Children’s weight problems

So the government asked the care trusts to ask the schools to ask their parents if the children could be weighed.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7541279.stm

So the children whose parents said ‘Yes’ were weighed, and the data collected and used to inform the nation about the state of obesity in young children. Glory be.

However, a *significant* number of parents said ‘no’ – and I am estimating significant to be around 20% in every county – and so those children were not weighed. Lo and behold, the county closest to home for me declared that there is not an obesity problem with young children for them, and they had the data to prove it. Citing healthy schools initiatives, a growing appreciation of participative sports and all manner of ways that children are being encouraged to exercise and eat a healthy diet, the campaigns have been hailed a success.

I’m sorry if this rains on anyone’s parade, but the 20% of children were very likely the ones who were overtly conscious (and worried, perhaps) about their apparent weight problems. The very children who need to inform the statistics were not included out of their own choice. Suddenly, in a county with some *very* overweight kids (and I have taught a few), none of them have been included in the census.It is hardly surprising that the figures show no obesity, when the obese children were not weighed.

Lies, damned lies and statistics, eh? When will we stop paying out money for this kind of ‘research’ and realise that there are far more realistic ways of gathering the data?

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