Monday, February 09, 2009

The unreason about "obesity" never stops

"Obesity epidemic has spread to babies" And it's all due to them watching fast food commercials on TV, I suppose. What's never mentioned is that lifespan is very little affected by how fat you are and people of MIDDLING weight live longest. What you see in babies is clearly the result of genetics. Weight is highly hereditary. And the constant cries of "epidemic" are just attention-getting nonsense too. In both Australia and the USA, average weight in children has plateaued since 1998

BABIES as young as one are being diagnosed as obese, with a major hospital treating youngsters twice the size they should be. Doctors at the Children's Hospital at Westmead are admitting youngsters with severe weight-related issues such as sleep apnoea and diabetes. The problem is so widespread that there is now a 12-month waiting period at the state's only child weight management clinic at Westmead, The Daily Telegraph reports. The clinic, which also has psychologists, dietitians and physiotherapists, has 150 children aged between one and 16 on its books.

Paediatrician and weight specialist Shirley Alexander, who has called for obese children to be taken into the care of DOCS, said it was a shocking reality that the obesity epidemic sweeping the nation is now claiming toddlers under four. "A one-year-old who should be 10kg is actually 18 to 20kg or a two-year-old who should be 12kg who is 25kg,'' Dr Alexander said. [Which they have genetically inherited from fat parents]

She said over-feeding and large portion sizes are to blame for toddlers being overweight, rather than the consumption of junk food. "We are seeing children who can't walk properly or wipe themselves because they are obese,'' Dr Alexander said. Not backing away from her calls for morbidly obese children to be seized by child protection officers, Dr Alexander said she and her colleagues were at the "coalface'' of the obesity epidemic, dealing with children whose health had become so severe they were developing fatal diseases.

At the same time the hospital is reporting an increase in under-10s being admitted for severe hip and joint problems as a result of being overweight. "We are seeing more children with pre-diabetes or under-eights who have serious insulin resistance,'' she said. "We have pre-adolescents who have sleep apnoea and adolescent girls are also having menstrual problems because they are developing polycystic ovary syndrome. "We are beginning to see children younger and more seriously affected.''

Latest figures reveal that one in four children are overweight or obese. Doctors use a series of tests including the Body Mass Index (BMI), which measures their weight-to-height ratio, as well as measuring the weight circumference and also a Z score - which tests their weight distribution against their peers.

The Government declared obesity a priority health issue last year with the problem estimated to have cost $21 billion annually. Parents have been warned to rein in their children's poor diets or risk a lifetime of serious health problems, including heart and liver disease. [Rubbish!] "We are not blaming the parents but they do have to take parental responsibility,'' Dr Alexander said. [A "complex" statement!]

While BMI is used as a guide by most doctors to test if a child is at risk of being overweight or obese, it is not a diagnostic tool and parents who are worried should visit their doctor. In the UK this week, the Government ordered junk food manufacturers such as Nestle to downsize their portions to tackle the obesity crisis. [Which usually in fact leads to people eating MORE -- but you can't expect governments to look at the medical literature. They just KNOW] A spokesman for Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon yesterday said that the British plan was not being considered for Australia. [Good for Nicola!]


MMR doctor Andrew Wakefield fixed data on autism

The doctor who sparked the scare over the safety of the MMR vaccine for children changed and misreported results in his research, creating the appearance of a possible link with autism, a Sunday Times investigation has found. Confidential medical documents and interviews with witnesses have established that Andrew Wakefield manipulated patients’ data, which triggered fears that the MMR triple vaccine to protect against measles, mumps and rubella was linked to the condition.

The research was published in February 1998 in an article in The Lancet medical journal. It claimed that the families of eight out of 12 children attending a routine clinic at the hospital had blamed MMR for their autism, and said that problems came on within days of the jab. The team also claimed to have discovered a new inflammatory bowel disease underlying the children’s conditions.

However, our investigation, confirmed by evidence presented to the General Medical Council (GMC), reveals that: In most of the 12 cases, the children’s ailments as described in The Lancet were different from their hospital and GP records. Although the research paper claimed that problems came on within days of the jab, in only one case did medical records suggest this was true, and in many of the cases medical concerns had been raised before the children were vaccinated. Hospital pathologists, looking for inflammatory bowel disease, reported in the majority of cases that the gut was normal. This was then reviewed and the Lancet paper showed them as abnormal.

Despite involving just a dozen children, the 1998 paper’s impact was extraordinary. After its publication, rates of inoculation fell from 92% to below 80%. Populations acquire “herd immunity” from measles when more than 95% of people have been vaccinated. Last week official figures showed that 1,348 confirmed cases of measles in England and Wales were reported last year, compared with 56 in 1998. Two children have died of the disease.

With two professors, John Walker-Smith and Simon Murch, Wakefield is defending himself against allegations of serious professional misconduct brought by the GMC. The charges relate to ethical aspects of the project, not its findings. All three men deny any misconduct. Through his lawyers, Wakefield this weekend denied the issues raised by our investigation, but declined to comment further.



Liz Ditz said...

I've done another round-up post -- who is saying what about the Deer articles on Wakefield in the London Times. I've included this post.

11 years on, Wakefield Manufactured Data showing MMR-Autism Link?

Anonymous said...

It turns out journalist Brian Deer made it up:-
Sunday Times Journalist Made Up Wakefield MMR Data Fixing Allegation:

And he was helping the US Justice Dept sink 4500 US kids claims for vaccine damage compensation - what kind of normal journalist does that? Ans: none.
US Federal Court, US Justice Dept & The Sunday Times - More Questions Than Answers