Because of spam, I personally moderate all comments left on my blog. However, because of health issues, I will not be able to do so in the future.

If you have a personal question about LI or any related topic you can send me an email at I will try to respond.

Otherwise, this blog is now a legacy site, meaning that I am not updating it any longer. The basic information about LI is still sound. However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.

In addition, my old website, Planet Lactose, has been taken down because of the age of the information. Unfortunately, that means links to the site on this blog will no longer work.

For quick offline reference, you can purchase Planet Lactose: The Best of the Blog as an ebook on or Almost 100,000 words on LI, allergies, milk products, milk-free products, and the genetics of intolerance, along with large helpings of the weirdness that is the Net.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Phony Numbers - Phonier Science

Here's a link that I was going to include in my World Links section of my LI Links page, but had to throw out because the numbers turned out to be pure junk.

It's Statistics by Country for Lactose Intolerance, by CureResearch, a wacky attempt to estimate how many people in each major country actually would show symptoms from drinking milk.

According to their numbers, 32,388,462 or about 11% of the U.S. population is lactose intolerant. The same percentage holds for Canada. And for the U.K. And for Nigeria. And Korea. And, well, every other country in the world.

This is ridiculous, of course. The percentage of people with LI vary tremendously from country to country. Those whose ethnic heritage is not western-European white, are far more likely to be LI. I put a summary of the medical community's decades of findings on this issue into my book Milk Is Not For Every Body: Living with Lactose Intolerance. The percentages of LI individuals vary by country from less than 5% to more than 90%.

No self-respecting fifth grade science class would put these numbers onto construction paper for a science fair. So why would anyone take the time to do a whole (badly proofread) worldwide table? I can't imagine. It's of no conceivable use to anyone, anywhere. They don't even bother to explain or justify where they got the 11.03% figure for the U.S. from.

It's the worst use of numbers to make a pretend case for science that I've ever seen. Just another example of why you have to be so careful to find sites you can trust on the Internet. Don't believe everything you read.

Bookmark and Share

No comments: