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Meaning of "on average up to"
07-18-2019, 03:43 PM
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Meaning of "on average up to"
I saw a TV commercial the other day for some prescription drug that softens nose hair or whatever. For those outside the USA, yes, drug companies are allowed to advertise prescription drugs directly to consumers here. Anyway, the ad said that it's not a weight loss drug, but people taking it lost "on average up to 12 pounds."

My question for you is what on EARTH does "on average up to" mean? Keep in mind that companies must be able to back up their claims with clinical studies so this must be some actual statistic from the study. To me, "on average" is clearly a mean and "up to" is clearly a maximum, so "on average up to" sounds self-contradictory.

I have a theory, but I'm curious to read what my fellow nerds think.

And as an aside, I posted this question on facebook about a week ago. The comments are almost entirely about how companies advertise, the problems of advertising to consumers, etc. It appears that even my normally smart friends drew a blank on the statistic and really didn't care. Personally, I always look/listen for numbers in news and advertising and try to check them for sanity.
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Messages In This Thread
Meaning of "on average up to" - David Hayden - 07-18-2019 03:43 PM
RE: Meaning of "on average up to" - KeithB - 07-18-2019, 07:10 PM
RE: Meaning of "on average up to" - Ken S - 07-19-2019, 03:48 AM

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