Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fat workers cost employers more money due to injury?? NOT

The latest little anti obesity fluff from abcnews, claims that
>>>>Overweight workers cost their bosses more in injury claims than their lean colleagues, suggests a study that found the heaviest employees had twice the rate of workers' compensation claims as their fit co-workers. Overweight workers were more likely to have claims involving injuries to the back, wrist, arm, neck, shoulder, hip, knee and foot than other employees. The findings were based on eight years of data from 11,728 people employed by Duke and its health system. Researchers found that workers with higher body mass indexes, or BMIs, had higher rates of workers' compensation claims.

ABC news - overweight employees cost more

What they failed to tell the reader was that they only looked at 15.8 percent of Duke HC employees... those who had filled out an online survey about health and injuries and that most of those who filled out the survey were not only minority but also those in labor intensive jobs where on the job injuries tend to be higher in people of all sizes. And of course, self reported data is notoriously inaccurate.

The following blog (by an RN, BSN) explains it all very well - why the study is totally flawed and the results, inconclusive:


Friday, April 13, 2007

Baby Boomer obesity study flawed

A study last year which made headline news (of course) shouted that Baby Boomers who were just a tad "overweight" (BMI 25-27) would live fewer years.

It made great headlines for the obesity hysteria but luckily junk science guru, Stephen Milloy pointed out some fatal flaws in the study.

Unluckily, many baby boomers do not read Fox news and might have missed Milloy's great article.

It turns out that the study was based on a survey of AARP members and the average respondent wasn't even a baby boomer (average Birth date of 1930). Only 18 percent of the members responded so this was not a representative section even of a not necessarily representative group.

The data on age, weight, smoking etc was all self reported and none of it was validated. Self reported data is notoriously inaccurate.

The death statistics were taken from the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File which did not list the cause of death. So all of those who died in auto accidents, from medical or drug error and violent death (totally unrelated to weight) were included in the study.

It seems that the fat phobes have to resort to flawed studies to "prove" how "unhealthy" obesity is, which argues, of course, that obesity may not be unhealthy, in and of itself at all.

Not to worry - Baby boomers (or any other group) - this "study" proved nothing except that it made good headlines to fuel the current obesity hysteria.

I've always enjoy Stephen Milloy's great articles especially on obesity studies... you can read his article here...