Can you overdose on Ho Hos?

It’s odd enough that anyone decided to track which cities eat the most Ho Hos per capita, and it’s random that Pittsburgh tops the list, but the best thing about the Post-Gazette coverage of this “story” was apparently the lack of application of common sense or basic math literacy, allowing the orignal story to claim that the average Pittsburgher eats over 1.5 Ho Hos a day. It’s a little sad that this slipped through the editing process given how clearly ridiculous that statistic is. I particularly like the computation in the correction that, if their original statistics were correct, Pittsburghers together would be responsible for over half of the worldwide Ho Ho consumption.

3 thoughts on “Can you overdose on Ho Hos?

  1. I got a lot of good advice on which courses to take when I was in journalism school. But one piece of advice I wish someone would have given me was that I should have taken Probability and Statistics. Oh, how that would have helped me over the years – as both an editor and a writer.
    I know what you are going to say….”it’s never too late!” :-)

    1. Welcome back, Lynda! I’m looking forward to hearing all about the symposium. I can only imagine it was overwhelming, amazing, inspiring and utterly exhausting. How you do it all is beyond me. These brownies are taunting me. I’m on day 19 of sugar avoidance and I’m bookmarking this page for Oct. 1. Can’t wait for the full report from Greenbrier!

  2. I would never say that – but I will say that the best general audience book I’ve seen about statistics, particularly as apply to advertising and the media, is “How to Lie with Statistics” by Darrell Huff – it’s fairly old but seems to still stand up well and it’s a really good, short rundown of how statistics can used misleadingly.

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