Obesity

The Herald on Sunday quotes Professor John Birkbeck, an expert in human nutrition who has caused outrage:

The 76-year-old, who moved into semi-retirement this week after 50 years in his field, rejected the notion that some people will get fat regardless of their efforts to keep weight down.

While acknowledging that some may have a genetic propensity to , he said: “You can’t get over-fat without eating more calories than you expend.

He is right, even though some of his examples are over the top:

Birkbeck caused further outrage by saying methods used to reduce obesity rates had failed.

“In a dictatorship, you say ‘everybody that comes back in a year’s time with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of more than 30 will be shot’ – and you’ll find hardly anyone has a BMI over 30.

“But you can’t do that in society, so what we have to do is find a way to cajole and coerce. And I don’t think they’ve done enough of that.”

But what interested me so much, wasn’t Birkbeck’s views, but that of the taxpayer funded Obesity Action Coalition:

Obesity Action Coalition director Leigh Sturgiss said the condition should be blamed on environment rather than the individual.

“While there is some aspect of people making choices for themselves, we do live in an environment that doesn’t promote healthy eating,” she said.

Thank God we have stopped taxpayer funding to this group. As someone overweight myself, I find it outrageous to have Leigh Sturgess saying it is society’s fault – rather than my own. Bullshit – it is nothing to do with society or the environment – and everything to do with personal choices.

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