Two weeks ago, there was an editorial in a respected journal in which the author, using misleading statistics, tried to make the argument that too much long-distance running is bad for you. Being an editorial, the work was not peer-reviewed and thus should be given very little weight in the grand scheme of cardiovascular science. Of course, our oh so helpful media grabbed the editorial and ran with it (pun very much intended). The end result is a steady stream of “Hey, did you see this?? What’d you think about this?” e-mails in my inbox. All were deleted.
I will not link the article, nor will I link articles about the article, because there is absolutely no need to read it. The same thing comes out every year. It’s concern-trolling at its finest. Case in point: Slowtwitch didn’t even both responding to the new article, but rather just reposted a much more interesting article they wrote in February 2000 [<= not a typo].
Here’s what I will do for you: I will provide you with all the statistics you need to know about heart problems. It’s just two numbers: 505,000 and 90,000,000.
In 2010, 505,000 runners finished a marathon in the United States.
In 2010, 90,000,000 people in the United States were classified as obese by the CDC.
Even if each of the 505,000 is a US resident and a repeat, over-trained marathoner, one of these problem is 180 times worse than the other.
Raise your hand if you think the hearts of the 505,000 runners are more unhealthy than the 90,000,000 obese Americans. Now raise your other hand if you think these runners’ hearts are a major, pressing problem for our society.
That’s what I thought.