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An obese person showed up in an emergency room with a 24 hour history of lethargy, weakness, and nauseasome 5 days after beginning a very low calorie diet of 3 liquid food packs and 6 liters of water per day. Diagnosis: hyponatraemia secondary to excess water intake (a problem most commonly reported in beer drinkers). Water intake was reduced to 0.5 liters per day and food intake restored to normal, resulting in a full recovery.
The Lancetillustrated this case report with a pictorial data-graphic (somewhat in the style of isotype), using the data themselves to construct the statistical graphic. This technique is described and illustrated in The Visual Display of Quantitative Informationin chapter 7 on multi-functioning graphical elements and in Envisioning Informationin chapter 2 on micro/macro designs.
Source: B.D. Fox, "Crash diet potomania", The Lancet359 (March 16, 2002), p.942.
-- Edward Tufte
I saw the title of the article and then the picture. My impression on seeing the picture was that the picture was of shot glasses (likely inflenced by the word crash, and an excess of alcohol could be considered an automobile crash diet). Now I look at the picture, I have a bit of trouble seeing them as 8 ounce tumblers. Perhaps some scaling, like have a hand take hold of a glass, or include a silverware setting framing the left and right of the picture.
-- Tom Kelley (email)