Have a fatty Christmas

I’ve been a bit of a feature at obesity and health conferences recently. You can imagine my line: Eat less, do more. Good right-wing stuff. And anyway, most young people seem pretty much like whippets to me, damn them. Seems I’m more right than wrong.

Tim Cole, a leading expert on the statistics of childhood obesity, was on More Or Less, Tim Harford’s weekly BBC Radio 4 numbers show the other day and said that there were probably far fewer obese and overweight children in the UK than official numbers suppose.  According to Simon Cox, a radio producer who has worked with Prof Cole on The Investigation an earlier radio show, if we applied international measuring norms,  we’d halve the numbers overnight. Anyway, the number work was all “built on sand”, says Prof Cox. And it bore no relation to real health outcomes either.

I am of course sure that there is a growing number of vast people of all ages and no good will come of it. We do of course live in an “obesogenic” environment, as I am always being told by health professionals who want us to walk more, drive less. (They blame town planners, not lardy-arses.) It is a struggle not to be tempted by the flow of fatty treats now readily available.

And on to top it all, we’ve become a tribe of pathetic, self-absorbed wannabe victims.

I have been quite enjoying my conference role. I am an absolute pig myself, so I know about weakness. But the best bit is that a small stream of health professionals is delighted to have someone stand out against the heartless, empty, weakening patter about “caring” and “support” which it is their lot to trot out. I can’t change any of that, but it seems to give people pleasure to hear someone talk dirty.

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Publication date

23 December 2008