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3 new Artifacts Zach Desmond

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Artifact #1

A Common Variant in the FTO Gene Is Associated with Body Mass Index and Predisposes to Childhood and Adult Obesity

Frayling, Timothy et. Al. . “A Common Variant in the FTO Gene Is Associated with Body Mass Index and Predisposes to Childhood and Adult Obesity.” PubMed. Science, 12 Apr. 2007. Web. 29 Mar. 2011. <;.

This scholarly article focuses in much more than most of the articles I have read on obesity.  The focus is on the gene FTO that has been found to have negative effects on BMI when the person in question is homozygous for the allele (has both bad alleles-allele: variant of a gene).  The article starts off with basic information: obesity is linked with health problems like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure than delves into specifics dealing with genetics.  This study included 38,759 participants and statistics such as confidence intervals and hypothesis tests were used to back up statements.

The website PubMed is a well-known medical website consisting of a wide variety of scholarly articles, this particular article from Science magazine, another credible source.  The target audience is for those who have knowledge of genetics, statistics, and general scientific method.  The multiple composers of this article are scientists specializing in health and genetics.

This article makes a strong, in-depth argument that this particular gene is linked to obesity and that childhood obesity can lead to adult obesity using statistics, plenty of test subjects, scientific research and correlations.  A weakness is that someone who is not used to reading this types of articles may find this article very hard to read/understand and another is that correlation does not mean causation, which is used frequently.  General knowledge is used at first but becomes more in depth.  Pubmed, along with its editors and sponsors have authority in the medical field.

Artifact #2

Flawed Obesity Study Minimizes Health Risks of Excess Weight

K, Flegal M. “Obesity Controversy – Nutrition in the News – The Nutrition Source – Harvard School of Public Health.” Harvard School of Public Health – HSPH. Harvard School of Public Health. Web. 30 Mar. 2011. <;.

This article published by Harvard focuses in on how new findings by certain sources can cause confusion and inductive reasoning that is often skewed or wrong.  In this instance, the government claimed that overweight people, on average, had a lower mortality rate than normal weight people.  The author of this article (unknown) brought up that this may be due to cases where normal weight people are more likely to smoke than overweight people, and that older people (which were included in the government study) can have lower BMI (body mass index), and are more likely to die.  This also goes to show that BMI is not the best way to measure obesity.

This article was published by the scholars at Harvard, the best school in the world and this particular website deals with nutrition and health issues, so there is a good level of ethos in this article.  The target audience is anyone who is interested in obesity and more generally people interested in health and nutrition issues.  The composers of this article are students and scholars at Harvard, once again a good level of ethos is here.

This article makes a great argument that facts are often skewed in studies and should be looked into with more depth before conclusions are drawn.  This article is a little weak in that it itself draws in facts that are not particularly backed up, and that there is only one reference.  General knowledge is found throughout the article without a whole lot of specific evidence.  Once again: Harvard has authority.

Artifact #3

Is Being A Little Overweight Really OK?  The BMI Controversy

Fogoros, Richard N. “Is A Moderately High BMI Healthy? – Elevated BMI and Your Health.” The Heart Disease and Cardiology Home Page. About.Com, 27 Feb. 2009. Web. 30 Mar. 2011. <;.

This artifact focuses in on the BMI controversy and can be related back to artifact #2, as it brings up the finding that overweight people can be healthier than normal weight people .  This article tells the reader that a person can be in the “overweight” category of BMI and still be in excellent shape (due to muscle mass, instead of fat).  This article also points out that someone with a high BMI should take into account other factors to determine whether or not he/she is at any health risk.

This artifact is posted on, not the most credible website, but the author is an M.D. so there is ethos associated with that.  The target audience is those who are interested in health issues and namely the BMI controversy and what should be thought about the issue.  The composer of the article is an M.D. who brings in the opinions of the general medical society.

This article is not particularly strong, but it is rather straightforward and the reader can easily glean what the author is trying to get across.  The main weakness of the article is that there is not a lot of specific evidence.  The article is strong because it gives the reader great background information on the subject while still focusing on the main issue.  General knowledge is found in the article, which makes the artifact an easy one to read.  Once again, this article has authority because the author is an M.D.


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