It's a classic case of distortion, from the headline--"Obese? Drive at Your Own Risk!"--to the bait-and-switch of its conclusion. Based on research involving people in car accidents, it purports to look at how BMI affects your risk of dying in a car accident.
Here's how it opens:
Being obese may increase the risk of perilous diseases like diabetes, heart attack, stroke and cancer. And it can be fatal in one more way -- it enhances the risk of dying in a car crash.
What's the connection? Well might you ask. This is one of those reviews masquerading as a study, where researchers look at data--in this case, data on people involved in car accidents and their BMI.
Researchers divided over 230,000 people into groups based on their body mass index (BMI)
Um, what we've got here is a correlation between not wearing your seat belt and dying in a car crash, along with a statistical analysis of percentage of seat belt wearers and their BMI.
As Sandy Szwarc is fond of saying correlation is not causation. Or, to put it another way: The media is willing, but the evidence is weak.