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The Madera Tribune

Not much movement on the Bell Curve

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webmaster | 05/10/12

When I was in school, I learned about something called the Bell Curve, which is a tool of statisticians. It’s a way of stating that in a given, proscribed population, measurements of just about anything will tend to arrange themselves along a line that is shaped like a bell...

A few years ago, I was at a fair, sitting alone with nothing to do, and decided to observe the people walking by, and rate them by whether they were skinny, normal or obese. I didn’t have any way of weighing them, but I observed them closely. I made notes of what I saw, and found that most of the people were normal, and that fewer were either skinny or obese.

At the Madera District Fair last year, I decided to do the same thing, and found that the people’s type descriptions — skinny, normal or fat — were about the same as they had been a few years back.

I only mention this because we are hearing that an obesity epidemic is about ready to kill us all. Yet, over a period of about 10 years, I didn’t see much of a change in the Bell Curve.

Admittedly, I was just sitting and watching people walk by. My definition of normal may be different from yours. Ditto my definitions of skinny and obese. Here’s where we may differ: My definition of normal is fairly forgiving. A lot of people you might define as obese, I might define as normal. Same with skinny.

The people in Massachusetts are trying to outlaw bake sales in schools because they think the stuff sold at bake sales makes those who eat it fat. I wonder what their definition of fat is.

I know obesity can create health problems, but outlawing bake sales won’t make obese people healthy. They can always head for the grocery store for a candy bar. For my part, I think the people of Massachusetts ought to outlaw unwarranted meddling. When PTA bake sales are outlawed, only PTA moms and dads will be outlaws


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