Obesity

David Cameron acts on fat bastards

David Cameron should just consider implementing a Fat Bastard Tax, but what he is doing in the meantime is pretty good.

I bet John Key wouldn’t have the stones to do this:

The full cost to the economy of obesity, drug addicts and alcoholics will be assessed for the first time, David Cameron is to announce.

Overweight people could have benefits worth around £100 a week reduced or ended altogether if they refuse to lose weight, the Prime Minister will announce on Wednesday.

Under a major review of the sickness benefit system to be conducted by Prof Dame Carol Black, the chair of the Nuffield Trust, drink and drug addicts could be denied benefits if they refuse medical treatment.

The potential savings from the policy – one of a range of options being considered – will be assessed by government statisticians, who will examine in detail for the first the toll on the economy from such conditions.

There are around 90,000 people who claim sickness benefits whose illness is primarily due to their drug or alcohol addiction.

It means that 25 per cent of alcoholics, and an estimated 80 per cent of heroin and crack users, claim benefits, according to figures released by Downing Street.   Read more »

Karl du Fresne on the health troughers

Karl du Fresne isn’t enamoured with recent prognostications from the health troughers about how we need sugar, fat, and carbon taxes to prevent us all turning into a nation of Jabba the Huts.

New Zealanders are under siege, bombarded almost weekly with warnings that we’re killing ourselves, either by drinking too much, eating the wrong food or being too fond of sugar.

Last week a coterie of academics from Otago, Auckland and Oxford universities called for special taxes on fatty and salty foods and government subsidies on fruit and vegetables.

Luckily for them, they wouldn’t have to work out the nightmarish regulatory details such a proposal would entail, nor pay for the army of public servants that would be required to administer it. Not their problem.

A couple of weeks earlier, at a conference in Wellington, the head of preventive and social medicine at Otago University, who also happens to be a campaigner for stringent liquor controls, recited a slew of scary statistics linking alcohol consumption with cancer.

Professor Jennie Connor said that for women, cancer was the most common fatal consequence of drinking, accounting for 44 per cent of all alcohol-related deaths. In 2007, according to her figures, 243 cancer deaths were attributed to drinking.

And just to frighten people more, she said that about one-third of alcohol-related cancer deaths occurred among women who had fewer than two drinks a day.

In other words, forget all that reassuring stuff about drinking in moderation. There’s no “safe” level of consumption.

Now I admit I’m just a dumb layman, but loose phrases such as “attributed to drinking” and “related to drinking” arouse my journalist’s scepticism. They seem to fall short of a definitive statement that these women got cancer and died specifically as a result of drinking.

Besides, I wondered how doctors could be so sure that it was alcohol that caused these fatal cancers and not some other factor – or, more likely, combination of factors. How can they so confidently rule out genes, for example, or general diet and lifestyle?

And why don’t academic researchers also mention, just to prove they’re not ideologically biased, that many people drink in moderation throughout their lives and are still healthy in their 80s and 90s? That might present a slightly more balanced picture.

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Anti-sugar troughers resort to push polling

Most people take any sort of Horizon Research poll with a massive grain of salt.

So much so it’s safe to say that if you ever want research or a poll to give you exactly what you want it to say, you go to Horizon Research.

And that would therefore explain why anti-sugar trougher Professor Boyd Swinburn used Horizon Research to pimp out findings from a ‘survey’ to the Herald’s Martin Johnston under the emotive heading ‘we need to protect kids from junk food ads’.

As always the Herald is alarming and suggests the Government isn’t doing enough to stop kids getting fatter.

Ever since Health Minister Jonathan Coleman told the troughers to get knotted over their fat tax ideas, trougher Boyd Swinburn and his research cohorts have been pimping out ‘research’ after ‘research’ after ‘research’ trying to say they’re right and the Government is wrong.

Boyd Swinburn’s front group #ProtectOurKidsNZ clearly outlines their government relations strategy.

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So let’s have a look at the type of Horizon Research questions signed off by Auckland University Professor Boyd Swinburn and used to attack the Government

  1. Would you be in favour or against the Government introducing stronger restrictions to reduce the amount of unhealthy food and drink advertising and promotion to children?
  1. Do you think the government should not regulate, should restrict, or should stop …using advertising on TV to market unhealthy foods and drinks to children?
  1. Do you think the government should not regulate, should restrict or should stop … featuring unhealthy food and drink brands in games and competitions on websites aimed at children?
  1. Do you think the government should not regulate, should restrict or should stop … sponsoring children’s sporting activities?

What’s even more telling is how Professor Boyd Swinburn is trying to say parents have no say over what their kids eat.  Here’s what he says about the research findings.

“This is finding is not surprising,” says Professor Swinburn. “Parents do not like having to say ‘no’ to their children all the time. The pester power that the marketing to children creates really undermines parents’ efforts to give their children a healthy diet.”

Not surprising? Really, come on.

And parents are obviously so useless that they are unable to say no to kids, so the only way to resolve that is to have Government introduce bans and taxes.

Maybe Professor Boyd Swinburn would like to start telling New Zealanders and the Government where the $16 million they’ve received has gone?

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Or maybe Professor Boyd Swinburn would like to explain what has happened to the more than $317 million doled out by the Ministry of Health on obesity service providers over the past ten years has gone?

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But that would be all too inconvenient.

 

– Martin Johnston, A Newspaper

Tough luck Fatties: You’re doomed

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The chances of an obese person achieving normal body weight are very low, a British study has found.

Losing five to 10 percent body weight is often recommended as a weight loss target. But researchers also found the chance of this being achieved was just one in 12 for men and one in 10 for women.

For those who did manage five percent weight loss, more than half (53 percent) regained it within two years and nearly four in five (78 percent) put it on again within five years. Read more »

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Nanny state troughers want more bans, restrictions and taxes on what you eat

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This week we have seen a flurry of articles in MSM bleating on that the Government is not doing enough to counter the “obesity epidemic”.

The noise is due to Health Minister Jonathan Coleman kicking the idea of a sugar tax into touch. The troughers are outraged a key plank of their lobbying has been rejected by Government.

No surprises who is driving this.

It’s Trougher of the Year Professor Boyd Swinburn and his travelling side-kick Senior Research Fellow Stefanie Vandevijvere. Must be a funding round somewhere.

A lot of the noise is repeated in the anonymous Facebook/Twitter group called ‘Protect Our Kids NZ’. Coincidentally  this group repeats the exact lines that Boyd Swinburn and Stefanie Vandevijvere bleat on about, yet they don’t have the guts to put their names to it.

Chaos & Mayhem member Carrick Graham is never shy to enter battle with troughers, lobbying the question: what they have actually delivered for the more than $16 million they’ve received from the taxpayer? It’s a very good question.

He recently caught them out running a #DirtyPolitics campaign against him, me and former HPA board member Katherine Rich, through taxpayer funded group Agencies for Nutrition Action.

It’s a front group being run by the troughers – the very thing they accuse Big Business of doing. This one is called ‘Protect Our Kids NZ’.   Read more »

Anti-sugar troughers told to get back in their box

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Over the weekend Health Minister Jonathan Coleman ensured common sense prevailed.

Despite the noise of the taxpayer-funded troughers, who like nothing more than whipping off overseas to grandiose conferences where they talk to each other saying how disappointed they are that kids are getting fatter, Coleman has rebuffed their advocacy lobbying.

Tackling obesity tops the Government’s priority list – but it says punishing sugar lovers with a tax is not the answer.

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman said on Sunday there was no evidence a sugar tax worked and further regulation was not the answer to New Zealand’s obesity problem. He conceded, however, that action was needed on the way sugar-loaded products were marketed to consumers but the Government believed voluntary action by the food industry was the answer.

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Claim: Too fat for jail, but not too fat to drive

Obese Driver Who Killed Jogger After Skipping Red Light Claims 'She's Too Overweight To Go To Prison'

Obese Driver Who Killed Jogger After Skipping Red Light Claims ‘She’s Too Overweight To Go To Prison’

Looks like we should initiate a judge swap scheme with the UK to replace some of our dud judges with good ones.

This fatty is perfectly able to drive but cried a river of tears that she was too fat for prison. The judge didn’t agree and sent the afore mentioned fatty down for some state imposed slimming.

A morbidly obese motorist who killed a jogger but claimed she was too fat for prison has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Unemployed Linda Ann Jenns, who weighs 30 stone, mowed down 45-year-old Paul Stinton after she jumped a red light in her white Ford Kuga.

But, despite being found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving, her barrister urged a judge not to jail the ‘grossly overweight’ woman because he claimed she would not be able to cope with life behind bars.   Read more »

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Fight Against Obesity Fight Night

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My mate Monty Betham has asked me to promote this for him. I can certainly testify to the positive effect boxing training has on fighting obesity.

Please support Monty.


 

SATURDAY 23 MAY, 2015 – TRUSTS ARENA, AUCKLAND
STARTS 7.00PM – DOORS OPEN 6.30PM

The ‘Fight Against Obesity’ is back in 2015. A Black Tie event that will be the highlight of the year for many. Our first charity fight night in 2013 was a huge success for all involved.This time round we are raising the bar and will ensure this event is bigger, better and more glamourous then the last!    Read more »

The answer to people who want to eat and diet at the same time

As Blubbergeddon is a little on the back burner for a number of us, the latest in surgical “marvels” eliminates the need for any self discipline

In a new attempt to control New Zealand’s obesity epidemic, severely overweight patients will have a stomach drain installed through which they pump out excess food.

Middlemore Hospital in South Auckland will run a trial of a device called Aspire Assist, which is installed in a 20-minute outpatient visit requiring no more than conscious sedation.

The backers of the technique view it as a relatively straightforward alternative to state-funded obesity surgery, for which the hospital is unable to meet demand.

Weight can be hard to shed and keep off long term. Thirty per cent of Kiwi adults and 10 per cent of children are obese. New Zealand is the third most obese of developed countries, although some Pacific island states have rates twice as high.

The Aspire Assist device involves joining the stomach to an external valve, via a tube through a hole in the skin. Twenty minutes after meals, the patient connects a hand-operated pump to the valve and drains around 30 per cent of the stomach’s contents into a special container for disposal – unwanted calories discarded before they can be absorbed by the body.

If I have to be absolutely honest with you, this would be the sort of life style gadget that I’d love to have.   I love my food.  I love tastes and textures and crunch.  It’s not about hunger as much as it is about the experience.   Read more »

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Skinny trougher who wants to tax sugar says we have to be nice to fat sheilas at the same time

Boyd Swinburn really takes the cake.

In an article about how fat sheilas perform in the cot, apparently they are hot in the cot, he tells us that fat shaming is dreadful.

Except this trougher has made it his life’s ambition to bang on about obesity and dream up new ways to tax us all into slim-ness.

Boyd Swinburn, professor of population nutrition at the University of Auckland, said overweight people being portrayed as unattractive on television did little to tackle the growing obesity problem.

“The situation is similar to the fashion industry where models are traditionally stick-thin,” he said. “If all people see on television is beautiful people having sex, it could encourage further low self esteem among those with weight issues.”

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