Opinion – Childhood obesity: the end of an epidemic? – The Conversation – John Gelmini

English: McDonald's patron, 2006.

English: McDonald’s patron, 2006. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’m afraid I believe none of these stories including this latest one brought to us by Dr Alf via” the Conversation”.

No country in the world has forced the food manufacturers to reduce sugar, salt and aspartame content in food, eliminate e-numbers from food or eliminate Bisphenol A from packaging, till rolls and plastics. No country in the world has instructed its doctors to stop prescribing pills and to prescribe diet, exercise and vitamin supplementation instead.

Obesity is everywhere you look, particularly in countries where fast food outlets have proliferated, and generally the retail fashion industry tell us that clothing sizes for people of all ages are rising and not falling as our lifestyles are becoming increasingly sedentary focussed on convenience and instant communications via the internet and mobile devices rather than the physical effort of looking something up. A close look at people filmed in countries which we have not travelled to shows that children are physically bigger unless they live in dire poverty or are in war zones.

Canada does not fit this description although its youthful Prime Minister might like it to be the case so the evidence does not match these assertions.

John Gelmini

The higher a teenager’s BMI the greater their risk of early death as an adult | Daily Mail Online

Body mass index (BMI) values

Body mass index (BMI) values (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Citing scientific research at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, the Daily Mail reports that teenagers with a body mass index of 20 or above – normal weight is deemed a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 – are at greater risk of early death from heart disease.

Source: The higher a teenager’s BMI the greater their risk of early death as an adult | Daily Mail Online

Clearly, what is regarded as normal needs to be adjusted for lazy lifestyle, absence of exercise and too much processed food. Policy-makers still seem to be way behind the curve – experimenting with sugar taxes is not enough. Governments need radical reform.

Let me turn this to an open question:

What are the principle elements of a radical reform strategy to tackle advancing obesity, especially in the young?