Shocker: Michelle Obama Cited Bogus Statistics in Claim Childhood Obesity Was Reduced

Posted by on Mar 17, 2014 at 7:44 am

Yes, we know, hard to believe this smug, imperious woman would lie to the public.

If the news last month that the prevalence of obesity among American preschoolers had plunged 43 percent in a decade sounded too good to be true, that’s because it probably was, researchers say.

When the study was published in late February in the Journal of the American Medical Association, no one had a ready explanation for that astounding finding by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Indeed, it seemed to catch the experts by surprise.

Anti-obesity campaigners credited everything from changes to the federal nutrition program for low-income women and children to the elimination of trans-fats from fast food, more physical activity in child-care programs and declining consumption of sugary drinks.

First Lady Michelle Obama and others seized on the finding as a sign that efforts to combat the national obesity epidemic were paying off.

But as obesity specialists take a closer look at the data, some are questioning the 43 percent claim, suggesting that it may be a statistical fluke and pointing out that similar studies find no such decrease in obesity among preschoolers.

In fact, based on the researchers’ own data, the obesity rate may have even risen rather than declined.

“You need to have a healthy degree of skepticism about the validity of this finding,” said Dr. Lee Kaplan, director of the weight center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

No evidence of the kinds of major shifts in the behavior among preschoolers aged 2 to 5 exists which would explain a 43 percent drop in their obesity rates, he said.

But she cares about the children or something, and isn’t that all that matters? Frankly we’re surprised anyone actually calls them out for their lies, but don’t expect this story to get anywhere near the attention to bogus story did.


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5 Responses to “Shocker: Michelle Obama Cited Bogus Statistics in Claim Childhood Obesity Was Reduced”

  1. Steve S. on 17/17/14 at 9:35 am

    C’mon – get with the program. Factual support for an assertion is so-o-o-0 20th century.

    Liberals get credit for their intentions. They don’t worry about results; only intentions matter. The First Lady INTENDED to reduce obesity by 43%; therefore she gets credit for having done so.

  2. Laurence Deutsch on 17/17/14 at 9:53 am

    And we need universal pre-K!
    We need it now!
    We must tax the rich to fund it!
    Because inequality!
    And “even the playing field!”
    And “no child deserves to be left behind!”
    And never mind every study that shows it is just overpriced daycare with no academic benefit.

  3. PJ on 17/17/14 at 11:13 am

    I guessed that the moment I read the study. Me = genius.

    Oh, and Dr. Kaplan, hope your tax records are in order. :)

  4. A_Nonny_Mouse on 18/18/14 at 12:45 am

    Might I ask – what’s the general consensus on the probability of “statistical fluke” versus the probability of “outright lie”?

    (I know which one *I* would bet on…)