Friday 15 May 2015

A tiny victory

Royal Society for Public Health is a ghastly organisation which I wrote about when they decided they wanted doctors to get into town planning. Earlier this week, they put out a press release to accompany the dodgy OECD report on alcohol under the headline 'UK's rising alcohol consumption a stark reminder of the need for tougher action began'. It began...

New research which shows alcohol consumption in the UK is on the rise is a stark reminder of the pressing need for tougher action

Alcohol consumption is not rising, of course. On the contrary, it has been falling faster than at any time for 80 years. Anybody who claims to speak with authority on the subject should know this. To its modest credit, the RSPH subsequently removed this press release and replaced it with this...

We welcome the OECD report which has brought tackling alcohol related harm back into the spotlight.

RSPH have long been advocating for the implementation of a range of measures to combat alcohol-related harm, including minimum unit pricing, calorie labelling and compulsory PSHE education, and urge the new government to take action.

We are however concerned that the figures in the report do not correlate with official government statistics which lean towards a downward trend for alcohol consumption and binge drinking in the UK. It is important the public is presented with an accurate picture of the nation’s health and an evidence base that is robust. The health and social consequences of excessive drinking are too serious to risk confusing the public.

This admission comes a few weeks after the RSPH criticised Aseem Malhotra's guff in the British Journal of Sports Medicine about exercise. Slightly pathetically, the RSPH only complained about Malhotra 'sending mixed messages' rather than being scientifically illiterate, but it was better than nothing.

You don't win any medals for pointing out the bleeding obvious, but as far as I know the RSPH is the only 'public health' organisation to have responded to the OECD report by drawing attention to the fact that alcohol consumption is falling—and, even then, only after putting out a press release saying the exact opposite.

Such is the level of endemic deceit in the public health racket that one organisation accepting one easily verifiable fact counts as a win. These scoundrels will have to be dragged kicking and screaming before they face reality.

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