Thursday, March 13, 2014

Drinking Teens, Not Enough Dying To Worry About


Let me add to that, Large numbers incite fear and drama for the ignorant.  Surely it can only be the dumb masses that don't see through the use of big numbers or don't question the relative importance.

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Jeff Rosen from NBC was on the Today Show with this new big number, 4700.  Supposedly this is the number of teens that die each year from drinking alcohol.  When  I first heard this I immediately had to ask; "Is that a lot or little?"  Well as it turns out it is 1 tenth of 1 percent or .00011905 of the teens in the United States.  So I concluded it is a little.

This number is so small it doesn't even worry me  and shouldn't worry you.  What worries me is  this has to be a blatant lie with other motivations.  Let's break this down.  According to the CDC just over 16,000 teens die per year and 48% of these deaths are classified as accidental (not natural), makes sense drinking deaths would fall under this category so that is 7680.  It is noted that 73% of accidental deaths of teens are due to; you guessed it, car accidents, that accounts for 5600 deaths only leaving 2000.  Already we don't have enough teen deaths left to support the 4700 proposed by Rosen that supposedly die from drinking.  Of course there are other kinds of accidental deaths so this just doesn't add up.  How is it that 4700 die from drinking?  CDC Teen Death Pie Chart

Another comment that just blew my mind in this report went something like this; "one of the reasons the drinking age is 21 is because 18 year old teens weigh less and can't handle alcohol as well."  REALLY?  Weigh less?  This is the motivation behind preventing legal voting age, military eligible U.S. citizens from having a drink. They just don't weigh enough?  

I drilled into this number also.  The average weight for 18 year old males is 179.3 and for males between 20-29 is 183.9.  So an 18 year old male weighs on average 4.6 pounds less.  The blood alcohol percent for a male 180 pounds and one 200 pounds doesn't differ by more than .02% for any number of drinks per hour.  That's a 20 pound spread, so a little math, 5 pounds is 25% of 20 pounds so maybe the difference in blood alcohol percent at 5 pound spread could be .005%.  I'm pretty sure that can be achieved by gargling with Scope.

So there ya have it.  The whole pronouncement that there is something to be concerned about teens and alcohol consumption is at best suspicious.

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