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 However, product information and weblinks may be out of date.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.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Never Read Just the Headline



Children Food Allergies Soar to 18 Percent

First line of article:
Children food allergies are up 18 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The two numbers say totally different things, and the headline is so wrong that it makes for a perfect example.

What are children's food allergies up to? The article states that:
The CDC estimates that four out of every 100 children suffer from food allergies.

Four out of every 100. That's 4%. Not 18%, not even a quarter of 18%.

If there has been an 18% rise, that means food allergies went from 3.4% to 4.0%. That may be a serious rise, but it still reflects a condition limited to a small percentage of the population.

It's bugs the hell out of me that reporters and editors can't understand enough elementary school math to know when numbers are wrong. And when their ignorance frightens people I call them out on it.

Shame on you all.

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