Dec 20, 2006

I can’t say I’m surprised

It seems the UK is “having difficulties” establishing a database of fat schoolchildren, partly because parents are opting out of the system.
The largest database of its kind in the world, the NCOD was set up by the government as a tool with enormous potential for tracking and analysing trends in childhood obesity, and tackling this major public health problem.
Parents were asked for their consent to having their children measured, and the report said: "There is anecdotal evidence of higher rates of opting out of the measurement process among heavier children, which is supported by the findings of this analysis. This means the figures obtained from the NCOD are likely systematically to underestimate the prevalence of overweight and obesity."

Notice how they’re sure that all the fat kids are opting out. Clearly the point of compiling this database is to reaffirm the government’s belief that the UK’s schoolchildren are overwhelmingly pudgy.

But you know, even if my kid had 5 percent body fat, I wouldn’t give the government that information. Aside from the fact that I have serious doubts about the so-called obesity epidemic, this data gathering exercise is a huge intrusion. What happens after they get all the facts and figures? Will the government come round and check to make sure the lunch I’m packing is nutritionally sound?

Besides, even if your kid has to be hoist with a crane on a scale, just how effective do you suppose government intervention would be at changing that?

No comments: