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Mar. 18, 2014

A Big Fat Distortion

“Let’s Move” isn’t all that successful.

Michelle Obama’s nanny-state push against childhood obesity may not have had the intended effect. She recently cited a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report and claimed that her “Let’s Move” campaign to regulate diets for kids had caused obesity rates fall by 43%. But not so fast. Reuters reports that the study has a big fat margin of error: “The 13.9 percent obesity rate among preschoolers reported for 2003-2004 had a large enough margin of error that the actual rate could range between 10.8 percent and 17.6 percent, the CDC authors acknowledged. The 8.4 percent rate in 2011-2012 reported could range from 5.9 percent and 11.6 percent.” Even the CDC actually acknowledges that “there have been no significant changes in obesity prevalence in youth or adults between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012.” But let’s move those inconvenient facts out of the way so Michelle Obama can tout her “achievement.”

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