That child obesity isn’t what we’re told it is is true. Chris Snowdon has shown that quite conclusively.
I show some more credible evidence and argue that the true rate of obesity among children in this age group is closer to one in twenty, not one in five. Indeed, it could easily be one in fifty.
The point being that:
I argued last month that Britain’s childhood obesity statistics are worthless. They are based on an unjustifiable assumption about the scale of child obesity in 1990 and that error has plagued every subsequent measurement. A flawed methodology has led to the number of obese children being greatly exaggerated.
So, the problem is rather less than is being said. It’s also true that obesity isn’t about to bankrupt the NHS. For fatty lardbuckets die younger and it’s cheaper to have people dying younger – yea even if being treated for the disease of being a fatty lardbucket – than it is to have someone die at 90, healthy but Alzheimered for a decade. The same is true of those on tabs and booze. These things, even ignoring pensions, save governments money.
So, the reason why we should be fiscally concerned is wrong, the incidence of the problem is wrong too.
However, however, let’s assume that they’re right for a moment, there is some obesity epidemic and that’s something we should all be concerned about. What happens when that meets the other fashion of the age, self-esteem?
A primary school headteacher has been accused of “fat-shaming” pupils after he told parents that their children were too overweight and should walk to school to lose weight.
Dr Huw Humphreys, head of the Christ the Sower Ecumenical Primary School in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, sent a newsletter to parents which said: “Our children, overall, are fatter and more obese than other children in Milton Keynes.”
He urged children to walk to school, adding: “They could really do with a lot more exercise.” Dr Humphreys later apologised, after his letter prompted a backlash from parents.
“It is simply not acceptable for the head to fat-shame our children – particularly when this is supposed to be a Christian school,” one parent said.
To be honest I can’t see the connection between self-esteem and which flavour of Sky Fairy – even one of the several about the bloke being nailed to a tree trunk – myself but then people, eh?
Let’s even go one further and say they’re both right. Obesity is a problem, self-esteem is a problem. What in buggery do we therefore do about fat shaming? Is it bringing a vital medical problem to attention or is it a societal imposition of why the fat kid always gets picked last for the football team?
Or, given both sets of whingeing, what is it that we’re actually supposed to do?