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Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Stupid Things To Say 

As standards in 'mainstream' journalism plummet, even the BBC seems to be suffering. Today, an article about the health benefits of a 'Mediterranean diet and lifestyle' (including lots of fish, olive oil, and veggies with little red meat ad plenty of exercise) included the following:
"experts say adopting four simple lifestyle measures more than halves an elderly person's risk of dying."
This is a profoundly stupid and totally misleading statement. An elderly person, or for that matter any person has the same risk of dying no matter what. The probability that you will die is approximately 1, no matter what you eat, drink, smoke, or do. A better statement would be that following these recommendations might increase your lifespan, or improve your quality of life.

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