Don't Panic, the Finns Aren't Totally Superior

Kids who don't exercise and watch too much television are at higher risk for type 2 diabetes and vascular disease. This breaking news comes from Finland, home of the best educated children on earth. Apparently even high math scores can't protect kids from overindulging on both screen time and snack time.

Nor do they protect the Finnish populace or me from this lame public health nonsense:

The PANIC Study -- a source of scientifically valuable data on children's health The Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children Study, the PANIC Study, is an on-going lifestyle intervention study. Science Daily


I can't make this up.  I kid you not, PANIC is the actual title for a real children's health study.* Gee, I wonder what the researchers predicted they'd find? Is it any wonder the earnest researchers documented serious health "effects" of too much tv, videos and poor eating?

Take a look at the study behind this "scientifically valuable data":

The study applies scientifically sound methods to extensively study the lifestyles, health and well-being of children. The study provides novel information on children's physical activity and sedentary behavior, nutrition, physical condition, body composition, metabolism, vascular system, brain function, oral health, life quality, effects of exercise and nutrition on children's health and well-being, and their effects on health care costs. via Science Daily.

Scientifically sound methods. 

Provides novel information.

Novel information? I had no idea a sedentary lifestyle wasn't such a great idea. No idea kids were overweight. None.

Scientifically sound? It's a survey and a rather small one, about 500 kids, that's it. So really it's not appropriate to claim "effects" here.

As if sound methods and results that add something new to the literature are extraordinary achievements and not requirements of good research.

Those crazy Finns. Maybe I'm just tired hearing about their test scores. Maybe it's because I just listened to the head of math at my daughter's school praising the Finns one too many times.

Remind me, who designed those video games the kids are playing? Who designed the apps? Who designed the devices they're using? The smart phone? The iPad? And what about Google? Facebook? Twitter? Was it a Finnish kid?

*Discarded alternative study titles:

Physical Activity, Internet and Nutrition
Sedentary Patterns And Nutrition in Kids
Study of Children's Regular Eating, Activity and Media
Children's Activity, Television, Nutrition and Internet Project
CHildhood Obesity and Media Project
Chronic Obesity, Media In Children
CHildhood Inactivity and Media Pilot
Childhood Obesity, Disease, Diet, Lactation and Exercise Study
Activity, Media and Obesity in Kids
Pediatric Exercise, Nutrition and Inactivity Study


Awesome Mom said...

It is pretty easy to have good outcomes when you don't have a very diverse population.

Polly Palumbo, Ph.D. said...

Yes or you don't try to educate everybody or you send kids to vocational schools, etc.