Junkfood Science: Once upon a time...

June 20, 2008

Once upon a time...

Dr. Tony Dee and Mr. Tim Diddly had a brilliant idea. They would offer free screenings for the dreaded invisible toe fungus. They placed ads and hung posters across the Land of Incognita explaining that ITF can cause instant gangrene without warning. People who wear brown closed-toe shoes are at special risk of getting ITF, they warned.

Their free screenings were a tremendous success.

About 5,000 people came to see if they might have the dreaded ITF — and nearly three-fourths did! Most of them also wore brown shoes, just as they’d been warned.

Dr. Dee and Mr. Diddly reported that there was an epidemic of ITF throughout the Land of Incognita! Three out of four people had this dangerous condition, they said, and most people didn’t know the proper shoes to wear to prevent it.

To address this crisis, they urged the government to immediately fund more screening and treatment for ITF and to enact laws that everyone wear sandals.

Believe it or not, an entire country has gotten taken in by a statistical trick just like this fictional story. Can you guess which one?

Answer tomorrow. ;-)

"Disclosures:" Dr. Dee works at a clinic that sells ITF medicine and Mr. Diddly owns a sandal company.

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