News To Arms, Kate Harding! To Flabby Arms!
posted by January 26 at 20:24 PMon
The fat-acceptance community is going to have a stroke when they get a load of this editorial in the Independent: “Let adult fatties eat themselves to death. The kids we can save.” The government in the UK has declared war on obesity—they’re less tolerant than our government, you see, because they have national health care, and it’s more expensive to provide a nation of obese people with health care. The government is talking vouchers for health centers, warning stickers on junk food, and paying people to lose weight. Janet Street-Porter isn’t having it:
At the moment around a quarter of all adults are classified as obese, and if the level continues to grow the burden on the NHS will be considerable. New ideas include better food labelling, a £75m advertising campaign to promote healthy diet and exercise, and more cycle lanes. The NHS website will also offer personalised advice about what to eat and how to exercise.
There’s some way to go: an episode of Dispatches on Channel 4 the other week looked at why people think they are obese—the reasons offered by the Mr and Mrs Blobbies filmed were patently risible—ranging from thinking it was “genetic” to “glandular.” One family claimed to eat a healthy diet but a secret camera filmed mum stuffing food into her mouth with both hands while walking….
I’ve said it before, and still the Government seems reluctant to acknowledge, that by the time a child is 10 the war on a trim waistline is won or lost—and that is where, if we are going to fight a “war” we have to direct all our efforts to teach all kids to cook, understand nutrition and be able to shop sensibly before they leave primary school. Instead of government targets of a paltry two hours’ physical exercise a week, kids should have an hour every day, achieved by walking to school or playing sport at lunchtimes.
The number of adults who manage to lose weight and keep it off permanently is very small. Waving vouchers or promising cash as an incentive is doomed to failure. It would be better to abandon the current generation of fatties and pour all resources into ensuring that the next ones grow up fit.
Sheesh. Janet makes my positively polite comments about obesity look… well, just a positively polite as they were all along, doesn’t she?