Mayan 2012 Prophecy: The Real Skinny

Before wikipedia-ing the 2012 Mayan Prophecy, I didn’t really know too much about it.  I still don’t, but what I do know comes from the first line of the entry:

The 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on December 21,2012.

I would also like to note that, while wikipedia may not be the most reputable source, this first line has four (yes, four) citations…none of which are scholarly in any way…so, you know, take that for what you will.

HOWEVER, I think that I’ve found some data (see data source at bottom of page) that indicates that 2012 will in fact be a cataclysmic and transformative year.  Indeed, this very same data gives some indications as to what this transformation will actually look like and entail…and yes…it is unsettling.

Behold…our future

Figure 1: Our Future Present

Okay, well that’s not really our future, that’s our present.  What you’re seeing here are the prevalence trends for overweight and obesity in the United States.  Note that critical point in 2009 where the median proportion of adults that are overweight just barely overtakes the proportion of adults with a body mass index (that’s kg/m²) less than 25.  In addition, the proportion of adults who are obese is also on a noticably upward trend.  Keep in mind, this is just median percentage…meaning that rates of overweight and obesity are higher in 25 other states…and one of those states just happens to be my own: Michigan.

Behold…Michigan’s Future

Figure 2: Michigan’s Future

Good grief.  There you have it.  Based on trends from 1995 to 2010, it is projected that in 2012 the proportion of adults considered neither obese or overweight will be surpassed by its counterparts. A transformative event indeed.

To further illustrate the Mayan 2012 Prophecy, I’ve analyzed the above data using the Stata® 12 statistical software package and rendered the following graphic (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Stata® 12 Super-visualization of Predictive Margins for Mayan 2012 Prophecy

And this certainly isn’t going to help.

Data Source: Center for Disease Control & Prevention Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Prevalence and Trends Data, United States & D.C. and Michigan, 1995-2010.

1 comment
  1. Tyler J said:

    Very well done. Pretty interesting data and fun conclusions.

    It’s a damn shame that I have this large Cheesequake Blizzard from Dairy Queen sitting in front of me, giving me that sultry stare…. Well can’t let it go to waste!

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