Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Where are all the obese children?

Spot the fat kid

The Health Survey for England 2019 was published today. As its name suggests, there is a slight lag in the data, but it gives us the obesity figures for last year. For adults, the figure is 28 per cent, similar to the last couple of years. 

Let's do our annual update of the graph to see how the Lancet's 2011 prediction of one in two men being obese by 2030 is looking.

It's miles out, as usual.

For children (aged 2-15) the official obesity rate is 16 per cent. This is similar to recent years. In fact, there has been no rise in childhood obesity since the 1990s, not that you'd guess that from the way campaigners and gullible journalists go on.

As I have explained many times, the UK uses a unscientific system that massively exaggerates the scale of childhood obesity. This is obvious just from looking at the numbers. The 'obesity' rate among 11-15 year old boys is 27 per cent. If you add the 'overweight' it comes to 42 per cent! Among girls of the same age, the figures are 20 per cent and 37 per cent respectively. Where are all these kids? Why can nobody see them?

People tend to get fatter as they get older and yet, if you combine the adult obesity figures - which use the imperfect but adequate BMI cut-off of 30 - with the child obesity figures - which are an arbitrarily derived fiction - it appears that loads of children get very fat at school and suddenly become normal weight once they become adults. 

Here are the data for males:

For 11-15 year olds, the 'obesity' rate is 24 per cent. And yet for the next age group, those between 16-24, it is just 13 per cent. For girls, the figures are an equally implausible 20 per cent and 12 per cent respectively. 

And the same thing can be seen every year; it's not that 2019 had a particularly fat cohort of 11 to 15 year olds. 

Does no one involved in gathering these statistics think it odd that the obesity rate mysteriously halves once kids have taken their GCSEs? Or that it takes them another 30 years to regain the weight? 

This alone should be enough to discredit the measurement and yet the government sticks with it year after year despite it producing statistics that defy credibility. It allows the chumps at Public Health England to claim that one in three children are 'overweight or obese' by the time they start secondary school, despite none of the parents who drop them off at school being able to see them. 

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