Acne, Height and Headaches Contagious Too!

Remember the “study” showing that having a fat friend made you more likely to be fat?  Some researchers decided to apply the same methodology to pimples, height, and headaches.   I missed this over the holidays but Sandy at JunkFoodScience didn’t.    She summarized their results (published in the British Medical Journal) as follows:

They found increased relative risks of 58% for height, 62% for pimples, and 47% for headaches associated with the social network effect. These are similar, they said, to the 57% increased relative risk for obesity when a friend is obese and the 36% increased relative risk in quitting smoking when a friend quits that had been reported by Christakis and Fowler in their published social networking studies.

So, there you have it!  If I drop all my friends who have acne, mine should clear right up, right?







9 responses to “Acne, Height and Headaches Contagious Too!”

  1. vesta44 Avatar

    And if you get taller friends, you’ll get taller too (but avoid the short ones, no one needs to get shorter, right?). Just goes to show you can make statistics and studies say anything you want them to if you pick and choose your end points and the data that goes into them.

  2. Darrke Avatar

    I’ve met a few people who think they are “too tall”. Maybe if I spent more time with them they’d get shorter and I’d get taller? LOL…

  3. Bill Fabrey Avatar
    Bill Fabrey

    I only weigh about 220 lbs. (BMI is 32 and I’m proud of it.) But based on all the super-sized people I’ve hung out with for the last 40 years, I should easily weigh at least 400 by now, but I don’t. I realize that is anecdotal evidence, but for me, it tends to refute the silly idea that fat is socially contagious.

  4. Tiana Avatar

    I missed that one on JFS, so this may be my favourite post on the whole internet. :D

  5. […] Science Reporting vs Reality Posted on July 29, 2009 by living400lbs It’s not uncommon to see health stories that turn out not to be valid.  Sometimes one study is contradicted by others; other times a computer model creates something with an appealling hook, but really isn’t usef…. […]

  6. […] way of saying “linking fat people to bad things is popular, even though it often turns out to be […]

  7. […] do think Dan seriously missed the boat bringing up the silly “fat is contagious” thing.  It totally weakens his argument!  No, the better argument is […]

  8. Carolyn Avatar

    Because correlation ALWAYS responds to causation!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Carolyn Avatar

    Because correlation ALWAYS equals causation!!!!!!!!!!

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