Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Battling headlines of the day 

The same day, in the same newspapers.

New York Times, November 17:

Hunger in U.S. at a 14-Year High

(Print edition version: "49 Million Americans Report Lack of Food)

Study Foresees an Increase in Obesity and Its Costs

the search for ways to slow the growth of health care spending ... may be overwhelmed by the surging prevalence of obesity ... if current trends continue 103 million American adults will be considered obese by 2018. That would be 43 percent of adults.

USA Today, November 17:
'Wake-up call': 1 in 6 went hungry in America in 2008

Rising obesity will cost U.S. health care $344 billion a year
America, land of miracles! Land of the increasingly starving increasingly obese!

Or maybe it's just that two studies by different groups got released to the press by their lying, er, enthusiastic-to-get-an-audience public relations agents on the same day?

And the press fulfilled its role of credulously repeating, er, reporting whatever is fed to it as "news"?

Charles Lane of the WaPo squares the data circle.