The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took the unusual step yesterday of admitting flaws in its March study that had claimed that obesity was responsible for 400,000 deaths annually -- a figure that represented a 33% increase from 1990. The actual figure is some 80,000 lower, only a 10% increase since 1990. The CDC is blaming methodological and statistical error.
"Public health advocates" have been quick to point out, of course, that obesity remains "the second leading cause of preventable death." And I'd expect the drumbeat of trial lawyers bent on making obesity lawsuits their newest line of business to continue, along similar lines to those that targeted the "first leading cause of preventable death." For more on efforts to limit such suits, see May 19, May 19, and Oct. 15.