Tuesday, 12 November 2013

TANSTAAFV*

All under-fives could get free vitamins under plans being considered by the government — but Bolton health chiefs are one step ahead in the fight to tackle the rise of rickets.
Yes. Rickets. Really!
The number of people being treated for rickets has doubled in the town over the past two years, according to figures released in April.
A lack of exposure to sunlight is being blamed for the resurgence of the disease, which was virtually wiped out in the Western world in the 1940s.
Now, England's chief medical officer — Professor Dame Sally Davies — has asked the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) to review whether all children should receive drops or tablets containing vitamins A, C and D.
Yes, because, of course, giving all children vitamins is clearly the done thing to do. We can’t single out those who might actually need them, because...



Well, why not?
A council spokesman said: “We are committed to giving every child in Bolton the best start in life and are always looking at ways we can improve everyone’s health.
“The Healthy Start programme offers families on low incomes the opportunity to benefit from free milk, fresh or frozen fruit and veg, and vitamins, including vitamin D.
“In Bolton we are enhancing this programme by offering the Healthy Start vitamins free to families with young children who might not qualify for the Healthy Start programme but who are at risk of vitamin D deficiency.
“We are also working with local pharmacies to promote the benefits of taking vitamin D supplements during winter, particularly for those groups of people who might be at risk.”
Without, of course, drawing any attention to those who ‘might be at risk’…

*There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Vitamin

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

They could start to eradicate rickets by removing, surgically if necessary, all those X-boxes, ipods, ipads and mobile phones which every child over the age of 6 months seems to own. The next step would be to take the children outside their darkened, electronically swamped, bedrooms, and show them their is a world outside in which people can talk to each other, run about and play. However, this would entail the parents (not necessarily living in the same house, or even town) of these children to have to be re-educated first, probably by switching off their 96" plasma TV set (available at all good electrical stores but which can only sold to those on benefits).
We seem to be taking one step forward and three steps back in the progression of homo sapiens in this country.
Penseivat

Anonymous said...

Is it our 'friends' again?

Dr Cromarty said...

Bolton... Covering up from sunlight...rickets....such vibrancy. Goes with TB, genetic abnormalities, domestic violence, FGM. What could be the link?

Fidel Cuntstruck said...

@Penseivat We seem to be taking one step forward and three steps back in the progression of homo sapiens in this country

Indeed! I refer to it as "The Regression of Species"

You would almost be moved to wonder if someone closely connected to the Council official who proposed this doesn't trade in Vitamin supplements

Joe Public said...

As burkas don’t exactly enhance their wearer’s exposure to sunlight, perhaps they should be banned?

A free & pragmatic solution.

Anonymous said...

The natural downside to insisting you spend your life wrapped head to toe in a bedsheet.

Bucko The Moose said...

There are two groups at risk here: Those who wear nothing but ninja suits and children whose parents believe 1) There's a peado on every street corner and 2) sunlight causes immediate death, two beliefs that have been created by government.

So now we all have to pay for vitamin supplements for these people, even though vitamin D is available free in sunlight.

Which isn't taxed.

Yet.

Anonymous said...

When I was a young med student on a paediatric rotation students were told, if a father brings in a wellfed infant with walking difficulty, to immediately suspect rickets because the mother was confined to home. Nowadays that would be regarded as racial/religious profiling but it's still true.

Macheath said...

As Bucko says, current orthodoxy is that sunlight causes death. As a result, new mothers dare not expose babies to direct sunlight as anything but an indoor complexion might bring down the wrath of the Health Visitor, while a touch of sunburn, these days, counts as child abuse.

The result, on Britain's beaches, might lead you to think that we are being taken over by Vampires; large numbers of under-3s are swathed head-to-toe and slathered in sunblock or, for those under 6 months, incarcerated in little purpose-built sun-proof tents.

Lynne at Counting Cats said...

It seems they are being offered the wrong type of free ride...

Clarissa said...

@Bucko

The Spanish government is already ahead of you:
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/spain-levies-consumption-tax-on-sunlight.html

Antisthenes said...

One of the major contributors to growth of rickets is the influx of immigrants from far sunnier countries than the UK enjoys. This is because their skin pigmentation has adapted to hotter sunnier climates so much of the weaker sunlight of the UK is blocked so leading to greater vitamin D deficiency. We are not told about this I can guess why; it may actually give a truer picture of the scale of immigration.

Anonymous said...

What next? Free coats because they feel the cold more?

Anonymous said...

Bunny

Wasn't there a piece in one of the papers that emergency wards/ teachers were to look out for cases of sunburn as a potential for child neglect. Still won't stop some poor child being murdered my an evil bastard but will put parents whose child catches a bit of sun through purgatory.

johnd2008 said...

During my childhood,my sisters and I received orange juice and cod liver oil with malt.This of course was because the U boats were making life difficult.We used to collect it from the Welfare clinics.For sunlight we only had to step outside.

Bucko The Moose said...

Clarissa - You have absolutely got to be shitting me. Just when you think you've heard it all...

JuliaM said...

"...and show them their is a world outside in which people can talk to each other, run about and play."

Not if Chief Con Cheer is right!

She's not, but then that's another blogpost...

"What could be the link?"

It's a mystery, to be sure...

"...two beliefs that have been created by government."

And cheerfully sustained by our so-called media.

"@Bucko

The Spanish government is already ahead of you"


*speechless*

Furor Teutonicus said...

Can not be true.

The BBC keep telling us we will never see winter again due to wobal gloaming.... or whatever the bastard with a mouth full of toffee was trying to say.

Na. We are all goiung to die of vitamin D overdose!

Anonymous said...

Will these vitamins be Halal ?

James Higham said...

Is it possible to get them just in food?

Anonymous said...

What's going on is actually dead simple. Rickets is caused by insufficient calcium. Calcium needs vitamin D to be absorbed. Vitamin D is synthesised in our skin from fish oils, catalysed by sunlight.

The likes of me, best described as pink-white slug-like beings, manage perfectly well in the UK with normal sunlight as we generally like a bit of sunshine (it being such a rare event) though sunburn can be a slight problem in summer.

If on the other hand your ancestors happen to hail from much sunnier climes, then you will be much more pigmented. You won't get sunburned during sunny days in April (as I once did), and you'll need a fair bit more sunshine than us locals do in order to synthesise vitamin D.

If you happen to have a religion which, as interpreted by the great wise ones of your religion means that females are to be covered head to toe in mobile tents, then back home where the sunlight is much more intense, you won't have too many problems. On the other hand, here in Northern Britain, such sartorial modesty will result in your skin seeing next to no vitamin D.

No vitamin D, especially in fast-growing children, means sod all calcium absorption no matter how good the diet is, which means rickets.

At this point, you might want to engage brain and think on the wisdom of your sartorial choices as interpreted in the meagre sunlight of the climate you find yourselves in. You might also want vitamin D supplements, and if you can find benificence in your heart then sorting out the wise religious elders with a quick visit to the osteoporosis clinic for a check-up and vitamin D booster would also be a good thing to do. After all, they can't help it if their sky-fairy didn't think to add in a few exceptions to the holy creed.