Monday, April 21, 2008

Nazism reinvented: The chosen ones of Australia's Left want a smoking ban and fitness tests for everyone

SMOKING would be banned for everyone born next year, junk food would be taxed and everyone would be subjected to a fitness test by 2020. By comparison, the cost of healthy food, including fruit and vegetables, would be reduced to reflect its low environmental impact and obvious ["obvious"? It is not at all obvious in the mortality statistics] health benefits.

These are just a few of the ideas from 100 of the nation's health experts who discussed the best way to combat obesity, reduce illness and promote a healthy lifestyle. Health Minister Nicola Roxon said one idea put forward in a submission was an annual national fitness test where citizens would receive a financial incentive if they pass.

Health stream participants in the 2020 summit also discussed increasing public education about how death can be a "positive experience" to avoid patients panicking when they reach hospital emergency departments.

Health participant, Meredith Sheil, a former Westmead Children's Hospital pediatrician, said many participants had suggested a ban on cigarette sales by 2020. "A lot of the health submissions suggested a ban on smoking by 2020," she said. "You would say, 'OK, from now on everybody born after 2008, you are not allowed to sell cigarettes (to)'."

Nutritionist Rosemary Stanton suggested increasing the cost of artificial and packaged food. "I actually think we need to price foods according to their environmental and health impact, rather than harping at people to eat this or that," she said. "All the artificial foods would become very expensive and the healthy foods would be cheaper." ....

Ski champion Alisa Camplin suggested expanding the active after-school communities program to ease the burden on the health system. "Creating a national program focused on physical activity would provide a pro-active framework for Australians to attain greater general well-being and receive preventative, rehabilitative and curative health support," Camplin wrote in her submission.

More here

You can't win: Thin can still be fat on the inside

The paper behind this report does not appear to have passed peer review but there is a summary of it here. It relies on clinical indices which may or may not have the postulated relationship with longevity. As is common in epidemiological studies, control for social class appears to have been omitted, despite the large evidence of its medical significance

A thin person with a body mass index in the healthy range could actually be dangerously overweight. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in the US collected data on more than 2000 people with a healthy weight and BMI and concluded that 61percent of them had what they call "normal weight obesity". They looked thin, but their percentage of body fat made them susceptible to heart disease and diabetes, research presented to a meeting of the American College of Cardiology in Chicago showed. British researcher Dr Jimmy Bell has dubbed such people TOFIs, for "thin outside, fat inside".

The findings cast more doubt on the value of the BMI as an indicator of health. The index is calculated by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by their height in metres squared. A BMI between 18.5 and 25 is considered healthy. Melbourne weight-loss expert Leon Massage said body fat percentage is the most important measure of healthy weight. Dr Massage said many people would be unaware that their percentage of body fat had risen as they had become less physically active. "As their muscle decreases, their fat increases and their weight can stay the same," he said.

He recommended people measure their waist circumference and if it exceeded between about 90 and 94 centimetres for men and 80 centimetres for women, have their percentage calculated by a doctor.


1 comment:

John A said...

"Nutritionist Rosemary Stanton suggested increasing the cost of artificial and packaged food."
- - -
Ms Stanton went on to say that no-one who farmed less than ten acres for their own veg and fruit or who did not have at least one rifle for hunting should be forcibly emigrated. "We can easily sustain over 1.2 million people without having to package and ship food. And food you do not grow and pick or slaughter and butcher yourself is an artificial contrivance which must be done away with."