Friday, December 19, 2008

Say What?

This poll from CBS has to be one of the weirdest things I've read in a while. It reminds me of the kind of question you'd ask at an 8th-grade sleepover: Which is worse, burning to death or freezing?

I point it out because one of the questions asks,, "What's worse, being obese or suffering from anorexia nervosa?" Take a guess how "people on the street" responded. The pollsters go on to explain that 20 percent of anorexics die from the disease, whereas a 25-year-old obese woman has only a .01 percent chance of dying.

Other questions included comparisons between smoking pot and cigarettes, between having a swimming pool and a loaded gun, and between being married and miserable or single and happy. Each time there was a "counterintuitive" answer. People were apparently surprised to learn that anorexia is deadlier than obesity, that having a swimming pool is more dangerous to your family than keeping a loaded gun, and so on.

Weird, but maybe useful.


Lemur-Cat said...

I wish the article were longer so it could provide more details on the survey, just because it's interesting. It does seem a bit insulting that "obesity is less deadly than anorexia" was portrayed as so very surprising, but I guess it might be to people whose information comes from the TV news.

Rachel said...

Not to mention the psychological scars that remain in people with anorexia, sometimes long after they recover. When I weighed 300 pounds, I had poor self-esteem and felt badly about myself, sure. But I never experienced the agonizing mental torture I endured during my struggles with anorexia and bulimia. I'd much rather be fat and healthy than thin and unhealthy -- and health is as much mental as it is physical.

Harriet said...

At least--maybe more so.

Anonymous said...

Hmm . . . I'm a bit skeptical. I'd like to know the exact *percentages* of pool owners vs. gun owners. Also, the article said that happy married people live longer than happy single people but supposedly single women actually live longer than married women, and married men live longer than single men. Who knows.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... I think its probably a good thing that they were letting people know that anorexia is way more deadly than obesity. In society, obesity always gets all the coverage of "heart disease! stroke! you'll be dead in 30 seconds if you don't diet!" - while anorexia seems to be viewed as this glamourous thing Hollywood celebrities do for a week before the Oscars. Obviously that's not true, but I think that's the perception the average person has of anorexia. Anyways, I'm glad there was a little reminder of this.