A news story may report that those who eat processed foods are 30 times more likely to develop cancer. This is an example of generalized information -- a relative risk. The number does not accurately reveal the odds of contracting cancer by eating processed foods because the data leaves out too many variables. In comparison, a headline stating 12 out of 100 women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives is an example of absolute risk. This is a fact, backed by research, with specific, documented parameters.
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