All aboard the gravy train
Slowly and inexorably the Nanny State rumbles on.
For some time now I have noticed an increasing mention of obesity in the meeja, whether it’s “game show” style programmes where people compete to lose weight, or documentaries showing the morbidly obese struggling to survive. All this is designed to plant into the public subconscious the concept of a country drowning under a sea of obesity.
Now the big guns are being rolled out. The “studies” are starting to appear.
A new one today estimates that “obesity costs Ireland more than €1 billion per year”. How do they work that out? Do they follow some unfortunate with a calculator, ringing up the medical costs and sick days? No. That is obviously impossible, so they fall back on their old friend – the epidemiological survey.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, and epidemiological survey generally falls into one of two types.
The first is where questionnaires are filled out for a block of the population. The questions by their very nature cannot be precise. “How many meals do you have a day?” seems fine, but how do you define a meal? To one it may mean a tomato and a slice of lettuce while to another it could be a 2lb steak with a large portion of beans and chips, complete with onion gravy and all the other trimmings. “How many sick days have you taken in the last year?” seems straightforward enough until you realise that half those sick days were down do skiving or a hangover and had feck all to do with weight. These surveys are notoriously inaccurate as they depend on people being scrupulously honest [as people usually tend to give the answer that is expected of them], have 20-20 hindsight and on the right questions being asked in the first place.
The second type, beloved of the Tobacco Control Industry is simply going over previous “studies” and combining the figures. This is the worst type as it is virtually impossible not to pick and chose the “studies” that provide the figures that suit your hypothesis.
From these studies they then produce mathematical models that predict what their findings will have on a full population. In the case of Tobacco Control, it is these models that tell us that 200,000 or whatever number, die every year from second hand smoking whereas in real life there isn’t a single case anywhere where this has been proven.
One of the interesting points about this new “study” is the lack of definition of “obese”. I would have thought that it should be the very first line of the report, but if it is in there, I have missed it. Is it anyone with a BMI of 25 or over? 20 or over? Is it based on levels of fat? Waist size? It is crucial to the whole exercise yet they fail to even define the word obesity.
Where next? Well, that’s obvious. The map has already been drawn so they will follow the same route. A ban on advertising. Plain packaging. Restrictions on sales, and of course the Big One – taxation. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the budget introduces a “sugar tax” or a “fat tax”. After all, we have to “lead the world” and “send out the right message”? One way or another we are going to be bullied and forced into eating “healthy foods”
All you people who laughed at the smokers’ discomfort and who condoned the “denormalisation” of a significant sector of society had better watch out. You are about to suffer the same fate.
If you want the real reason behind this study though don’t be fooled into thinking it has anything to do with health. It has even less to do with the cost to health services. You have to look down to the recommendations of the report…..
Paragraph H – “The findings on the cost of overweight and obesity highlight the need for significant investment in research”.
Paragraph J – “There is a need for ongoing national health and lifestyle surveys at regular intervals”
These researchers certainly know how to look after themselves?
All aboard the gravy train……….
One way or another we are going to be bullied and forced into eating “healthy foods”
No GD, one way or another we are going to be bullied and forced into further lining the pockets of the avaricious bastards who make all this crap up. Because sugar tax, fat tax whatever, once they impose it ("It's for your own good, you know"), it won't matter if you're anorexically thin, grossly fat or a supremely muscle-toned Adonis, you'll still be hammered for the tax, regardless. Which will of course pay for yet more "studies" and "research" by those wastrels who've never actually had a proper job, but nevertheless enjoy a nice fat pay-packed courtesy of you and me.
People are under the impression that I complain about the smoking ban because it affects me. Not true. The real reason I complain so vociferously is because it infuriates me the way people lap up all this shit without question. It sickens me to watch the gullible brain dead sheeple swallowing all these lies and allowing vested interests walk all over them, dictating how they should live their lives.
I am not overweight [though I'm probably morbidly obese by "researchers'" standards] so any measures that are brought in shouldn't affect me either, but I will still fight any anti-obesity measures to the hilt. Where will it stop? Alcohol is surely an imminent target. Maybe then they will decide what type of recreation we take? Now they have discovered they can dictate what goes in in people's private lives, and that no one even questions their most outlandish claims, there are endless possibilities
Now these people have discovered that there are vast sums of cash to be handed out to line their pockets, they will never stop.
Here here GD.. totally agree.
Caught a few minutes of a auld bag on Today FM with Matt Cooper on the drive home from work earlier ..she was harping on that education isn't enough.. that we need to tax sugary drinks and the likes to really make a change to the obesity levels across the nation. Are we a bunch of fat fuckers or what? I don't see all these obese people they're on about. That's exactly what it is.. another gravy train.
The same with alcohol as you say..
They want to stop the sale of cost price drink at the supermarkets.. My theory on that one is they used to get a lot more revenue when people would go to the pubs.. but more people are drinking at home now and can't afford to go out, so they want to be able to get the tax from supermarket drink now. But of course they'll harp on it's to stop people drinking so much.. drink is bad.. the kids are drinking the alco-pops.. it's too cheap and it's very very bad for you and costs the government billions in alcohol related health problems, sick days off work etc etc.
And people buy the bullshit. Same thing with that stupid plastic bag tax.. save the environment etc. How many hundreds of millions have they racked in with that one I wonder? Were the plastic bags really causing that much damage?
On that report, about people being out sick due to obesity.. how the fuck does that work? Sorry boss I won't be in today, I'm having a bit of a fat day? I would imagine that there are higher numbers of sick days amongst the general populous who wouldn't be considered obese. You really can correlate any two things you want without much logic being used it seems.
They are starting on the alcohol kick over in the UK now. Minimum pricing which will do absolutely zilch for any real or imaginary problem. They are trying to introduce it even though the EU have told them firmly they can't.
Of course, what happens is they increase the price / tax and there is fuck all effect so the answer is to increase it more.
"Sorry boss I won't be in today, I'm having a bit of a fat day?" Love it!!
Over here Cameron is playing a shrewd game or rather his handlers are.
1.Cameron shoots for retail price fixes.
2.EU types make public statements that such a move is illegal under EU rules. They would prefer a change to WHOLESALE prices.
3.Cameron gives in and the EU is portrayed as saving the drinking habits of the common man.
4.End result everyone who buys alcohol from a normal retail outlet not run by 'Whitey Van Man' pays more tax.
Expect more of the same for whatever commodity the slime running the EU decide is next.
There has to be a revolution to be rid of these fuckers or better yet their backers.
Makes me feel guilty to admit to using statistics for my own gains and ends in a previous life. Having retired …
We all know the saying about statistics?
BMI ratings according to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_mass_index#Categories Puts me firmly in Obese Class I. Definitely going to have to cut out some of the black stuff!!
Doctor told me a few months ago to lose a wee bit of weight to help bp levels. Fair enough, good plan, Dr…how much does your chart recommend?…3 stone.
Like fuck.I'd be like something out of Belsen losing three stone.
Three months of swimming, weights down a stone, BP's perfect.
No trust in those BMI charts either. Not sure I trust anything whatsoever anymore.
Trust your own instinct. It's yer only man.
BMI is generally regarded as a very vague measurement anyway. I believe half the Irish Rugby team are obese or worse!!