Monday, July 12, 2010

Andrei Load of Lard

This picture illustrates a hyperbolic story with a hyperbolic headline:
Govt criticised for lack of action on obesity.


According to the story "New Zealand as the third most obese nation in the world, with an obesity rate of 26.5 per cent".

More than a quarter of New Zealanders are obese?

And the consequences according to the story are dire for our economy.
Experts believed obesity was the biggest health problem facing the nation, with a cost to the health system estimated at $500 million a year.
Numbers plucked out of the air by "experts" who are experts at, well, plucking numbers out of that part of the anatomy used to illustrate this story and post.

Look at this from one of the "experts" cited in this story.
Fight the Obesity Epidemic spokeswoman Dr Robyn Toomath said the Government had barely acknowledged obesity as an issue. It had increased funding for Kiwisport in schools, but there was no evidence that participation in sport affected obesity levels.
Listen my friends obesity is correlated with poverty - the problem exists amongst the poor, those who sometimes go to bed hungry, because they have fewer options when it comes to buying food than "experts". So they buy food which gives the highest energy content for the lowest price, instinctively.

Anyway this story is not really about peoples welfare if you ask me - rather its real significance may lie in the closing paragraphs
The Government was spending about $70 million a year on nutrition and physical activity programmes, including $20m on Kiwisport.

No programmes had been scrapped, but some "poor-quality spending" had been shifted to frontline services, Dunne said.
That is some people have lost some government funding and they are not happy.

4 comment(s):

Lucia Maria said...

Just wait until someone figures out how much abortions are costing the public hospital system.

robertguyton said...

"More than a quarter of New Zealanders are obese?"
you ask incredulously.
What do you base your incredulity upon?

Oswald Bastable said...

The bar for obesity is set pretty low.

I'm working towards the upper end of my 'healthy' BMI- 85kg

When I tell folks I still have 14kg to go, they look at me like I'm developing an eating disorder!

I'm still apparently 'healthy at 66kg- If I ever got to that and I have no intention of doing so- I would look like I had escaped from a concentration camp!

Gooner said...

The more governments assume responsibilities individuals, families and communities should have themsleves, the more that individuals, families and communities will believe governments can do every job for them and the fatter we will become (to use obesity as an example).

This applies to plenty of things.

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