It's only fair to share…

Invasion of the Body Snatchers was a 1950’s movie, which received cult status. It tells the tale of how alien pods are coming to earth and “snatching” the bodies of humans so that they (the pods) can grow. The invasion happens whilst people sleep and there appears to be nothing that can be done.

I have a new theory that these pods may be responsible for the “obesity crisis”. Whilst asleep they enter the body and you just expand. It is totally beyond your control and will just get worse and worse.

Sound crazy? Not really if you follow the claims of our friends in public health. And it is as logical as the obesity gene theory (remember human genetics have not changed in 10,000 years) or the notion that it is all due to the failure of government to act. More about body expanding later.

Two contradictory pieces crossed my desk this week. The first claimed people in West Australia were getting heavier. This was accompanied by the usual doom and gloom from the public health brigade. One expert told the paper that the problem of obesity was bad, set to get much worse and that there was no good news in sight.

Of course these figures are based on the useful but seriously flawed body mass index (BMI). This is based on measurements of humans in the 1830’s-perhaps a little out of date. The overweight category captures many sports people who are fit and healthy thus inflating the figures. It does not take into account that people who are slightly “overweight” have been shown to live longer.

The second report looked at global statistics. This claimed that obesity in the western world had been on a plateau since the late 1990’s. Indeed Professor Michael Gard of Charles Sturt University in NSW (who has an upcoming book) was quoted as saying “The obesity epidemic began to die at the same moment as it was being announced”. This was between 1998 and 2001.

Prof Gard became interested in the issue after noticing a discrepancy between obesity researchers predicting gloom and lower life expectancies and the upbeat predictions of those looking at health as a whole. This included data showing Australians living longer healthier lives. He concluded one group must be wrong

There is no doubt that more people are heavier now than thirty years ago. This does not make it a crisis. More importantly the descriptions we hear are more akin to an invasion of body expanders. “It will get worse” and “it” is serious and “it” is a threat is the catch cry. What exactly is “it”?

We can assume that “it” must be some external force because “it” is never related to the behavior of people. Hence my theory of the body expanding pods. They must be the “it” which is always referred to.

Apparently people go to bed at night and then become the next victim of the obesity crisis? The only things that can save the day is government funding of programs and banning advertisements. As this has not happened the crisis deepens and “it” gets more serious by the day.

What nonsense!

Well here is the bottom line. There is no crisis or epidemic. Some people are obese and this will have an impact on their health and wellbeing. It has come about because of choices they have made in terms of foods eaten and physical activity. It will change if they make different choices.

Of course “it” cannot be that simple because then we would not need an army of experts to solve the “crisis”. And that would never do.