Onion Accurately Predicts Real News Story

onion_072607.jpgCongrats to The Onion for accurately predicting a real news story three years ago. A just-released study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that having a friend who becomes obese increases the odds of obesity by 57%. That study has more than a passing resemblance to a 2004 Onion article, “Report: Scientists Still Seeking Cure For Obesity.”

From the Times:

Their analysis was unique, Dr. Christakis said, because it moved beyond a simple analysis of one person and his or her social contacts, and instead examined an entire social network at once, looking at how a person’s friend’s friend’s friends, or spouse’s sibling’s friends, could have an influence on a person’s weight. The effects, Dr. Christakis said, “highlight the importance of a spreading process, a kind of social contagion, that spreads through the network.”


“For example, we know that obesity tends to run in families,” Kim said. “But we have yet to pinpoint exactly what it is that causes, say, the Smith family to splash about their backyard pool blissfully unaffected while, just over the fence, the Jones family languishes 30 percent overweight on their barbecue deck.”

In other Onion news, fictional columnists Jim Anchower and Smoove B finally found some common ground.