Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Funeral notices and sports scores

The danger of mainstream news is that if you read enough of it you might sooner or later starting believing it.  This one is a good example.

Earlier this month, an internet news story appeared about a new report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  I also read this "news" in the printed edition of The Wall Street Journal.

This report examined changes in eating patterns and diet among American adults between 2005 and 2010.

The USDA report was of a study focusing on consumption of food by Americans while away from home.   Nowadays, thanks to modern-day and fast-paced overextended lifestyles we live, the amount spent eating on the go is a large portion of American food budgets. 

Eating on the run is also associated with lower diet quality.

This report shared how Americans spent 13 percent less for food while away from home during the study period. 

Therefore, researchers concluded it was likely that American dietary quality also improved but that was just their guess because they admitted it was not possible to confidently make that conclusion based on the data collected.

What great investigative research they did as evidenced by their convincing “I don’t know” conclusion.

But that didn’t prevent the news headline from reading “Americans are making healthier food choices, USDA report says”.

So for those Americans who get their news solely by reading headlines, they can inhale a breath of fresh air and enjoy a cheat meal of junk food on the go as a reward for their hard work.

Well I decided to go past the headline and read more.  It wasn’t long before my next amusement surfaced.

In a press release, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack credits the work of President Obama’s Administration for the healthy food choices Americans are making based on this report that clearly stated how it was not possible to “ascertain based on the data collected.

Secretary Vilsack went on to state how President Obama’s Administration is “working hard to empower the American public to make smart choices every day at school, at home, and in their communities.”  

No mention was made in the news story how the American economy was in the gutter during this study period and, perhaps, less eating on the go by Americans was due to more of them being unemployed and having less discretionary income for junk food. 

The news article gave no credit of that “accomplishment” to President Obama’s Administration.

So today’s Pierini Fitness lesson is that let the reader beware when it comes to reading mainstream news in both internet and printed versions. 

Its journalism accuracy is suspect unless you’re reading funeral notices and sports scores.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

No comments: