On December 13, 2001, the Associated Press reported a story entitled “Study: American kids getting fatter at disturbing rate.”
By 1998, nearly 22 percent of black children ages 4 to 12 were overweight, as were
22 percent of Hispanic youngsters and 12 percent of whites.. In 1986, the same survey showed that about 8 percent of black children, 10 percent of Hispanic youngsters and
8 percent of whites were significantly overweight.. Overweight was defined as having
a body-mass index higher than 95 percent of youngsters of the same age and sex, based on growth charts from the 1960s to 1980s.. Disturbing trends also were seen in the number of children who had a body-mass index higher than 85 percent of their peers.
In 1986, about 20 percent of blacks, Hispanics and whites alike were in that category.
By 1998, those figures had risen to about 38 percent of blacks and Hispanics alike and nearly 29 percent of whites.
This report drew a lot of attention from a statistics list server that is populated by statisticians.
Why do you think that a group of professional statisticians would be so excited and annoyed by what they read here? Do these data seem reasonable?

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