Skeptics’ Circle Number 78 – The Skeptical Surfer

This week’s circle is at skeptical surfer’s blog. Although I think Christian has made an error or two in his evaluation of the latest NHANES studies and what they say about obesity. For one, obesity has always been 30+ BMI, overweight was changed from 27 to 25 by one government agency responsible for surveillance of disease (CDC) to conform with other agencies’ metrics. Further as I explained, the NHANES studies are hardly single variable, and don’t take into account a change in medical culture towards better secondary prevention of comorbidity in the overweight and obese. It’s all good though. I appreciate an honest effort.


  1. Thanks for your plug and criticism which, as a skeptic, I welcome. I also have thought about a possible “more sick but better treated” issue. This looks like an easy explanation but it does not really convince me. It would imply that the secondary prevention or treatment progress must work better in the overweight than in the normal-weight, otherwise you cannot explain the shrinking mortality gap. After a heart attack, patients of all weights get the same therapy yet the obese have a better prognosis. Thus, the difference cannot be in the therapy but must be in the patients. Or do you see all the normal-weight heart patients as formerly obese after unintentional weight loss due to serious disease? Anyway, things are not so easy in my view and I am eager to see new study results on this subject.

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