chewing the fat

As part of of one of the things I do for a crust I’ve had to question some statistics lately.

Big, brassy, blowsy statistics like “17 million Australians are overweight or obese” as stated by the Monash Obesity & Diabetes Institute (MODI) web page.

It’s a rigorous scientific process. “Darl,” says I to the partner-in-time, “that figure sounds very high. That’s like … 75 per cent of people. Whaddayathink?”

Well”, says he, “think about the people you know.”

Mentally I applied a pinch test to the first 50 people who came to mind and the results were alarming.

Now, I did not include work colleagues. No Siree! Because applying imaginary skinfold callipers to virtual workmates could generate a HR complaint.

So excluding workmates – and the Russell family of West Footscray, who will be reading this – only two people passed the pinch test.

There you have it: 17 million Australian people including 96 per cent of those known to Sarah Harris are carrying too much pud.

But somehow it still niggled, so I went back to the source.

14 million Australian are overweight or obese” read the MODI web page.

What! I put my hands over my eyes and peeked through my fingers. But it was still there in black and white. Was I going mad?

I had to ring them up. What happened to the three million, I cried? “Oh”, said Daphne, “I’m really not sure where that 17 million figure came from, so I changed it using World Health Organisation stats.”

And that, people, is the true story of how three million fat Australians vanished overnight.

Now, that’s a big weight off the mind.


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