BMI = Bloody Meaningless Integer

I’m as thin as a rake, so I don’t have a dog in this race. Nevertheless, I get more and more angry about the increasingly obscene War on Obesity, and stuff like this:

Under a new scheme, GPs will be asked to identify anyone who has put on weight and is now at risk of diabetes – particularly those who are under 40. Those identified will be offered a pre-diabetes test, healthy lifestyle advice and close monitoring to ensure that they are eating healthily and exercising more, the Telegraph has reported.

How are they going to “ensure” that people eat “healthily” and exercise more? Or this:

Professor Max Parkin, a Cancer Research UK statistician based at Queen Mary University of London, said: “There’s now little doubt that certain lifestyle choices can have a big impact on cancer risk, with research around the world all pointing to the same key risk factors.

“Of course everyone enjoys some extra treats during the Christmas holidays so we don’t want to ban mince pies and wine…

But we will ban mince pies and wine if we have to? And then they tell us that we’re “in denial” about it:

Four out of five of those over 50 are either overweight or obese as are more than 20pc of our nine-year-olds. Many of us are fat and getting fatter. Just look at the way the waistbands of school uniforms have expanded in the last ten years or so.

We can’t deny that it is very bad for us in a myriad number of ways and it’s also putting a whopping great strain on our health services.

And yet in the main, we’re still in denial about it.


New research suggests that despite high levels of obesity, four out of five of people in the UK consider themselves to be healthy.

Figures from the World Health Organisation suggest nearly two thirds of people in the UK are in fact overweight.

Well, I tell you what: People ought to be in denial. They ought to reject all these claims. Every single one of them. Because if they think they’re in good health, then they are in good health, whatever any of these quack doctors say. When I get sick, I go tell a doctor I’m sick: he doesn’t tell me. Because I’m the judge of my health, not him.

Because the Body Mass Index (BMI) that is used as the measure of obesity is actually just the completely meaningless ratio of body mass in kilos to the square of body height in metres. It’s completely unscientific, and utterly devoid of content. And furthermore it is well known to be.

BMI is a fraud. It’s a Bloody Meaningless Integer.

But here’s a New York State university telling people that if their Bloody Meaningless Integer is greater than 40, they are “morbidly obese”, and may need surgery.  Well, no. Because if the Integer is Meaningless, then both the “40” and the “morbidly obese” are meaningless too.

They mean absolutely nothing.

And no surgery is necessary.

Just because someone is fat doesn’t mean that they are “unhealthy” or “overweight”. All it means is that these quack doctors want people to be slim. They want them to conform to an ideal. They’re even prepared to saw bits off them to make them conform to the ideal. And that ideal  – an aesthetic preference – has no basis whatsoever in science or reason. They’re really just dressing up their personal preferences with empty, scientific-sounding numbers. It’s no different from awarding “10 points” to a pretty girl, instead of just saying “I think she’s very pretty” – and then pretending that because you’ve attempted to measure beauty with a number, your measure of beauty is in some way objective or scientific. It’s not. It’s an abuse of numbers. And it’s meaningless. And it’s fraudulent.

And it’s a protection racket.

About Frank Davis

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35 Responses to BMI = Bloody Meaningless Integer

  1. woohoo02 says:

    The next thing, I believe they want is the compulsory ‘Son of the Tesco loyalty Card’, so they can remove items deemed unhealthy by the Nazis.
    It is going to happen, unless we fight back, I can see it coming.

  2. wobbler2012 says:

    I’m not quite sure which one of these two is the biggest load of bullshit, the BMI or the “recommended safe units” with regards to alcohol.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      This is old Wobbler but it kinda tells the story

      The Medicalizing of America

      Part I: The Numbers Game

      Medicalize: “To identify or categorize (a condition or behavior) as being a disorder requiring medical treatment or intervention,” American Heritage Dictionary.

      Responses to virtually all questions, medical and otherwise fall into two categories: 1. Those having a finite number of answers, including yes, no, or in-between, for example “are you hungry?” or “are you sick?” and 2. Questions having a range of answers or values. Biologic and other scientific measurements fall into this latter category and include such things as weight, age, height, blood pressure, blood chemical values, such as glucose, cholesterol, PSA, etc. Where we get into trouble is in deciding, particularly in medicine, what is indeed normal and what is not. No matter where we place the dividing line or cutoff point, we are faced with an irresolvable medical dilemma.

      If we make the cutoff between normal and abnormal too low, we include too many normal in the abnormal group (called false positives, a Type I error); if the cutoff is too high, we include an excess of abnormal in the normal group (false negatives, Type II error). In the first instance we call too many well people sick, and in the latter, too many sick people well. (We are assuming the spectrum of low to high corresponds to the range of normal to abnormal; sometimes this range is reversed.)

      Over the years, various cutoff points for normal values have been based on generally accepted statistical and common sense clinical grounds. For example we have “normal” values for fasting and non-fasting blood sugars, upon which the diagnosis of diabetes is based; the “normal” level for blood pressure, defining the condition, hypertension; cutoff points for weight, defining obesity; and “normal” levels of blood lipids (HDL,LDL and total cholesterol) which for some even define the presence of heart disease (sic!). In what appears as a fatally misguided hope of extending treatment benefits to as many citizens as possible, various professional societies as well as Government Agencies have indeed changed our definitions of disease with unforeseen consequences. Specifically, in the present climate of change driven by a perceived need to keep us healthy and long-lived, these cutoff points have been lowered progressively and so drastically as virtually to create a nation of patients.

      In a revealing article in Effective Clinical Practice (March/April 1999) Lisa M. Schwartz and Steven Woloshin conclude that the number of people with at least one of four major medical conditions (actually risk factors) has increased dramatically in the past decade because of changes in the definition of abnormality. Using data abstracted from over 20,700 patients included in this Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III, 1988-1994) conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, the authors calculated the prevalence of diabetes, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, and being overweight under the old and the new definitions and calculated the net change (i.e., number of new cases). Here are the results reported in the above article.


      Old Definition: Blood sugar > 140 mg/dl
      People under old definition: 11.7 million
      New Definition: Blood sugar > 126 mg/dl
      People added under new definition: 1.7 million
      Percent increase: 15%

      The definition was changed in 1997 by the American Diabetes Association and WHO Expert Committee on the Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus.


      High blood pressure is reported as two numbers, systolic or peak pressure and diastolic pressure when heart is at rest) in mm Hg.

      Old Definition: cutoff Blood Pressure > 160/100
      People under old definition: 38.7 million
      New Definition: Blood Pressure > 140/90
      People added under new definition: 13.5 million
      Percent Increase: 35%

      The definition was changed in 1997 by U.S. Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.

      Prehypertension, a new category created in 2003: blood pressure from 120/80 to 138/89 includes 45 million additional people! If one includes this category, we have a grand total of 97.2 million total numbers of hypertensives and prehypertensives (whatever that is).

      High (Total) Cholesterol:

      Old Definition: Cholesterol > 240 mg/dl total cholesterol
      People under old definition: 49.5 million
      New Definition: Cholesterol > 200 mg/dl total cholesterol
      People added under new definition: 42.6 million
      Percent increase: 86%

      The definition was changed in 1998 by U.S. Air Force/Texas Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention Study.


      Body Mass Index (BMI) is defined as the ratio of weight (in kg) to height (in meters) squared and is an inexact measure of body fat, though it supposedly establishes cutoff points of normal weight, overweight, and obesity.

      Old definition: BMI > 28 (men), BMI > 27 (women)
      People under old definition: 70.6 million
      New definition: BMI > 25
      People added under new definition: 30.5 million
      Percent Increase: 43%

      The definition was changed in 1998 by U.S. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

      “The new definitions ultimately label 75 percent of the adult U.S. population as diseased,” conclude the two researchers. They add cautiously that “…the extent to which new ‘patients’ would ultimately benefit from early detection and treatment of these conditions is unknown. Whether they would experience important physical or psychological harm is an open question.”

      We seem to live in an equal opportunity consumer culture tyrannized by the fear of growing “epidemics” going by the leading risk brand names, High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Diabetes, and High Cholesterol. Just read the papers, peruse the Internet, or turn on your TV to learn what the Government watchdogs, the consensus insurgency, and the other image makers have to say about our disastrous state of health.

      Several related questions arise when we consider the implications of these new definitions of disease (actually disease risk-markers). First how did these official and semi-official watchdogs achieve their status of “guideline-makers,”who appoints them and why, and how powerful an influence do they wield in terms of medical practice? Finally, one has to wonder what is the rationale for adding over 86 million new “patients” (not counting 45 million “prehypertensives”) to our already staggering over-the-top healthcare cost.

      Coming soon, these and other issues will be examined in our next newsletter.

      Martin F. Sturman, MD, FACP

      Copyright 2005, Mathemedics, Inc.

  3. harleyrider1978 says:

    Remember Frank it took a night past Rome Burning before Nero the Madman was finally executed by the people or his own guards who were afraid of what the people might do next and the army.

  4. Smoking Lamp says:

    Health propaganda is designed to foster total social control. After all as this BBC Headline states “Life choices ‘behind more than four in 10 cancers’.” As quoted in the article:

    — “Leading a healthy lifestyle can’t guarantee someone won’t get cancer but we can stack the odds in our favour by taking positive steps now that will help decrease our cancer risk in future.”

    — Public Health England says a healthy lifestyle can play a vital role in reducing cancer risk. It says campaigns such as Smokefree, Dry January and Change4Life Sugar Swaps all aim to raise public awareness.

    — According to the figures spanning five years from 2007 to 2011, more than 300,000 cases of cancer recorded were linked to smoking. A further 145,000 were linked to unhealthy diets containing too much processed food. Obesity contributed to 88,000 cases and alcohol to 62,200.
    Sun damage to the skin and physical inactivity were also contributing factors.

    Actually, sounds like living has a lot to do with risk of cancer. Clearly they don’t specify what linked means, but it certainly does not mean caused by. If they could claim that they would.

    My major question is when will everyone realize they have been had by this intense desire to control and enslave?

  5. harleyrider1978 says:

    Professor Max Parkin, a Eugenics Research UK statistician based at Queen Mary University of London, said: “There’s now little doubt that certain lifestyle choices can have a big impact on cancer risk, with Eugenics researchers around the world all pointing to the same key risk factors.

  6. Lepercolonist says:

    There was a professional baseball player named Ron Cey who was constantly called fat. His nickname was ‘the Penguin’. He had short arms and legs. The tall thin pitchers always teased him for being overweight. He bet the pitchers that they were actually fatter. To settle the bet, a percentage of body fat test while being submersed in water was conducted. Ron Cey was 7% body fat compared to over 10% for the pitchers.
    He was a classic mesomorph with extreme muscularity. He would be considered obese on the BMI scale.

  7. ““Of course everyone enjoys some extra treats during the Christmas holidays so we don’t want to ban mince pies and wine…”

    Reminds me of the Anti over on alt.smokers in the 1990s who declared, “Look, no one is talking about taking away Santa Claus’s pipe!”

    – MJM

  8. harleyrider1978 says:

    Brownies are ‘dangerous’ and should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco?

    Posted on December 23, 2014 by | 5 Comments

    That’s what an op-ed in the New York Times says.

    The “sugar is toxic” scare is junk science-fueled. Every “study” claiming sugar is toxic can be easily dismantled dues to its poor quality/cherry-picked data and statistical malpractice.

    The op-ed authors’ “study,” claimed to be dispositive on the subject, is not a scientific study at all. At best it can be described as a biased literature review.

    Despite wild claims to the contrary, there is no evidence that moderate sugar consumption adversely affects healthy people. Sugar consumption does not cause disease.

    It is unfortunate that hacks and quacks prey upon our the general public’s fears and ignorance to boost their twisted personal agendas.

    Click for the NYTimes op-ed.

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      ernestncurtis | December 24, 2014 at 1:35 am | Reply

      John, I’ve seen some pretty outrageous things before but this has to rank as one of the worst. Both the article and the editorial are full of claims that are patently false and, as usual, their knowledge of fructose metabolism is seriously deficient. But they really go over the top when they claim that sugar is addictive and compare it to opiate drugs. These morons then go on to suggest putting high taxes on all food and drinks with added sugar and regulating these products just like we do tobacco and alcohol.
      This is a perfect example showing why junk science must be countered at every turn. Once a false idea gains some semblance of general acceptance these kooks starting coming out of the woodwork with their totalitarian ideas for restricting people’s choices.
      I would urge everyone to read the editorial and the article to get the full flavor for what we are up against.

  9. harleyrider1978 says:

    Only 80 percent? That number seems artificially low to me.

    Eighty per cent of Britons ‘hate the meddling nanny state’

    BRITONS hate the nanny state and think the Government should stop meddling in people’s lifestyle choices, says a survey.

  10. harleyrider1978 says:

    Blackrock Stunner: S&P 500 Profits Are 86% Higher Than They Would Be Without Accounting Fudges

    Tyler Durden’s picture
    Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/26/2014 10:05 -0500

  11. nisakiman says:

    I really don’t know what all the fuss is about. If they are so keen for people to lose weight, they should encourage them to take up smoking again. Simple. But they’re never satisfied. They bully people into giving up smoking and then wonder why there’s all these ‘overweight’ people appearing. Someone should whisper in their collective ear that 2+2=4. Although they seem to regard numbers as flexible, so maybe that wouldn’t mean anything to them…

    • harleyrider1978 says:

      nisakiman to all of us but the government and non-profits along with statisticians 2+2 =4

      But when you take a government dept like the VETERANS ADMINISTRATION

      VA MATH will drive a person insane
      They collect disability levels from 0% -100%

      you can get 5%,20%,80% 30% and then figure out were your total rate of percentile disability doesn’t come to a combined tota it comes to a va combined total.

      I still cant work it out even using the VA MATH calculators.

      The above would come into a actual number of around 60%

      But they have other rules like taking the single 80% you can apply for unemployability at the 100% rate after you’ve been thru Vocational rehabilitation which isn’t a bad deal.

      At 30% you qualify and you can get 48 months of school and draw about 800 a month going. I was in it for a degree in BSEE Electrical and Electronic Engineering. I was 23 credits from completion when I got rear ended on interstate 40 in Nashville by 6 cars.

      Put my in the hospital for 3 days and out of school for 4 weeks……….

      VA doesn’t have any compassion for the disabled I was also diagnosed with 3rd stage Lyme disease at about the same time frame. Anyway missing 4 days in a semester at Vanderbilt/Nashville Tech Program they kicked me out and wouldnt let me back in.

      Anyway I took a job at Reemay in Old Hickory with my hair all falling out and brain ataxia with bell palsey in the face affecting speech and then total body system infection…….

      Lost the job got treated like shit by the VA and went to PENNSYLVANIA got on welfare and finally got IV anti-biotics fo 6 weeks. worked great! Its just that 3-4 weeks later all the symptons came back again,back tot eh doc and back on anti biotics oral this time.

      Finally your left with whats called post lyme chronic fatigue or basically an immune system fucked forever……….along with the tiredness and up and down days. Then it took 9 years to get VA to say ok we fucked up you got it in the military and awarded me my pension finally after years of suffering in every conceivable way.

  12. harleyrider1978 says:

    The old adage with prohibitionists is if you tell a lie often enuf it becomes the truth backked by billions in propaganda funding they get the gullible to buy it. Then when you openly challenge their so called truths theyve heard forever and prove them wrong,people take it hard that their trusted government lied or to find out that sweet do gooder non-profit is actually a front group for lifestyles prohibition… word there might come in handy sometime!

  13. harleyrider1978 says:

    My attitude is look at the wasted Trillion dollars on the war on drugs over the last what 100 years now. Still it gets thru and those same drug catels now add bootleg tobacco to their list of contraband which is the biggets money maker now anywhere exceeding all other contraband. We have non-violent Citizens in Federal prisons over nothing but a minor amount of drugs where no weapons or anything but simple poccession was the crime. Now they want to attack and criminalize tobacco the only legal item that doesmt make you stoned or anything. Now governmnt has to pay more enforcement costs and lose billions of dollars in taxes ro the cartels ans other groups. Lower the taxes,abolish the bans,legalize and regulated drugs and reduce the crime associated with it. Take the taxes from legal drugs and use it t atually treat drug dependence problems. Instead of more social welfare schemes politicians keep dreaming up. Take tobacco taxes after being reduced to destroy the blackmarket and use those taxes for healthcare for smokers since the prohibitionists like to claim it costs society to treat smokers which is total BS. Not one disease has ever been proven to be caused by smoking. Its time LIFESTYLE PROHIBITIONISTS were sent packing and get this country out of the police and ourt business and start allowing americans to be free again. The drug war is a complete failure andonly creates more social ills than it ever was thought it would solve.

  14. smokingscot says:

    Donald Maxwell (Max) Parkin. DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO.

    Check out the jowls and the smug look. And do not be intimidated by all the academic bumph. He’s brilliant at… “research” and naff all else. And he’s sponsored up to his dangling earlobes by CRUK as well as the BHF.

    And the Athena Swan Bronze Award he so cheerfully slaps at the foot of the page. WTF is that? Well I’m delighted you should ask. It means Prof Parkin and his team advance careers for women.

    But what the heck, in his profession (essentially a ganglion on the arse of society) it’s all about funding and that means that every so often you’ve got to further other people’s agendas. At that he’s jolly good. I mean that’ll be something like another award and perhaps a fully financed Porsche Cayenne on a 12 month lease. Whoopee!

    • beobrigitte says:

      This would be rather interesting if I wasn’t so bl**dy tired of this nonsense of “advancing womens’ careers”!

      Athena SWAN follows these principles.

      – To address gender inequalities requires commitment and action from everyone, at all levels of the organisation.
      – To tackle the unequal representation of women in science requires changing cultures and attitudes across the organisation.
      – The absence of diversity at management and policy-making levels has broad implications which the organisation will examine.
      – The high loss rate of women in science is an urgent concern which the organisation will address.
      – The system of short-term contracts has particularly negative consequences for the retention and progression of women in science, which the organisation recognises.
      – There are both personal and structural obstacles to women making the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career in science, which require the active consideration of the organisation.

      What will they do about: – The high loss rate of women in science is an urgent concern which the organisation will address.?
      Answer: Make science degrees more useless than they already are? Invent “scientific” degree subjects so that those who aren’t scientifically minded (applies to both genders, by the way!) ‘give it a whirl’?

      – The system of short-term contracts has particularly negative consequences for the retention and progression of women in science, which the organisation recognises.
      Of course the short term contracts (+ the zero hour contracts post degree) do not lead to a stable income (applies to both genders, by the way!), add to this the debts a useless degree causes and – voila! – we have people who have unstable jobs with no prospect of getting an e.g. mortgage, This kills the prospect of starting a family.

      – There are both personal and structural obstacles to women making the transition from PhD into a sustainable academic career in science, which require the active consideration of the organisation.
      Quite frankly, you have to be bismally bad at maths if you do consider signing up for a (by now useless) university degree. The wised up youngsters (applies to both genders, by the way!) take up apprenticeships. There is no “intern” (unpaid) position and when qualified in whatever trade they choose the have enough work to pick the most lucrative one.
      Has anyone worked out what a plumber costs these days???

      I don’t think we have a ‘women’s issue’ here other than ?male/?high-in-the-sky-female/mixture of both who prey on the so-called female gullibility.

      Athena SWAN: stop insulting women!!!!

    • caprizchka says:

      I’m laughing at the name, Max Parkin’. (I added the apostrophe.) Sounds like a wide-load to me.

  15. harleyrider1978 says:

    Frank maybe one for the morgue

    Doncaster Today

    Man falls to his death ‘while smoking cigarette out of window’ on Christmas Day

    A man plunged to his death while smoking a cigarette out of an open window on Christmas Day, it is believed.

    Named locally as Lee Pearsall, the 30-year-old builder had been drinking with pals in a local pub in Conisbrough, South Yorkshire, on Christmas Eve but left early to go home. He then leaned out of an upstairs window for a smoke but lost his balance and tumbled to the ground.

    It is believed he was discovered by his mother Lynne the following morning and police and the ambulance service were called at about 10.30am.

    Tragically he was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Family friend Wendy Collins, whose daughter Kerry-Leigh Wileman was a former girlfriend of Mr Pearsall, said: “It is just an absolute tragedy, shocking at any time of year but even worse at Christmas.”

    A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Police were called at 10.32am on Thursday 25 December by the Ambulance Service to an address on Ellershaw Lane, Conisbrough.

    “A 30-year-old man had been found outside the address and was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.

    “Police do not believe there to be any suspicious circumstances and are preparing a file for the coroner.”

    Mrs Collins added to the The Star: “Kerry-Leigh and Lee had stayed really good friends. She couldn’t speak highly enough of him and has been in bits since Christmas Day.”

    On Facebook Miss Wileman posted: “Good night to my beautiful friend Lee. Such a shining star in this cruel world.

    “A heart of pure gold and the soul of an angel. I couldn’t be more heartbroken with the thought of not seeing you again.”

    A Twitter friend added: “RIP lee pearsall (tank) will always be remebered

  16. carol2000 says:

    Complaint: Baraboo woman accused of killing brother said cigarette dispute led to stabbing
    “At one point, while she was standing at a kitchen counter, he approached her from behind, placed his hands roughly on her shoulders and yelled at her about his cigarettes,” the complaint says. “She grabbed a knife from the counter, turned and stabbed him in the chest.”

    The complaint says the man walked back to the recliner where he had previously been seated, and that Simon saw him collapse onto the floor on his back.

    Prosecutors say that incident occurred sometime between 2 a.m. and 2:30 a.m., after which Simon went to her room and went to sleep. About 9 hours later, she awoke to find her brother in the same position, dead on the floor, and called 911, according to the complaint.

  17. caprizchka says:

    The problem with many of the health sciences is the notion that only the advice (or diktat) which serves the mean is worth giving. In other words, I believe that “the average person” is the only one served by mainstream health advice. Meanwhile, however, thanks to big government, we’re all expected to subsidize the health of the bottom of the pile, namely, persons suffering from generations of poor nutrition who thereby make cheap laborers and hopefully die at about 50–before they have a chance to make waves, leave value to their descendants, etc. This naturally results in “the average person” becoming more and more sickly with malnourished slaves, with small craniums and bones, setting the standard in the weight classes.

    I’m appalled by government and private insurance treatment based on B.M.I. As a former weight lifter I’ve caused more than my share of physician consternation wondering what box to check. B.M.I. is like Procrustes’ Iron Bed.

    From Wikipedia: “In Greek mythology, Procrustes (Προκρούστης) or “the stretcher [who hammers out the metal]”, also known as Prokoptas or Damastes (Δαμαστής) “subduer”, was a rogue smith and bandit from Attica who physically attacked people by stretching them or cutting off their legs, so as to force them to fit the size of an iron bed. In general, when something is Procrustean, different lengths or sizes or properties are fitted to an arbitrary standard.

    The B.M.I. is Procrustean. If you weigh too much, reduce the density of your brain, bones, and skin, and dehydrate yourself. If you weigh too little, increase the size of your belly, ass, thighs, and those internal organs best kept small. Of course, there’s always surgery! Lobotomize to lose weight! Too light? Eat more lead.

    If you are “average” however, you’ll make a fine member of the mob and herd. Don’t get out of line. Don’t stick out. Our masters already have enough leaders but one can never have enough slaves.

  18. harleyrider1978 says:
  19. beobrigitte says:

    BMI = Bloody Meaningless Integer

    Thank you, Frank! It says NOTHING, which, I suppose is good enough for the likes of tobacco control, who works it’s ‘magic’ by preying on people’s ultimate fear – death.

    How are they going to “ensure” that people eat “healthily” and exercise more?
    They have their ways – we all know it by now.
    When I grew up there were plenty of sports clubs (no propaganda) and since I was a lifewire I joined quite a few of them. Most of my friends didn’t – but they are still around as good as I – except, I do have a long term sports injury they don’t have.
    Eating…… It was never a big deal, I cooked our dinners and that was it. But these days things are a little different; IF a couple manages to get a mortgage then BOTH will have to be in fulltime employment in order to meet the monthly expenses. Women are pushed into yuppie-like “career” options, which leaves NO time for a private life (Yuppies live for the job and burn the 3 am oil to ‘look good’).

    Everything is competitive. The healthists say so. Even though marathon runs (heavily encouraged by the obedient mass media) kill healthy people who push themselves too far.
    According to the healthist BBC these (now dead) people had an “underlying condition”; what condition that may have been is unknown. Known is that these people are dead.

    I light a cigarette, have the last of the Christmas drink and decide what I’ll do tomorrow. I feel like something physical; if it’s dry I’ll longboard for a bit? Or try out the extreme pogo stick I got for Christmas? And, if the weather is rubbish I might do some work in my house. It’s all MY choice; I don’t need some spaghetti-qualified PhD person to tell me what to do!!!!

  20. Edgar says:

    I get so weary of seeing the word ‘normal’ used to mean ‘average’, or, as increasingly seems to be the case, to mean ‘to conform to a norm’, usually an arbitrary and senseless one like BMI. (BMI makes no sense because objects of a given shape have masses that vary as the cube of a linear dimension, say height. So, BMI, applied to people of precisely the same physical proportions will increase with height – the taller you are, the more obese.) Anyway, the word ‘normal’, in a statistical context, means consistent with a normal (Gaussian) probability distribution. So, it is normal for the weight of 5% of a population to be more than 2 standard deviations above the mean. Some fat people, some thin people (so, you are normal, too, Frank!). It may be that the mean of the weight distribution is rising but I haven’t seen anyone claim that. Until I do, I don’t see what evidence there is for an ‘obesity epidemic’.

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