Spotting an April Fool

Well, here’s one:

Britain will be the fat man of Europe within a decade after the largest ever obesity study found that almost four in 10 people will be dangerously overweight by 2025.

For the first time there are more obese people than underweight people in the world as bad diets and lack of exercise combine to create an unstoppable health time-bomb.

Health experts said the crisis in Britain was now a ‘national tragedy’ and blamed the government for failing to bring in higher taxes on sugary foods and drinks.

Like all good Fools it starts off sounding like something we’re regularly being told. It’s when it gets explained further that we see that it’s obviously a spoof:

Researchers at Imperial College London said the true health impact of poor lifestyles was being masked in the UK by statins and beta-blockers which lower blood pressure and cut cholesterol and are now taken by millions of older people.

But they warned that within ten years so many people will be severely obese that such drugs will stop working and surgery will be the only option to prevent disease and early death.

Drugs will stop working if more people take them? And the killer blow:

Obesity currently costs the health service £47 billion a year, just under half the entire NHS budget.

Great spoof. Starting out with what some would call reasonable and then spiraling off into absolute nonsense.

15 thoughts on “Spotting an April Fool”

  1. If you’re a publicly funded “expert”, every day is April 1st: they need to troll for job security otherwise people look at longevity stats and say “job done”.

  2. Radio 4 this morning:

    “We will force the world to be a better* place, whether it likes it or not.”

    *As defined by us, naturally.

  3. 47 billion probably yes when you take into account the amount payed out in salaries for over weight NHS staff,

  4. “For the first time there are more obese people than underweight people in the world”

    We win! Free market economics delivers what it promised.

  5. When Danny Boyle announced they were going to have nurses at the Olympic opening ceremony I thought No Way! It’s a sporting event. We can’t have those lard buckets waddling around the track. In the end they used models; phew.

  6. One of the key arguments the Health Nazis seem to offer is ‘because health costs are collectivised, the collective owns a stake in your body’, which is just another reason to un-collectivise health costs.

  7. JonnyA – also, if you un-collectivised health cost, people might start taking rather more responsibility for their own health.

  8. If you’re working to pay to stuff your face, none of my business how large you become but it might help if one adjusted the turnstiles at Jobcentres to allow access to only those of a narrower build. Fasting is the new health fashion….

  9. Well no obviously not because when Corbyn wins the next GE Brtitain will become North Korea and starvation will be the new Black*

    * am I allowed to use this word?

  10. JonnyA

    Absolutely – Sadly the standard response from ‘Defenders’ of the NHS to comparisons with a country such as Switzerland or Norway is ‘I don’t care what other countries do’ (Imagine if this argument were applied in any other area of public life – the howls of outrage would deafen you) and ‘The NHS is the envy of the world – even though of 28 EU countries we are the only one to set up care free to anyone at the point of delivery.

    The other canard is ‘public opinion is overwhelmingly in favour of the NHS’ – so people are given stuff for free and like it? What next – a poll on the pope’s Catholicism or the defecatory habits of bears regarding woods?

    I truly feel the UK needs a government run along Murphyite lines if only to see how much worse than North Korea it could get – bear in mind the Koreans are considerably more intelligent than the British…

  11. ‘I truly feel the UK needs a government run along Murphyite lines if only to see how much worse than North Korea it could get’

    The UK ran that experiment in the seventies, Venezuela is re-running it now. Even Karl Popper would probably accept that socialist planned economies inevitably lead to misery and poverty. If 1984 was the theory, it has never been disproved.

  12. Great spoof. Starting out with what some would call reasonable and then spiraling off into absolute nonsense.

    Err, but isn’t that what the DT normally does (yes, ok, it doesn’t always start with “reasonable”).

    That was my problem with this. I read it earlier and, instead of thinking “it must be April 1st”, just thought “usual DT bollocks”.

  13. The Meissen Bison

    Great Spoof

    Perhaps not. It starts in horribly familiar vein so a fair proportion of readers won’t read beyond the introductory sentence.

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