Seriously, what? Is that like how Teh Gay is contagious? My incredulity knows no bounds.
I couldn't even post on it for at least two days because I was rendered speechless. Surely no one is this stupid? Surely the media would not publish a study that was:
- Based entirely on Correlative data (Correlation !=Causation)
- Drawing on conclusions that only affect men
- Based on a limited sample of people that were enrolled in a heart study and their emergency contacts
- Only valid for the Middle Class
- Completely Stupid
I first read about the study at Shapely Prose, and she pointed me to this excellent article that covers most of the points I would like to make. (So if you want to know more besides that I think you should tell everyone you know what utter bullshit this story is you should go read those articles.)
What I find most interesting is a point that Kate Harding made:
It’s well worth mentioning that that study demonstrated, among other things,
that there’s no clear link between longevity and BMI, that among non-smokers,
obesity was correlated with greater longevity, and that the largest single
determinant of longevity was… drumroll… genes.
And Genes don't have anything to do with our social networks either.
The thing that drives me crazy about this is that no one is going to contradict it. It fits so nicely in with society's desire to hate anyone that weighs more than 5lbs that most writers and readers wont even question it.