I think the essential message here is to be extremely sceptical of busy-bodies using words like 'epidemic' or 'crisis' to try and badger people into modifying their behaviour in ways they approve of.
Really, is there anything in today's world that isn't being sold as an epidemic of this or that when it comes to our health?
But yet again this week there was one of those reports that just simply cuts through so much of this nonsense, when attention was again drawn to the fact that Australians are one of the healthiest people in the world and only the Japanese live longer than we do.
Yup, that's right, we live longer and healthier lives than all those Frenchies and Greeks with their bloody olive oil and friggen tomatoes. (Not that I have anything against either. Or indeed the French or the Greeks for that matter. Well, maybe the French.)
And this is a perfect example of what happens when "moral" puritans intent on forcing people to be virtuous, whether they want to or not, get involved and are in positions to throw their weight around.
The problem being of course that very often they know less than they imagine and are often pushing ideas about health and diet that actually are poorly supported by the available evidence, but which have become nonetheless fashionable fads.
I'm sure this little boy is "clinically" obese. That's the trouble. Clinically obese will be whatever those who want to promote the notion of an obesity "epidemic" want it to be.
A bit like what happened in America a few years ago when a line on a graph was arbitrarily moved to the left and, at a stroke, millions of Americans became "over-weight" overnight, and without a single extra kilo being gained by any of them.
From the Food & Health Skeptic:
Mother's outrage as healthy five-year-old son weighing 58lb is branded obese by British health FascistsWith an active lifestyle and diet rich in fruit and vegetables, five-year-old Cian Attwood would appear to be the picture of health. So his parents were astounded to receive a letter from the NHS saying he is 'clinically obese'. It warned that he is in the fattest one per cent of his age group and risks heart disease, cancer and diabetes.Cian is 4st 2lb when the recommended weight for his age is between 2st 13lb and 3st 11lb. But he is 3ft 10in, taller than average for a five-year-old, and is clearly not fat.
Full article here