Statistics, statisics and ...

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Nancy Young, Jan 28, 2004.

  1. Nancy Young

    Nancy Young Guest

    ... you know the rest.

    I keep seeing all of these quotes, mostly here, about how many times people eat fast food, how many
    Americans are obese, etc.

    Did I read this the other day? 1 out of 4 Americans eat fast food every day. I couldn't find the
    exact quote.

    Okay, you have A, B, C & D. Do they mean A eats fast food every day? the rest who knows how
    often, or ...

    Does A eat fast food Sunday, B Monday, etc. If so, big whoop. That means A, B and C eats fast food
    twice a week. I don't think that is out of line.

    What is fast food, anyway? Does my once a week pizza count? Or the occasional sub I order from the
    local deli? Or is it just the usual chain burger places?

    60% of Americans are obese. Really, is that a fact? I would really love to hear where they came up
    with that one. Do doctors report that? because I don't recall the census asking my height or weight.
    So, exactly how are they determining this number? If it's doctors, gee, maybe obese people go to the
    doctor more often? I don't know how much I weigh, how do these statistics reporters know?

    Because it comes up here so often, when I'm in large crowds (no pun intended), I sometimes take a
    quick look around. Go tailgating at a football game, look around, plenty of skinny people. Mall?
    Same deal. 60% obese? No. Perhaps it's a regional thing. Most of the people I see do not need to
    lose weight.

    While I'm at it, what is obese, anyway. I seem to recall that when I was a teenager, it was
    explained that 10% over your ideal weight is considered obese. Someone somewhere decided that my
    ideal weight at 5'2" is 108 to 115, something like that. By that rule, if I weigh much more than
    125, I'm obese. But when the news shows go on about how many of us are obese, they drag out film
    footage of people who really should think about eating less. In other words, using the word obese
    and then showing the most extreme examples.

    (laughing) Okay, I'm done now.

    nancy (just really wondering how these numbers are formulated)
     
    Tags:


  2. Steve Wertz

    Steve Wertz Guest

    On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 17:18:38 -0500, Nancy Young
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Did I read this the other day? 1 out of 4 Americans eat fast food every day. I couldn't find the
    >exact quote.

    From:

    <http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/entertainmentstorydisplay.cfm?storyID=3545438&thesection=e-
    ntertainment&thesubsection=film&thesecondsubsection=general>

    At the festival in Park City, Utah, he has had teams handing out "Unhappy Meal" bags on the streets
    with a few "Fat Fun Facts". For instance, one in four Americans visits a fast-food restaurant every
    day. And did you know that McDonald's feeds more people around the world every day than the
    population of Spain? The makers have self-rated the film "F" - for "fat audiences".

    What they don't say is 1 in 3 of those "1 of 4 Americans" visit a fast food restaurant just to use
    the bathroom.

    OK - So I just made that up.

    >Okay, you have A, B, C & D. Do they mean A eats fast food every day? the rest who knows how
    >often, or ...
    >
    >Does A eat fast food Sunday, B Monday, etc. If so, big whoop. That means A, B and C eats fast food
    >twice a week. I don't think that is out of line.

    It means out of 10,000 typical, random people, 2,500 of them will eat from a fast food restaurant on
    any given day.

    >What is fast food, anyway? Does my once a week pizza count? Or the occasional sub I order from the
    >local deli? Or is it just the usual chain burger places?

    There are plenty of definitions out there. It's bascially any food prepared and/or served quickly.
    AKA "Quick Service" in the industry. It's not limited to any type of food. It can even be milkshake.

    >60% of Americans are obese. Really, is that a fact? I would really love to hear where they
    >came up with that one. Do doctors report that? because I don't recall the census asking my
    >height or weight.

    Like all studies, thay are taken from a random sampling of people. DOing surverys is a whole industy
    in itself. How much do you weigh, anyway? For my files...

    "Obese", I beleive, is considered 25 or more lbs over the standard weight for your height.

    I would argue that if 60% of people are obese, how can the other 40% be a majority that deterines
    the average weight in the first place? Maybe 40% of the people are underweight, insetad.

    -sw
     
  3. Dan Abel

    Dan Abel Guest

  4. Penmart01

    Penmart01 Guest

    > Nancy Young askes how are obesity statistics compiled:
    >
    >(laughing) Okay, I'm done now.
    >
    >nancy (just really wondering how these numbers are formulated)

    Most all major US employers track their emplyee's physical well being via means of periodical
    medical exams, whereas the statics gathered are shared with disability insurance carriers, and most
    folks realize that insurers are in fact actuaries... and if that's not enough there are many, many
    other means for gathering health statistics. But by far the primary gatherer of obesity statistics
    is the clothing industry... the tape measure doesn't lie.

    ---= BOYCOTT FRENCH--GERMAN (belgium) =--- ---= Move UNITED NATIONS To Paris =--- Sheldon
    ```````````` "Life would be devoid of all meaning were it without tribulation."
     
  5. Nexis

    Nexis Guest

    "Nancy Young" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > ... you know the rest.
    >
    > I keep seeing all of these quotes, mostly here, about how many times people eat fast food, how
    > many Americans are obese, etc.
    >
    > Did I read this the other day? 1 out of 4 Americans eat fast food every day. I couldn't find the
    > exact quote.
    >
    > Okay, you have A, B, C & D. Do they mean A eats fast food every day? the rest who knows how
    > often, or ...
    >
    > Does A eat fast food Sunday, B Monday, etc. If so, big whoop. That means A, B and C eats fast food
    > twice a week. I don't think that is out of line.
    >
    > What is fast food, anyway? Does my once a week pizza count? Or the occasional sub I order from the
    > local deli? Or is it just the usual chain burger places?
    >
    > 60% of Americans are obese. Really, is that a fact? I would really love to hear where they came
    > up with that one. Do doctors report that? because I don't recall the census asking my height or
    > weight. So, exactly how are they determining this number? If it's doctors, gee, maybe obese
    > people go to the doctor more often? I don't know how much I weigh, how do these statistics
    > reporters know?
    >
    > Because it comes up here so often, when I'm in large crowds (no pun intended), I sometimes take a
    > quick look around. Go tailgating at a football game, look around, plenty of skinny people. Mall?
    > Same deal. 60% obese? No. Perhaps it's a regional thing. Most of the people I see do not need to
    > lose weight.
    >
    > While I'm at it, what is obese, anyway. I seem to recall that when I was a teenager, it was
    > explained that 10% over your ideal weight is considered obese. Someone somewhere decided that my
    > ideal weight at 5'2" is 108 to 115, something like that. By that rule, if I weigh much more than
    > 125, I'm obese. But when the news shows go on about how many of us are obese, they drag out film
    > footage of people who really should think about eating less. In other words, using the word obese
    > and then showing the most extreme examples.
    >
    > (laughing) Okay, I'm done now.
    >
    > nancy (just really wondering how these numbers are formulated)

    I don't have the answers for you, Nancy....but did you see the comics, I think it was 2 Sundays ago,
    when they had the family around the table, the Stats? They were each spouting off statistics and the
    last one says "64.3% of statistics are incorrect" or something to that effect. It was funny.

    kimberly
     
  6. x-no-archive: yes

    Nancy Young wrote:

    >
    >
    >... you know the rest.
    >
    >I keep seeing all of these quotes, mostly here, about how many times people eat fast food, how many
    >Americans are obese, etc.
    >
    >Did I read this the other day? 1 out of 4 Americans eat fast food every day. I couldn't find the
    >exact quote.
    >
    >Okay, you have A, B, C & D. Do they mean A eats fast food every day? the rest who knows how
    >often, or ...
    >
    >Does A eat fast food Sunday, B Monday, etc. If so, big whoop. That means A, B and C eats fast food
    >twice a week. I don't think that is out of line.
    >
    >What is fast food, anyway? Does my once a week pizza count? Or the occasional sub I order from the
    >local deli? Or is it just the usual chain burger places?

    If you count stopping on the way to work for coffee and some type of donut, muffins or whatever as
    getting fast food, that would rack up a lot of the numbers right there. And I'd assume subs-- which
    can be perfectly healthy-- would count too.

    Naomi D.
     
  7. "Nancy Young" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > ... you know the rest.
    >
    > I keep seeing all of these quotes, mostly here, about how many times people eat fast food, how
    > many Americans are obese, etc.
    >
    > Did I read this the other day? 1 out of 4 Americans eat fast food every day. I couldn't find the
    > exact quote.
    >
    > Okay, you have A, B, C & D. Do they mean A eats fast food every day? the rest who knows how
    > often, or ...
    >
    > Does A eat fast food Sunday, B Monday, etc. If so, big whoop. That means A, B and C eats fast food
    > twice a week. I don't think that is out of line.
    >
    > What is fast food, anyway? Does my once a week pizza count? Or the occasional sub I order from the
    > local deli? Or is it just the usual chain burger places?

    Fast Food, from M-W:

    1 : of, relating to, or specializing in food that can be prepared and served quickly <a fast-food
    restaurant>
    2 : designed for ready availability, use, or consumption and with little consideration given to
    quality or significance <fast-food TV programming>

    'Fast food' is a newer name for old ideas. A hot dog from a cart is fast food. Pizza is fast food
    and so is Chinese takeout. We didn't have a fancy monicker for them then.

    >
    > 60% of Americans are obese. Really, is that a fact? I would really love to hear where they came
    > up with that one. Do doctors report that? because I don't recall the census asking my height or
    > weight. So, exactly how are they determining this number? If it's doctors, gee, maybe obese
    > people go to the doctor more often? I don't know how much I weigh, how do these statistics
    > reporters know?

    Your driver's license has your height and weight on it. It's pretty much public knowledge what your
    'stats' are. Eye color too. Your insurance company knows too. It's not like they're medical records
    or anything.

    >
    > Because it comes up here so often, when I'm in large crowds (no pun intended), I sometimes take a
    > quick look around. Go tailgating at a football game, look around, plenty of skinny people. Mall?
    > Same deal. 60% obese? No. Perhaps it's a regional thing. Most of the people I see do not need to
    > lose weight.
    >
    > While I'm at it, what is obese, anyway. I seem to recall that when I was a teenager, it was
    > explained that 10% over your ideal weight is considered obese. Someone somewhere decided that my
    > ideal weight at 5'2" is 108 to 115, something like that. By that rule, if I weigh much more than
    > 125, I'm obese. But when the news shows go on about how many of us are obese, they drag out film
    > footage of people who really should think about eating less. In other words, using the word obese
    > and then showing the most extreme examples.

    There's obese and then there's morbidly obese. Of course, when the news wants to drive the point
    home, they'll trot out the 'poster child' of obesity, rather than the schlub who's merely 10 lbs
    overweight.

    >
    > (laughing) Okay, I'm done now.

    No no, keep going; this was a good one.
    >
    > nancy (just really wondering how these numbers are formulated)

    It's that guy. You know, when someone sez 'that guy said this' or 'that guy said that'. Correlated
    to THEY, as in 'they say this' or 'they say that'. Know what? THAT GUY is the president of THEY.
    <insert black helicopters
    here>

    Jack Amalgamatedivision
     
  8. Frogleg

    Frogleg Guest

    On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 17:18:38 -0500, Nancy Young
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >... you know the rest.

    The usual quote is "There are lies, damn[ed] lies, and statistics," variously attributed to Mark
    Twain who attributed it to Disraeli, and Churchill, who may have also used the phrase.
    >
    >I keep seeing all of these quotes, mostly here, about how many times people eat fast food, how many
    >Americans are obese, etc.

    Looking up the quote, I came across reference to a book titled "Damned Lies and Statistics" by Joel
    Best which looks pretty interesting.

    http://tinyurl.com/3cyjy

    The questions you ask are worth asking. Where *do* these numbers come from? How are they meaningful?
    Obviously the 'researchers' don't ask every single person (American?) how many times he/she ate in a
    fast food joint. What was their sample population? Urban? Rural? Age? Avaliability of alternatives?
    Many statistics are just re-pubished from dubious source. A lot of footnotes and references does not
    a truth make.
     
  9. Nancy Young

    Nancy Young Guest

    Steve Wertz wrote:
    >
    > On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 17:18:38 -0500, Nancy Young

    > >Did I read this the other day? 1 out of 4 Americans eat fast food every day. I couldn't find the
    > >exact quote.
    >
    > From:

    > At the festival in Park City, Utah, he has had teams handing out "Unhappy Meal" bags on the
    > streets with a few "Fat Fun Facts". For instance, one in four Americans visits a fast-food
    > restaurant every day. And did you know that McDonald's feeds more people around the world every
    > day than the population of Spain? The makers have self-rated the film "F" - for "fat audiences".

    Ah, silly me, I searched on fast food, not fast-food.

    > What they don't say is 1 in 3 of those "1 of 4 Americans" visit a fast food restaurant just to use
    > the bathroom.
    >
    > OK - So I just made that up.

    (laugh) Only when I'm on the road, and even then I can hold it, I was a camel in a former life.

    > >Okay, you have A, B, C & D. Do they mean A eats fast food every day? the rest who knows how
    > >often, or ...
    > >
    > >Does A eat fast food Sunday, B Monday, etc. If so, big whoop. That means A, B and C eats fast
    > >food twice a week. I don't think that is out of line.
    >
    > It means out of 10,000 typical, random people, 2,500 of them will eat from a fast food restaurant
    > on any given day.

    I don't see a problem with that. Also, where are they finding these random people? In the middle of
    farm country? Or Manhattan? I ate calzone or a hot dog pretty much every day for lunch. Does that
    count? What exactly is random about the study. (I'm not asking you, I'm making my point)

    > >What is fast food, anyway? Does my once a week pizza count? Or the occasional sub I order from
    > >the local deli? Or is it just the usual chain burger places?
    >
    > There are plenty of definitions out there. It's bascially any food prepared and/or served quickly.
    > AKA "Quick Service" in the industry. It's not limited to any type of food. It can even be
    > milkshake.

    I ordered Chinese food tonight, they said I could pick it up in 10 minutes. So, Chinese food is fast
    food, my string beans in garlic sauce and my egg roll. Probably more fat than a big mac, but I'll
    get three meals out of it.

    At any rate, if 'they' don't define fast food, this running around saying '1 out of 4 people eats
    fast food every day' is meaningless. I still think it's worded very badly for so called scientists.

    > >60% of Americans are obese. Really, is that a fact? I would really love to hear where they came
    > >up with that one. Do doctors report that? because I don't recall the census asking my height or
    > >weight.
    >
    > Like all studies, thay are taken from a random sampling of people. DOing surverys is a whole
    > industy in itself. How much do you weigh, anyway? For my files...

    I would tell you, but I don't know. I'm not fat, but that is so not bragging in any way.

    > "Obese", I beleive, is considered 25 or more lbs over the standard weight for your height.

    I'm not sure that would be fair, it must be a percentage. 25 pounds on someone 7' tall is nothing,
    on someone short like me, it's more fat.

    > I would argue that if 60% of people are obese, how can the other 40% be a majority that deterines
    > the average weight in the first place? Maybe 40% of the people are underweight, insetad.

    Yeah, blame it on the skinny people, there you go, I can get behind that premise.

    nancy
     
  10. Nancy Young

    Nancy Young Guest

    Dan Abel wrote:
    >
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] wrote:
    >
    > > ... you know the rest.
    >
    > > nancy (just really wondering how these numbers are formulated)
    >
    > 73.8% of all statisics are just made up.
    >
    > :)

    (laughing!!!) That's funny.

    nancy
     
  11. Nancy Young

    Nancy Young Guest

    PENMART01 wrote:
    >
    > > Nancy Young askes how are obesity statistics compiled:
    > >
    > >(laughing) Okay, I'm done now.
    > >
    > >nancy (just really wondering how these numbers are formulated)
    >
    > Most all major US employers track their emplyee's physical well being via means of periodical
    > medical exams,

    Aside from being hired, I have never been forced to take a physical. I worked for some major
    corporations. No one has weighed me in a couple of decades.

    nancy
     
  12. Steve Wertz

    Steve Wertz Guest

    On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 16:03:40 -0800, [email protected] (Dan Abel)
    wrote:

    >In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] wrote:
    >
    >> ... you know the rest.
    >
    >
    >> nancy (just really wondering how these numbers are formulated)
    >
    >
    >73.8% of all statisics are just made up.

    There was actually a study that said that 68% of all studies were seriosuly flawed.

    -sw
     
  13. Steve Wertz

    Steve Wertz Guest

    On 29 Jan 2004 01:04:04 GMT, [email protected] (PENMART01) wrote:
    >But by far the primary gatherer of obesity statistics is the clothing industry... the tape measure
    >doesn't lie.

    This is why I buy/wear a lot of shorts - to throw off the industy into thinking I'm much taller.

    Bwhahahahah!

    -sw
     
  14. Loki

    Loki Guest

    il Wed, 28 Jan 2004 16:03:40 -0800, [email protected] (Dan Abel) ha
    scritto:

    > 73.8% of all statisics are just made up.

    "There are lies, damned lies, and statistics"
    --
    Cheers, Loki [ Brevity is the soul of wit. W.Shakespeare ]
     
  15. Julieb

    Julieb Guest

    Steve Wertz <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 17:18:38 -0500, Nancy Young <[email protected]> wrote:

    > >60% of Americans are obese. Really, is that a fact? I would really love to hear where they came
    > >up with that one. Do doctors report that? because I don't recall the census asking my height or
    > >weight.
    >
    > Like all studies, thay are taken from a random sampling of people. DOing surverys is a whole
    > industy in itself. How much do you weigh, anyway? For my files...
    >
    > "Obese", I beleive, is considered 25 or more lbs over the standard weight for your height.
    >
    > I would argue that if 60% of people are obese, how can the other 40% be a majority that deterines
    > the average weight in the first place? Maybe 40% of the people are underweight, insetad.

    Obese is currently defined as having a BMI (body mass index) of over
    30. Normal BMI is between 20-24.9, and overweight is between 25-29.9.

    BMI = your weight in kg/(your height in cm)squared

    Julie.
     
  16. Steve Wertz a écrit :

    > "Obese", I beleive, is considered 25 or more lbs over the standard weight for your height.

    There is now an official definition of obesity: an obese person has a BMI over 30. BMI under 19
    means too thin, normal BMI between 19 and 25, "overweight" between 25 and 30.

    Nathalie in Switzerland
     
  17. In article <[email protected]>, "Jack Schidt®" <[email protected]>
    wrote: (snip)
    > Fast Food, from M-W:
    >
    > 1 : of, relating to, or specializing in food that can be prepared and served quickly <a fast-food
    > restaurant> 2 : designed for ready availability, use, or consumption and with little
    > consideration given to quality or significance <fast-food TV programming>
    >
    > 'Fast food' is a newer name for old ideas. A hot dog from a cart is fast food. Pizza is fast food
    > and so is Chinese takeout. We didn't have a fancy monicker for them then.

    Interesting. I think of fast food as already prepared just waiting for me to step to the counter and
    make my selection so they can hand it to me. McDonald's and their ilk. KFC and the like. Not pizza
    and not Chinese takeout.
    --
    -Barb, <www.jamlady.eboard.com> updated 1/26/04 A good friend will come and bail you out of jail; a
    true friend will be sitting next to you saying, "Damn,that was fun!"
     
  18. Nancy Young

    Nancy Young Guest

    Frogleg wrote:
    >
    > On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 17:18:38 -0500, Nancy Young <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >... you know the rest.
    >
    > The usual quote is "There are lies, damn[ed] lies, and statistics," variously attributed to Mark
    > Twain who attributed it to Disraeli, and Churchill, who may have also used the phrase.

    Yeah, I knew the instant I sent it, wrong quote and misspelled at that. I figured people would know
    what I meant.

    > >
    > >I keep seeing all of these quotes, mostly here, about how many times people eat fast food, how
    > >many Americans are obese, etc.
    >
    > Looking up the quote, I came across reference to a book titled "Damned Lies and Statistics" by
    > Joel Best which looks pretty interesting.
    >
    > http://tinyurl.com/3cyjy
    >
    > The questions you ask are worth asking. Where *do* these numbers come from? How are they
    > meaningful? Obviously the 'researchers' don't ask every single person (American?) how many times
    > he/she ate in a fast food joint. What was their sample population? Urban? Rural? Age? Avaliability
    > of alternatives? Many statistics are just re-pubished from dubious source. A lot of footnotes and
    > references does not a truth make.

    I should buy that book, he's saying exactly what I was getting at.

    nancy
     
  19. Barry Grau

    Barry Grau Guest

    Frogleg <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 17:18:38 -0500, Nancy Young <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >... you know the rest.
    >
    > The usual quote is "There are lies, damn[ed] lies, and statistics," variously attributed to Mark
    > Twain who attributed it to Disraeli, and Churchill, who may have also used the phrase.
    > >
    > >I keep seeing all of these quotes, mostly here, about how many times people eat fast food, how
    > >many Americans are obese, etc.
    >
    > Looking up the quote, I came across reference to a book titled "Damned Lies and Statistics" by
    > Joel Best which looks pretty interesting.
    >
    > http://tinyurl.com/3cyjy
    >

    Another well known book is "How to Lie With Statistics" by Darell Huff and Irving Geis. This book is
    often mentioned and occasionally required reading in introductory statistics courses.

    <http://www.sciencesbookreview.com/How_to_Lie_With_Statistics_0393310728.html>

    -bwg
     
  20. Steve Wertz

    Steve Wertz Guest

    On Wed, 28 Jan 2004 19:08:17 -0500, Nancy Young
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >> It means out of 10,000 typical, random people, 2,500 of them will eat from a fast food restaurant
    >> on any given day.
    >
    >I don't see a problem with that. Also, where are they finding these random people? In the middle of
    >farm country? Or Manhattan? I ate calzone or a hot dog pretty much every day for lunch. Does that
    >count? What exactly is random about the study. (I'm not asking you, I'm making my point)

    The restaurants report certain statistics to the National (and local) Restaurant Association. Like
    number of people served in a year, etc... By comparing them with the regional populations, it's
    determined quite easily.

    Note that of those 10,000 in the theoretical sample, 2,000 of them probably eat fast food once every
    6 months, while 2,000 eat it every day. The other 6,000 eat it somewhere bwtween daily and
    quarterly.

    Making the statement "1 in 4 Americans eat FF every" is just a way to simplify the statistic to make
    it easier to visualize (Except in this case when busy-bodies like *you* start disecting them and
    asking questions ;-)

    -sw
     
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