From the department of “Huh?”

Newspaper recipes may impact health! That’s right. The mere presence of recipes in your local newspaper is enough to put the entire region’s obesity risk on the rise, at least according to the fine folks at WSMV in Nashville.

Have you ever tried a recipe printed in your city’s newspaper? Those recipes may have more of an impact on health than you might think.

A new study suggests a link between calorie-dense dessert recipes printed in major newspapers across the country and obesity rates in large cities.

Wow! This is kind of a big deal! The recipes in a newspaper are a root cause of obesity. Imagine what kind of havoc Martha Stewart’s Living and Better Homes and Gardens inflicts upon a populace. I imagine the Conde Nast magazine themselves are responsible for billions of health care costs.

Oh…wait a minute. Let me read further into the article…

Lead researcher Catherine McCarty said in a news release that the study doesn’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

Of COURSE it doesn’t prove cause and effect, because the study( .pdf file) didn’t take into account the key factor of these recipes – the readers who actually take the time to make the darn things.

I’m not denigrating the study here, because sometimes researchers have to go where ever they need to go in order to prove their hypotheses. A lot of time their published work is intended to provide proof for other larger (and some would say, more critical) works.

No, the fools here are the editorial staff of WSMV, who misinterpreted a piece of research, and then passed the misinterpretation off as “health news”.

The science of weight gain and obesity is difficult enough as it is, and there’s more than enough con artists muddying the science for their own benefit. The last thing we need is yet another media outlet adding more white noise to the discussion.

And yes, I’m a bit cranky today.

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