Mathspigs Unite!!!March 31, 2009
I am not alone. There are other mathspigs out there trying to inform the public about rubbish maths.
Chris Berg commented in The Sunday Age 21st December, 2008 that the Federal Government Preventative Health Taskforce claimed that obesity cost Australia $58.2 billion a year.
“We are used to reading enormous numbers like that every day in the press. But for the most part, they consist of so many assumptions piled upon yet more assumptions that they are worthless.’ commented Berg.
How do you work out how much obesity costs??? Um, you guess. Pick a number, double it, that sort of thing.
There is a direct cost to the community for medical treatment of obese patients. This according to the Taskforce’s report was $8.3 Billion in 2008. That hardly adds up to $58.2 billion. But wait according to the report:
‘This includes an estimate of $49.9 billion for the impact of obesity on quality of life.’
So the Taskforce is guessing Oh, um, obesity costs about $49.9 Billion in lifestyle costs. What is it? I’ll tell you. One hell of a lot of fairy floss.