They’re lying again, aren’t they?

Poverty is forcing people to have dangerously poor diets and is leading to the return of rickets and gout – diseases of the Victorian age that affect bones and joints – according the UK Faculty of Public Health.

The public health professionals’ body will call for a national food policy, including a sugar tax, as concerns rise over malnutrition and vitamin deficiencies in British children. It will also appeal for all political parties to back a living wage to help combat the illnesses.

Doctors and hospitals are seeing a rise in children suffering from ailments caused by poor diet and the faculty has linked the trend to people’s inability to afford quality food. Latest figures show there has been a 19% increase in people hospitalised in England and Wales for malnutrition over the past 12 months but experts say this is only the extreme end.

Rickets for fuck’s sake? Bit of milk and some sunshine cures that. And as the farmers keep telling us milk is cheaper than it ever has been. It’s not the price of food that is bringing that back: it’s, dare I say it, connected with our glorious new multiculturalism. And no, not particularly (although this is indeed part of it) that certain of our new fellow citizens insist that the distaff side of the family never actually see the sun, swathing them in voluminous robes so that they cannot.

It’s also down to the simple fact that melanin levels differ. As they should as people have adapted to climactic conditions in different parts of the world. There really is a reason why the indigenous inhabitants of North West Europe are a generally pinkish colour. So that they can absorb enough sunshine to convert that vital Vitamin D. Those that are blessed with more melanin need to spend more time in the sun in our wet and dreary climes.

This is, I’m afraid, behavioural, not a money issue.

And as to a “national food policy” where’s my lorry load of hempen to deal with these people?

21 comments on “They’re lying again, aren’t they?

  1. Perhaps the same problem as Rotherham, the truth is too inconvenient and could be labelled racist. Why take that chance when you could use the issue to increase taxes instead? Meanwhile the malnourished children can go jump.

  2. All true but I’d just add on the rickets front that there is an increase in middle-class, non-Islamic dress rickets. Basically parents have taken to heart all the warnings about skin cancer so any kids who go outside on even a mildly cloudy day have long sleeves, hats and a liberal coating of Factor 40.

    That’s when they are allowed out at all.

  3. The increase in reported malnutrition is also not much to do with poverty but another consequence of our living longer. Almost all the increase is among the elderly and relates to things such as underlying medical conditions and loss of appetite

  4. It seems to be significantly down to middle class food faddist parents denying fats to their children. There’s a reason that Vitamin D is called one of the “fat soluble vitamins”. Animals store them in their fat. Then we eat their fat and get the vitamins.

    Combine that with obsessively anointing their children with layers of expensive unguents like little Christs every time the sun peeps out, and it’s hello again, rickets.

    But no, let’s have a sugar tax instead. These people are mad.

  5. I just want to add that I live in a traditional English village, so it’s overrun with muzzies. And the kids don’t seem to be swaddled in black burlap drapes until they get older, other than headscarves for the local CofE school, even though their mums are dalek ladies. So I’m not so sure it’s that.

  6. Vitamin D is found most easily at the cheap end of the supermarket aisle. A tin of sardines probably has a month’s worth.
    So the association with poverty is bollocks. The association with ignorance and stupidity is a bit stronger, perhaps.

  7. A riff off this health/immigrant subject.
    The population indiginous have been the beneficiaries of the Welfare State since 1945 & should be expected to be enjoying the health advantages accruing. The recent large influx of immigrants have not been enjoying the benefits of the Welfare State since 1945, so aren’t.
    One would think the advocates of the all encompassing, intrusive, nannying Welfare State would be welcoming, nay celebrating the decline in health standards since the recent large influx of immigrants, as proof positive the experiment begun in 1945 works.

  8. Ian B, it’s Muslim toddlers that are most vulnerable to rickets because they’re stuck indoors with confined mother. I trained in a sunny country where our paediatrics tutor said a miserable but well-looking toddler in the arms of a trad Muslim dad entering the surgery, rickets was a first suspicion before taking a history or examining.

    As to the white underclasses, the only vegetable they put in athe shopping trolley is tomato sauce. Their grandmothers or, given the rapid turnover of generations, greatgrandmothers may have cooked them but the conversion of cookery classes to food technology in the general trashing of education has turned them into esoterica beyond the lettuce leaf on a bought burger.

    The elderly especially those living on their own get scurvy because they have decided tea and toast is the easiest cheapest option, GPs should be handing out vitaminC and folate to them when they come for their hypertension or diabetes

  9. This is Professor John Ashton, Chair and President of the UK Faculty of Public Health,, writing elsewhere:

    The pharmaceutical industry has failed to find a vaccine against the Ebola virus because it has predominantly affected poverty-stricken Africans, a leading public health doctor has said.

    Dr John Ashton, president of the UK Faculty of Public Health, attacked the “moral bankruptcy” of the pharmaceutical industry failing to fund research for treatments because they do not see it as a worthwhile investment.

    Writing in the Independent on Sunday, Ashton said: “We must tackle the scandal of the unwillingness of the pharmaceutical industry to invest in research to produce vaccines – something they refuse to do because the numbers involved are, in their terms, so small and don’t justify the investment.

    “This is the moral bankruptcy of capitalism acting in the absence of an ethical and social framework. We must respond to this emergency as if it was in Kensington, Chelsea, and Westminster.”

    Ashton compared the global response to Ebola to that of HIV and Aids, which were killing people in Africa for years before treatments were developed after it spread to the US and the UK in the 1980s.

    “In both cases, it seems that the involvement of powerless minority groups has contributed to a tardiness of response and a failure to mobilise an adequately resourced international medical response,” he said.

    “In the case of Aids, it took years for proper research funding to be put in place and it was only when so-called ‘innocent’ groups were involved (women and children, haemophiliac patients and straight men) that the media, politicians, scientific community and funding bodies stood up and took notice.”

  10. Wonder how many doctors in the UK Faculty of Public Health?

    Compared to,say, the number of bansturbating lefty jobsworths?

  11. Sugar tax? When we were kids and on a Thursday when the old girl had run out of money, supper was a slice of bread sprinkled with sugar. I can’t recall any incidence of rickets or gout in the neighbourhood.

  12. Andrew K

    “In the case of Aids, it took years for proper research funding to be put in place and it was only when so-called ‘innocent’ groups were involved (women and children, haemophiliac patients and straight men) that the media, politicians, scientific community and funding bodies stood up and took notice.”

    What fucking crass comment by that fucking idiot. AIDS money came streaming in because wealthy gay men in the entertainment industry made it a ‘cool’ illness to support to stick it to those uptight right-wingers. Aids was about the most right-on cause to support. The blacks and straights and junkies benefitting was a side-effect.

  13. John Aston is an uneducated moron, sounding off from the moral high ground about things that he doesn’t understand. Developing new drugs is an extremely expensive and extraordinarily risky business. Less that 1 in 1000 candidate drugs going into development make it to the patient and development costs for each one of tehse 1000 potential drugs runs into millions and sometimes billions before they bite teh dust. A reserach worker in Big pharma may work their whole career and never work on a succesful product. All this money has to be recouped from the few succesful drugs. If your whole business is absed on morally good products you will be dead in the water within 10 years since your puny sales will not cover your costs and that means bankruptcy.

    No one was concerned about AIDS in its intial African setting because the market was too small to justify the investment, same is true with Ebola (and also with antibiotics). Its only when the issues begin to affect the deep pocket western world, especially America that the financial returne become large enough to take the risk.

    Just where does that pillock Aston think drug development money is going to come from? Ask that nice Mr Osborne for £100 million/yr for 10 years with a 1 in 1000 chance that the drug will work…..

  14. Andrew K – yep, missed that one.

    Looking at Ashton’s wiki entry he’s a scouser and therefore a bit left of everyone else in the known universe.

    But obviously not a real doctor as he wants to kill people:
    “In July 2014 Ashton became the “most senior doctor” to support assisted dying.”

  15. Oh. My. God. The idea that AIDS ever had an “original African setting” for Big Bad Pharma to pointedly ignore is blatant post-colonialist revisionism. Christ, this stuff happened in my lifetime, I am not misremembering. The first reported cases (obviously not the first cases) were among homosexual men in the USA. It took just two years to identify the causative agent (a major achievement that disgracefully took 25 years to attract the attention of the Nobel committee).

    The disease had been doing the rounds in Africa for at least 50 years before that, but had gone unnoticed due to (1) the dire medical infrastructure on that continent, combined with an almost complete lack of any form of clinical epidemiology, research, and academic base to scratch its beard at a new syndrome (2) probably a very low case load, mostly in the bush where the aforementioned (1) is completely absent (3) it isn’t a disease that will make itself known in its own right because generally some infection gets you as a result of the depleted immune system (that due to (1) you won’t see in the African bush absent the ability to do blood smears).

    It’s completely true that Big Pharma will not develop drugs to treat diseases only poor people get, particularly diseases only small numbers of poor people (dare I add in places with no IP protection) get.

    Ebola is not only got by just poor people, it’s astonishingly rare. The total recorded death toll prior to the current outbreak was under 1000. The current one is only being noticed because it is bigger than all its predecessors combined. As it’s in Africa, we only know about it because, unlike AIDS, it’s a pretty fucking dramatic way to die, even by African standards. It gets noticed.

    Incidentally, a vaccine would have really limited application (health care professionals) because (1) as a Zoonotic disease we can’t do a Smallpox on it (2) Epidemics are generally seen as self-limiting because it kills people so damn quickly, before they can take it all around the village. Now, a drug that stops people snuffing it while their immune system fights it off would be really helpful. Oh, wait, we have one in development!

    There are probably hundreds of viral diseases going around in Africa (and to a lesser extent in the west – Hepatitis C, not HIV is the real poster child for infections we spread around in the west without knowing what we were doing) that we simply don’t know about. HepC, which has been going around for centuries longer than both Ebola and HIV, and is about as undramatic as it gets, in that it does nothing for years to decades then kills you of the otherwise widespread natural cause of liver failure, neatly illustrates why a viral disease needs to be either dramatic or picked up by world-class epidemiology to get any attention at all.

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