Controversial Issues In Malcolm Kendrick's Doctoring

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Malcolm Kendrick’s rebuttal to the BMI controversy in Doctoring Data

Malcolm Kendrick discusses the controversial issue of body mass index, or BMI, and its relationship to life expectancy in his book Doctoring Data. Kendrick explains that BMI is categorized into three parts, underweight, normal weight and overweight, which suggests that normal weight should be beneficial to ones health. Although it is common thought that normal weight should benefit ones health, a paper published by The Journal of American Medical Association states that being “overweight was not associated with excess mortality” (Flegal). While in the result section of the paper it is even stated that falling into the overweight BMI category is slight associated with a reduction in mortality, the paper has the vague title of “Excess Deaths Associated With Underweight, Overweight and Obesity” (Flegal). Through Doctoring Data Kendrick exposes the discrepancies between the data in research and the way it is presented to the public.
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Nonetheless, many health professionals believe that being overweight (according to the BMI scale) could cause health complications, as Kendrick states that the community believes being overweight “causes a host of diseases, which will inevitably result in premature death”(Kendrick 118). Since cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in obese people, the proponents of the theory that being overweight is harmful to ones health use this data to their advantage (Flegal). The supporters of the theory use this small statement to drawn correlations between mortality and weight, even though the data in “Excess Deaths Associated With Underweight, Overweight and Obesity” does not show any causation between the
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