Thursday, 18 December 2008

UK Population: Small Percentage Irreversibly Dim, ‘Guardian’ Finds….

Few people know and understand the ¬government's guidelines on healthy eating, smoking and drinking despite the millions of pounds spent on awareness campaigns, it emerged today.

Data from the annual Health Survey for England revealed that although obesity has nearly doubled in the last 14 years, two-thirds of men and women do not know the amount of exercise they should be taking. Only 27% of men and 31% of women eat the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
Because you can lead a horse to water, but…
Less than a third knew the maximum amount of alcohol they should drink a day, the report found. And only 14% of men and 11% of women could always correctly identify a portion of fruit or vegetables.
Ummm…
In identifying a portion of fruit and vegetables, 76% of men and 80% of women usually got it right. Nearly four out of five women but only three out of five men (78% and 62%) knew that the recommended number of daily portions was five.
Well, that was money well spent then! But you have to wonder just what they were misidentifying as fruit and vegetables?
The report pointed out the clear link between unhealthy diet and poor health and premature death, which is costing the NHS more than £2bn. "A government consultation into issues concerning healthy eating (2004) highlighted the need for the population to have sufficient information and knowledge to make informed choices about their diet," it said.
Make available all the information you want – you can’t make people read it, and you can’t make them understand it. There are no incentives in doing so. Start restricting their access to the NHS and you’d see some results, I suspect.

So, the millions of pounds spent on the campaigns has been a waste of money. Anyone want to guess what they plan to do?

Yup, right on the (taxpayers) money:
The public health minister, Dawn -Primarolo, said that more campaigns were on the way. "In the New Year we will launch our ambitious Change4Life movement. Change4Life will help families to move more, eat well and live longer.
‘Move more’…? What’s she been smoking?

7 comments:

Umbongo said...

In my experience people switch off if they're nagged the whole time. For instance, on London Underground you are informed about every 5 minutes (literally) about how well or badly the various lines are performing. Prima facie that sounds OK but, actually, if services are performing well we don't want to know. "Good service" should be the default position. To the contrary, if a line is experiencing delays then I want to know pronto.

The upshot is that when the loudspeaker starts up and tells me (in a barely understandable and electronically distorted accent) how well the Piccadilly Line is doing I lose the will to live and pay no more attention. This is a pity because I might miss the important info that the Victoria Line is shut down for another week-end's maintenance.

Unfortunately, LT can't leave the imparting of genuinely important info there. God forbid! Invariably, the disembodied voice goes on to inform us "customers" that said maintenance is to "improve service" or some other socially uplifting purpose (usually connected with "customers'" security). This implies that the general intention of carrying out maintenance on London Underground is to worsen service or downgrade security. Now I think about it (and experience the ultimate result) such intention might actually be the true one.

Rant over - for now!

Von Spreuth said...

The public health minister, Dawn -Primarolo, said that more campaigns were on the way. "In the New Year we will launch our ambitious Change4Life movement. Change4Life will help families to move more, eat well and live longer.

Now they are even begining to SOUND like Stalinist Russia, Maos China, and Honeckers DDR.

Von Brandenburg-Preussen.

DJ said...

Sounds like a load to me. Even if you think government should be taxing janitors to berate the public about their lifestyle, what does it actually mean to say x% of people couldn't correctly identify a portion of fruit?

If they're saying that people don't know that a portion is defined as, say, 212.75g of fruit then who cares? That doesn't mean that they aren't there, or there abouts.

Mark Wadsworth said...

IT's got nothing to do with 'changing lifestyles, it's got to do with creating jobs for Labour voters.

Furry Conservative said...

I wouldn't be able to identify an artichoke if my life depended on it, but I am reasonably clever. You wouldn't trust a survey done by a brokerage firm whose conclusions were that we should buy more shares. Why should you trust a survey by a State health group which comes out with the result that it should receive more money to 'educate' people?

JuliaM said...

"In my experience people switch off if they're nagged the whole time."

Yup - the law of diminishing returns ensures that it's counterproductive to keep banging on and on.

"Now I think about it (and experience the ultimate result) such intention might actually be the true one."

If so, it's the only target they're hitting!

"If they're saying that people don't know that a portion is defined as, say, 212.75g of fruit then who cares? "

With our 'education' system, you never know... ;)

"Why should you trust a survey by a State health group which comes out with the result that it should receive more money to 'educate' people?"

Precisely...

AntiCitizenOne said...

If you're on the dole, you should get healthy food delivered rather than money.