We used to believe scientists and what they told us. We used to
believe official reports. Now it turns out that, more often than not,
they are telling us nonsense. We just want the truth. Sensationalist
scaremongering used to be confined to the tabloids. Now it's done by
every quango and official body in an effort to justify their existence.
Tim H, UK (comment about the "obesity epidemic" media blitz)
A new BBC program states that the "obesity epidemic" risks may be way overblown, and points out that childhood obesity statistics were not based on real data but on projected and computed data (the largest children regardless of size would be called "extremely obese").The investigators also state that "most teachers they talk to" have NOT seen this vast amount of obesity in the schools! (neither have I seen "all these obese kids" - most kids I see in school today are painfully slim with the same percentage (or less) of obese children we saw in the fifties in each class - 1 to 3 kids)
Further, continues the investigation, the estimations of the "cost of obesity" in Britain (from a well publicized report) were computed on an error which the author of the report admits but said it made "little difference" (and the error was never corrected). Turns out the error DOUBLES the figures (incorrectly) in places.
The Foresight report put the cost to the UK by 2050 at over
45bn(pnds) a year, almost half the NHS budget.
But Radio 4's The Investigation found the estimate was based
on a misreading of figures from a parliamentary report.
The report's author admitted to the programme that he had
made an error but claimed that it made little difference.
The calculations were based on a Commons Health Select
Committee Report which estimated that in 2001, obese
people cost the NHS 1bn (pnds) a year.
But the calculations for the Foresight report failed to
notice that figure doubled to 2bn (pnds) when allowing for the
costs of both obese and overweight people.
Another British govt report found that:
The increase in obesity will have surprisingly little impacthttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/22_11_07_modelling_fat.pdf
on period life expectancy of the population
Finally, although a British study attempts to "show" that obesity raises the risk for cancer, the real statistics show that there are no more deaths from cancer in the obese than in slim people.(If this "obesity epidemic" is threatening us with diabetes, why is it that in the last several decades though the INCIDENCE of obesity has doubled, the NUMBER of cases of diabetes has remained relatively the same with only a few more reported cases now than several decades ago?)
You can download the investigation podcast here: