readers to go to extreme ends is a jump in reasoning.