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Friday, 14 November 2008

More bilge on obesity.

Mostly Government led but also medically led. It is very hard to take all this guff about obesity when they rely on a flawed metric like the BMI to determine what classification is given to each person. The BMI takes no account of muscle tone and that alone is vital in determining if someone is really in any way whatsoever overweight.

I read this BBC article with my now usual distrust of anything related to weight that has some governmental quangos attached to it. In this instance it is the Department of Health. How they can simplify how and what people eat, espcially where children are concerned, is something only government can do. Apart from the stigma attached to anyone they claim of being obese there is the not so small problem of how as a country we differ in what we eat as much as we differ in dialects used.

As an example, I hail from Hull on the East coast of England. My wife hails from Nottingham, roughly, central england. Her father is from Scotland and is married to a woman who hails from Devon. We are quite a scattered lot and if we take from each area what is classed as that areas main dish we find substantial differences in what each dish gives by way of nutrients, energy, fat etc etc.

Devonshire, like a lot of the surrounding shires, people tend to have a much sweeter tooth than anywhere else in the U.K. This is reflected somewhat by the people who on average have a larger girth, especially the women.

Nottingham and surrounding areas has a much higher intake of none English people than other areas of comparable size and this is reflected in what they eat. This in turn means that they have a good mix right across the definitions of weight versus height (but not the flawed BMI scale).

Hull, while this is changing due to the fish trade being killed off by goverment of the time meddling, we used to be a city of fish eating people. Now, like everywhere else, we have seen the rise of fast-food places, frozen foods etc and with it a rise is body fat levels. So, you will see the core of the 40+ age group in a different light to those under it.

Everywhere in this country though has seen a drop in children who play, and/or are allowed to play, running about street games that us fast approaching 50 year old and older took for granted when we were kids. Added to this was the 1980's abandonement of P.E. (Physical Education sometimes known as Physical Training (P.T.)) and games (which included football, rugby, athletics etc) which led to a whole generation of adults that did none of those. Those traits where in all probabilty passed onto their children. This added together with a poor diet means we are now seeing the rise in unhealthy kids.

But back to the point. That article demonstrates perfectly everything that is wrong with such labling and catagorisation. It is impossible to do in anything approaching a satisfactory  way. There are simply too many variables at play.

It seems to me that just like the flawed BMI scales the whole thing is based around that what they want to do is to force every one to eat according to their slots in their database. It would after all make life easy for them in their fight for removal of perceived fat in peoples, especially childrens, bodies. Like everything else on a personal level the government of the day gets involved in it will all end in abject failure.

We, as a nation of people, are not on the whole naturally, nor gentically, slim people. The  further south one goes the more heavy  the people are. The further north one goes the less one sees  heavy girthed folk. So it has always been and so it will always be.

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