Thursday, 7 January 2016

Obesity drivel

From the BBC...

Rising levels of obesity and unhealthy weights could be linked to 670,000 extra cases of cancer in the next 20 years, a UK report predicts.

Multiplying annual figures over a decade or, as here, over two decades is a sure sign that the PR people have told them they need to get a BIG NUMBER.

If current trends continue, experts say, almost three in four adults could be overweight or obese by 2035, bringing a host of health issues. 

Oh goody, another obesity prediction. That won't be another policy-driven joke that will unravel as the years go by, will it?

Let's just remind ourselves how the last major, widely reported, peer-reviewed prediction from The Lancet is going, based on the latest obesity figures that went almost entirely unnoticed when they were released last month.

As you can see, the actual rate of obesity continues to lag well behind even the lowest bound of the Lancet's confidence interval. The public health mystics predicted that there would be...

"...a rise in obesity prevalence in men from 26% to 41–48% and in women from 26% to 35–43% [by 2030]." 

Current figures are 24 per cent for men and 27 per cent for women. If anyone wants to bet that the Lancet will be proven correct by 2030, I will happily take your money. You can leave a comment here or reach me on Twitter. Anybody? No?

The Cancer Research UK and UK Health Forum report says TV adverts for some food should be banned before 21:00.

Boom! Straight in there will the lobbying by the third sentence. And that, of course, is what this non-news story is all about.

Experts behind the report say they have taken into account that increases in obesity have started to slow in the past few years.

If so, then how on earth have they predicted that 'almost three in four adults could be overweight or obese by 2035'. Let's have a look at how rates of overweight and obesity (combined) have changed since the start of the century.

If that looks like a straight line to you, you are correct. The current rate of 62 per cent is exactly the same as it was in 2001, so these 'experts' can sling their hook and take their pathetic junk science with them.

Surely this stuff is wearing thin for even the most credulous moron by now?

PS. While I've got your attention, do have a read of Carl Phillips' latest blog post about the inherent dishonesty of 'public health'.

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