Seriously people?

Eight out of 10 of middle-aged people in the UK weigh too much, drink too much or do not exercise enough, analysis from Public Health England (PHE) shows.

Modern life is harming the health of the nation, according to the organisation, which has launched a campaign, One You, aimed at the 83% of 40 to 60-year-olds – 87% of men and 79% of women in this age bracket – who are overweight or obese, exceed the chief medical officer’s alcohol guidelines or are physically inactive.

Gaaah.

Pluck some numbers from the air for what booze consumption should be, then halve them a few years later, thus 80% of everyone is in danger and we can have health fascism.

25 comments on “Seriously people?

  1. To be classified as over-weight, someone who stands 5’7″ only has to weigh 11 st 6, or about 73 kilograms. Someone who is 6′ only 13 stone or about 83 kilograms. This is not a lot.

    Also, of course, drinking up to 6 standard drinks a day is better for you than drinking nothing. The peak for good health is, if I remember correctly, between 3 and 4 standard drinks a day. Which is not what the government recommends.

    We need an Ecksian purge in the world of public health.

  2. Binge drinking is bad! Right? So if we demonise you, it’s for your own good!

    Meanwhile, over at the ‘Indy’, women are ‘unfairly treated’ over their binge drinking.

    You could t make it up…

  3. Just to add this;

    “The basic fact that conversation, hilarity and drink are connected in a profoundly human, peculiarly intimate way. There is a choice of conclusions from this. One would be that no such healthy linkage exists in the case of other drugs: a major reason for being on guard against them. More to the point, the collective social benefits of drinking altogether (on this evidence) outweigh the individual disasters it may precipitate.”
    ~ Kingsly Amis

  4. I’m seriously worried that a whole bunch of people who get paid an absolute fortune (along with 32 days paid holidays + public holidays) haven’t noticed that their propaganda website press release contains the following statement

    ‘Ninety per cent of adults with diabetes have Type 24’

    Type 24 diabetes ? WTF ?

    SMFS is correct that an Ecksian Purge is urgently required.

  5. JuliaM – “Meanwhile, over at the ‘Indy’, women are ‘unfairly treated’ over their binge drinking. You could t make it up…”

    First rule of social policy, and hence journalism – everything a woman does is empowering.

    Second rule – everything a man does is disgusting and probably illegal.

  6. We could also read this as 20% of people follow Govt health guidelines ……and have a miserable life.

    I wonder what the overlap is between following those guideline and clinical depression?

  7. @smfs,

    IIRC the mortality curves used by actuaries show a crossover at around 65 units, below that drinkers have a longer life expectancy than tea totallers.

  8. ‘Eight out of 10 of middle-aged people in the UK weigh too much, drink too much or do not exercise enough’

    Good to hear y’all are having fun.

  9. Heart disease is real though. The only question is whether it’s the government’s role to try to alter people’s behaviour so as to improve their health, or whether they should just live and let die.

  10. @ BiND

    “IIRC the mortality curves used by actuaries show a crossover at around 65 units, below that drinkers have a longer life expectancy than tea totallers.”

    65 units a day? After all, tis the season to be jolly….

  11. Andrew M, the question is not so much should the government try to alter people’s behavior so as to improve their health but can the government do this.

    Heart disease, obesity and diabetes 2 have all been blamed on eating too much saturated fat, eating too little saturated fat, eating too many carbs, eating too few carbs, virus infections, the wrong brand(s) of gut bacteria, and many other things. And then there are the genetic factors.

    Even the simple advice to eat less and exercise more in order to lose weight has been shown not to work for some obese people.

    So the government’s current plan to ‘cure’ obesity is to moan at us incessantly and to tax sugar. This of course will punish us all for the sins of the fatties while curing not a single lard arse.

    Then they will come up with some new plan – plain packaging for chocolate digestives – and that won’t work either.

    The only way to treat heart disease, obesity and diabetes 2 is on an individual basis but that won’t generate facebook likes for the Health Minister.

  12. SMFS: “Which is not what the government recommends.”

    Given your regular musings on these pages, I’m sure you’ll agree with me that disregarding the advice of government is, in most if not in all cases, the right thing to do. There is more and more evidence that the dietary guidelines first promulgated in the US in 1977 are a major contributor to the obesity “epidemic” in the developed world and to the incidence of Type 2 diabetes. See, for example, the following:
    http://media.swissre.com/documents/Medical+Newsletter+4+2016+EN.pdf

    Of course this should come as no surprise to any sentient human being, but there aren’t a lot of those in government.

  13. ‘The only way to treat heart disease, obesity and diabetes 2 is on an individual basis but that won’t generate facebook likes for the Health Minister.’
    We could have an NHS that covers A&E, communicable diseases, maternity, and under 18s as free at point of use. Everything else goes on an insurance model. This could mean half of Public Health England can go back to clinical work as the fatties and the alkies will look at the higher premia they face and make their own decisions on whether to change their lifestyle.
    A system for lifestyle diseases so simple that only the rest of the world has some variant of it.

  14. Weigh ‘too much’ – I don’t have the Human Being Makers Handbook. What weight is ‘enough’?

    Genetically we are hard-wired to self-destruct after about age 40 when we have diminishing reproductive capacity, are of little use to our genes and only compete for food and resources with the new generation.

    Humans when younger required muscle power to chase their food and fight to protect hearth and home, so have a metabolism geared to building muscle with food consumed.

    As age advances and muscle is lost and food becomes harder to catch, the metabolism is geared to storing fat for hard times, not building muslce.

    It seems that a study of anatomy and physiology and genetics is no longer required for members of the medical profession, researchers, or anyone working at Public Health England.

  15. John B: “It seems that a study of anatomy and physiology and genetics is no longer required for members of the medical profession, researchers, or anyone working at Public Health England.”

    Or a study of much of anything, come to that, and not just in the UK. As I pointed out above, the dietary guidelines promulgated by the US government in 1977 turn out to be a bunch of horseshit. What strikes me most with this episode is the blythe assumption by a bunch of earnest do-gooders in government (the task force was led by George McGovern. Need I say more?) thought nothing of telling the American public that everything that humans had been doing for hundreds of thousands of years was wrong. No animal fat! Eat carbohydrates!! The fact that carbohydrates from grains and cereals had only been available in abundance since the dawn of agriculture, between 15,000 and 12,000 years ago, while humans evidently evolved over a much longer time span and thus are likely to be more adapted to a much different diet, didn’t faze these “reformers.”

    As Ronald Reagan said: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'”

  16. It seems to be accepted that government dietry guidelines during WW2 produced a healthier population that today’s government dietry guidelines, so what’s gone wrong?

  17. @jgh.. I suspect that the WW2 guidelines were intended to make scarce resources spread more evenly whilst attempting to give the population sufficient nutrition to be able to function efficiently… Not to “enforce” the fads and fancies of assorted politically-correct groups of fanatics.

  18. “I suspect that the WW2 guidelines were intended to make scarce resources spread more evenly”

    What I would have said, too. The human experience is pretty much one of dealing with scarcity (nasty, brutish, and short – that kind of thing) and the physiology is adapted to that. Dealing with the abundance that a modern capitalist economy is able to produce creates its problems, which is why do-gooders of all stripes always try to get us back to prehistoric levels of wealth. See, e.g., Venezuela, Cuba, North Korea, Detroit, etc.

  19. jgh,

    two explanantions

    1. we didn’t have central heating or cars in WWII so people burned more calories just going about their own business.
    To maintain weight the average male required about 2900 calories, the current recommendation is about 2500 per day, given current average lifestyles it should be around 2100 for a middle aged man.

    2. we are governed by fuckwits.

  20. I lost 13cm off my waistline with a simple and easy-to-stick-to dietary change. I don’t drink or smoke or do drugs of any form, unless you count caffeine. I’m still counted as overweight by these fools. Right now my BMI is about 27. My highest adult BMI was about 32, when I was in my early twenties and was running 10km every day and doing weights and had 10% body fat. My lowest, 20, was immediately after getting out of hospital following a near-fatal bout of food poisoning. I’ve said it before: kg·m⁻² is a sensible measure for radiation shielding or floor loading in a warehouse, but it’s fuck all good for measuring humans.

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