How excellent!

Fat children, not the elderly, are fuelling the NHS crisis, a leading doctor has said.

It’s difficult to understand how, to be sure. No one takes the lardbucket to A&E for treatment, do they?

However, there is good news:

Lord McColl has repeatedly warned of an obesity epidemic, telling peers last year it was “killing millions, costing billions and the cure is free – just eat fewer calories”.

So we don’t need to spend any more money on the NHS then.

26 comments on “How excellent!

  1. “A record percentage of children are obese by the time they leave primary school, with one in three 10 to 11 year olds overweight or obese. “

    According to the totally-discredited BMI method of measurement?

  2. They don’t need to eat less, they need to move more.

    Good luck with that though. People will want to ‘regiment’ them into organised ‘safe’ activities like after-school sports.

    Nothing wrong with sport of course, but that’s even less ‘free’ time for kids.

    What they NEED is to be let out into the fresh air to go off and wander and invent their own games. I don’t know if that kind of freedom will ever come back for our children though, and it makes me very nostalgic…

  3. To me this looks like the bureaucrats have been gaming the figures. Those response times look too convenient.

    So the result is that they have switched to some other completely different measurement to justify whatever moronic reforms are flavour of the month this month – based on whatever decade-old management text the mediocre third rate minds in the Admin think is valid this week.

    The only medical-related bit of news I can see there is that Tara Whatsher-hypenated-name has died. Which suggests that hard core cocaine use has long term health effects. The City hit hardest. Although it is a bit sad that she could be dead for a week and no one noticed. Truly, men are not interested in anyone past the age of thirty. Unless it is their mother. Someone ought to have told her.

  4. A record percentage of children are obese by the time they leave primary school
    If true, you have to suspect a causal link there.

  5. There is the odd large child in our primary school classes, as it has always been, but 1 in 3? How can those people say so with a straight face?

  6. If you provide a ‘free’ health service, then (i) demand will be unlimited and (ii) people will not be incentivised to look after their own health*. Given (i) and (ii), the result is nanny statist nagging by self-interested public health bureaucrats.

    The NHS is the problem, and we need to move to an insurance- based health care system that provides some financial incentives to look after your own health and to avoid lifestyle-related illness.

    *Also, (iii), a ‘free’ health service encourages health tourism and indirectly migrants from loser countries.

  7. Are they not getting themselves confused on the “record number of children” thing? where did they get the stats from – i only skim read the article but didn’t see the answer…

    If it is from admissions at A&E / patients seeing GPs then they are useless – fat / unfit / unhealthy kids are much more likely to be at A&E than healthy / active kids…

  8. Won’t fat kids be fat adults, who will die far younger and thus save the country from its old age problem?

    I’ve said for some time now, the State should be encouraging activities that reduce average life span, not increase it.

  9. Jim – “I’ve said for some time now, the State should be encouraging activities that reduce average life span, not increase it.”

    Carrousel! Carrousel! Carrousel!

    Which, if you think about it, would probably be a good deal if you got Farrah Fawcett and Jenny Agutter coming around to your apartment until you were 30.

  10. Teachers are considered to be role models. It is fat teachers that are encouraging our impressionable youth to emulate them and become obese.
    All teachers with a BMI of >27 should be given three months to lose weight or be sacked.
    All publicly funded workers should be given the same ultimatum, it is outrageous that the Government is encouraging this Obesity Crisis by enabling these people.

  11. There’s arguably a more serious issue but it’s ignored in today’s wimp culture: people aren’t strong enough. There’s a need for weight training etc, and that needs to continue into middle age to reduce muscle loss. The current obsession with obesity obscures this. Millions of people enter old age barely able to walk or lift groceries from the floor or stand up from a chair or toilet because they neglect strength training. Yet the nanny staters hardly ever mention this. I guess they want us thin and weak: ideal citizens of a socialist utopia.

  12. Johnathan Pearce – “I guess they want us thin and weak: ideal citizens of a socialist utopia.”

    Body strength is positively correlated with voting to the Right. The Left really is made up of little girlie men.

    Which makes sense. If you think you should take care of yourself, you are likely to think you should take care of yourself. If you have spent your life hiding behind the teacher’s petticoats, you are likely to vote for the Left.

  13. “A record percentage of children are obese by the time they leave primary school”

    No they aren’t. You can even find school photos in your local newspaper in September (a nice little earner for newspapers). I’d actually say there’s less fat kids around than when I was a kid. And a large part of that is that we’ve gotten richer and are no longer feeding kids so much stuff packed with sugar, but more natural food.

    And kids do tons of exercise. OK, they aren’t walking to school, but they have PE like before, and there’s huge industries out there that are about kids doing fun stuff. Yes, they all sit around on their smartphones, but what’s not being done is watching TV. The kids I know aren’t watching TV like we used to. They turn on a show on Netflix, watch it and do something else.

    The biggest group with a health problem are middle-aged women. Office jobs, drink viognier, lattes, treat themselves to cakes and little exercise. Just look at them. And no-one seems to want to say this.

  14. McColl is 84 so I’m pretty confident that his remark is not based on his own observations. It’s probably a case of uncritical acceptance of some bugger’s ropey stats.

  15. Come to think of it, McColl is probably an expert in the Govian sense. Is he as bogus as Spud? I doubt it if only because McColl probably was genuinely expert once.

  16. Theophrastus,

    > people will not be incentivised to look after their own health
    The condition of the NHS strongly incentivises me to look after their own health. There’s a two week wait for GP appointments in my area. I’d order my own prescription medicine online if I wasn’t so scared of getting ripped off with fakes.

    Bloke in Wiltshire,

    > You can even find school photos in your local newspaper

    In a whole-class photo with kids sitting down and in full uniform, you’d be hard-pressed to spot borderline overweight kids (see next point). A decent photographer will put the photogenic kids at the front and the fatties at the back.

    > overweight or obese

    Ahh, they’re conflating the two as usual. A class full of kids with BMI 25.1 is not the same as a class full of kids with BMI 30.

    Monoi,

    > There is the odd large child in our primary school, but 1 in 3?

    Here’s a handy obesity map of England, courtesy of the Economist and Public Health England. I’m guessing you live in one of the good areas.

    Mr Ecks,

    > A free Cartman mask for every fat kid in school.

    Nice. If you haven’t already seen it, the last season of South Park is excellent. Cartman goes around insisting that girls are just as funny and just as clever as boys, until … well, I won’t spoil it for you.

  17. “A record percentage of children are obese by the time they leave primary school, with one in three 10 to 11 year olds overweight or obese.“

    Yeah, but how many are obese? You’re telling us that obesity is the modern evil, that there’s a record amount of obesity, then told us the total of obese+something_else.

    It could well be 3% obese plus 30% overweight to get that stated figure. Just more scaremongering fake news peddling.

  18. Andrew: Interesting map. The highest proportion of fatties is in the healthy uplands of the Lake District. Must be all that Kendall Mint Cake.

  19. Wrong kind of burden… this is the correct type of burden.

    From NHS Digital
    Rise in sport injury cases treated in A&E
    June 13, 2012: Accident and emergency departments in England have seen a 14 per cent rise in sports injury cases in a year.
    Just over 388,500 cases were treated in the 12 months to February 2012; up from nearly 338,200 in the previous 12 month period.

    Sports injury attendances rose by a greater percentage than A&E admissions overall, which rose by seven per cent during the same period, although both figures may be affected by increased recording of A&E data over time.

  20. “Must be all that Kendall Mint Cake.”

    Or Sellafield…..

    Actually, Kendall itself is south-east lakes; that red area is mostly poorer coastal towns like Workington; outside of that there aren’t too many people there.

    I was tempted to suggest that there appear to be some ethnic coincidences, but looking more closely perhaps the map is simply more of a rich / poor divide?

  21. > The highest proportion of fatties is in the healthy uplands of the Lake District.

    Nah, the fat kids will be in the run-down coastal towns: Whitehaven, Workington, Barrow-in-Furness. Those places still haven’t really recovered from the 1980s de-industrialisation. Sellafield and BAE between them provide quite a few good jobs, but the numbers are nothing compared to the old coal & steel and shipbuilding work.

    It’s really just a rich/poor map, poverty being strongly correlated with obesity. Insert your own theory as to why that might be.

    Ah, PF already made that point.

  22. SMFS

    “Body strength is positively correlated with voting to the Right. The Left really is made up of little girlie men.”

    Body strength is probably correlated more with social conservativism than with voting right. Lots of big chaps up north vote Labour. Metropolitan lefties, however, tend to be girlie men.

  23. I’m slightly surprised that north Norfolk has a high-ish percentage of fat kids. Lots of very well off people up there. But the locals elect a Limp Dick, which suggests some retardation. West Norfolk — King’s Lynn and Wisbech — is definitely ham planet territory.

  24. That map is from Public Health England. Unless someone like Chris Snowden has ok’d it I’m going with fake news.

  25. Theophrastus,

    I don’t really buy rural Kent (Ashford, Canterbury etc) as being more unhealthy than Berkshire and Wiltshire. Been to both plenty of times and very similar.

    This is undoubtedly Public Health England and you’d have to send Hercules in to clean that place out.

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