Thursday 4 July 2013

The obesity gravy train

It never ends.  From The Telegraph...

Ban school run to keep children fit, says health chief

Parents should be banned from dropping their children off at the school gate to help tackle childhood obesity, said new public health chief.

Professor John Ashton said children should be made to walk a quarter of a mile each day to keep them fit and prevent obesity.

I guess this is the 151st way in which "the nanny state is good for us", as Simon Chapman would say (the comments are worth reading. The article, not so much.)

And, also from The Telegraph...

'Unhealthy' multibuys targeted in new obesity crackdown

Supermarket multibuy promotions on fatty foods could be scrapped in a new obesity crackdown by the Government.

Minutes from a Department of Health working group reveal big retailers and food companies may also have to set aside a percetange of marketing spend for "healthier" products instead of promoting fizzy drinks, confectionery and crisps.

A new code could also be introduced to restrict the use of cartoon characters on food that is high in sugar and salt.

Tim Worstall has some firm words to describe these people. To be fair to the government, they have said that these were only proposals which they will not be running with. The 'public health' lobby, on the other hand, would go much further and are currently huddled together at a tax-sponging jamboree in Vienna to discuss "marketing controls, food prices, bans and subsidies".

Meanwhile, as obesity rates stubbornly refuse to rise, they are resorting to desperate measures to stoke the "epidemic"...

Health advisers have set a new, lower obesity measure threshold for British Asians... Until now, experts have said all UK adults should aim for a BMI of no more than 25 to be healthy. But NICE says that doesn't go far enough for certain ethnic groups. Its new guidelines say Asian people should aim for a BMI lower than 23.

Expect to see a surge in obesity next time the figures come out, along with urgent calls for a crack down. See how it works?


Jonathan Bagley said...

The effects of exercise on obesity are always over estimated. A child walking a quarter mile will use about 13 calories, which is 0.15 of the calories in a chocolate digestive and about equivalent to eating a plain digestive rather than a chocolate. I'm a fan of exercise, but's not much help for losing weight and you just find you eat more because you get hungry.
Because of its mistaken belief that fat is unhealthy and a lot protein is either unnecessary or unhealthy, the Government is forced into recommending an adult male consumes over 300 gms of carbohydrates a day. Adhering to this makes it virtually impossible for anyone except a professional athlete to maintain a bmi of 23 or less. It's baffling that NICE suggest this is feasible. A 6'0" man could not weigh more than 12st 5lbs. Novak Djokovic has a bmi of 22.63.

Rursus said...

Obesity - the next tobacco?!

Hmmm... what would the WHO say?

JohnB said...

This is what the good folk of Cameroon are being fed:

Cigarettes are eating your baby alive
Cigarettes are eating you and your kids alive

The campaign concept was rated as effective by African audiences in rigorous testing of tobacco control messaging conducted by World Lung Foundation in 2012. It was originally developed by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and has been used effectively in Bangladesh, India, Mexico, Russia, and Vietnam, among other countries.
This mass media campaign was carried out with the technical and financial support of the Africa Tobacco Control Consortium (ATCC), Africa Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA) and the Framework Convention Alliance. Additional funding was provided by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Mark Wadsworth said...

"obesity" and "gravy" in one post title, I like it.

How about "Obesity has had its chips"?

Junican said...

The same template that Tobacco Control used - get at the big manufacturers. I hope that the manufacturers have learned from the tobacco companies:
1. Appeasement does not work.
2. Do not try to keep negotiations secret - shout everything out.
3. Defend yourself at every step.
4. Get some studies done in a strictly neutral manner.
5. Get the studies done by Fat Control examined in great detail.
6. Shout, shout and shout again.