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Friday, 12 October 2018

Fat kids

The Daily Mail has a piece on a widely-reported claim that we have more and more obese and overweight children.

Pizzas will have to shrink or lose their toppings under Government plans to cap calories in our favourite treats in an obesity crackdown.

Drastic proposals from Public Health England state pizzas should contain no more than 928 calories and pies should be at most 695.

The guidelines will also apply to ready meals, sandwiches, cooking sauces, soups, burgers and processed meats - but those calorie counts have yet to be revealed...

It comes after figures yesterday revealed English children are fatter than ever as a record number of 10 to 11-year-olds are now severely obese - around 24,000...

Health experts described the rise in childhood obesity as a ‘catastrophe’.

The proportion of 10 and 11-year-olds who are overweight or obese has grown to 34.3 per cent – 197,888 children – compared with 31.6 per cent in 2016/17.

Because of our daily involvement with the grandkids and their schooling, we have seen many hundreds of children over the past few years. Simple observation suggests that the vast majority do not have a weight problem - certainly nowhere near the 31.6 percent being reported. Parents perhaps, especially mothers, but not their kids.

Of course there is the issue of standards - the question of how 'overweight' and 'obese' are measured and against what baseline. Even so a suspicion remains that the underlying idea is to make this into a whole population issue, to make it as big as possible simply because this is what bureaucracies do. This doesn't mean it isn't an issue but observation suggests it is not as big as claimed. But are they ever?

8 comments:

Sam Vega said...

My ten-year-old daughter has brought some forms home from school seeking permission to measure her height and weight as part of some national survey on childhood obesity. We don't want to make her the odd one out, but my initial reaction is to refuse permission.

I would have thought that teachers could easily identify the few obese children and - if that's what the state wants to do - they could then do whatever they think is appropriate. But no. They've all got to be weighed and measured. It's either a job creation scheme, or a move to redefine obesity. Or complete stupidity. Or all three.

Michael said...

All three Sam.

It's become a bueaucratic jobsworth creation system - local authorities love 'em.

Sackerson said...

Culls.

The Jannie said...

Our granddaughter had her sixteenth birthday party last night. Her friends were overwhelmingly pretty, slim and ignored the buffet. Mind you, we adults made up for that . . .

A K Haart said...

Sam and Scrobs - it is probably a job creation scheme and a move to redefine obesity. Ironically from a bureaucratic viewpoint it isn't stupidity but a job for life - a meal ticket for life one might say.

Sackers - tough but fair.

Jannie - that's my general impression of teenagers, mostly slim with few fatties. The weight seems to come later.

Demetrius said...

Queen Marie Antoinette, where are you when we need you?

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - these days she would have a point - cakes of the Mr Kipling variety are cheap.

Sackerson said...

I understand she said they should eat brioches, not cakes. Sounds like a propaganda lie anyway.