Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sloppy, Sloppy Writing; CNN Edition

CNN is running a story that coffee drinking has been linked to a longer life span.

But that's not the way that they put it, of course.
Even moderate coffee consumption was linked to better survival odds. Drinking a single cup per day -- which was much more common than a six-cup-a-day habit -- was associated with a 6% lower risk of dying among men and a 5% lower risk among women.
There is no "risk of dying". It is a certainty. Life is finite.*

I am being a little unfair, of course, in that in other places in the article, the writer does mention that drinking coffee lessens the risk of premature death.  But I am not being totally unfair, as even one of the damned researchers mentioned that coffee has the potential for saving lives.

It's just sloppy writing.
* Except maybe for jellyfish and GOP ideology.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if the folks doing the study ever think that maybe being able to AFFORD coffee at whatever quantity is actually the variable they need to be looking at, not the actual drinking of the beverage?

squiregeek said...

The report is much more misleading. If you consider the other risk factors common to coffee drinkers (lack of exercise, alcohol use, red meat consumption), they're more likely to die earlier. Another study misinterpreted by the lay press.

Paul said...

A recent article claimed alcohol drinkers are less likely to die than the rest of us. When I ridiculed it, commenters called me a grammar nazi. Details here: http://pwoodford.net/blog/?p=8720