We've got rather used to the various clubs of doctors - BMA, RCS and suchlike - telling us that alcohol consumption is rising when it isn't (even the BBC now recognise that it is for heaven's sake). Now these New Puritan institutions are lying about obesity:
According to the latest research, 48% of men and 43% of women in the UK will be obese by 2030, a trend that will significantly increase the prevalence of strokes, heart disease and cancer, and lead to higher costs for the NHS.
Now unfortunately, the Guardian doesn't link to that latest research. However, the latest actual statistics from the Office of National Statistics tell us that rates of obesity are falling:
Despite the government ignoring the anti-obesity lobby's urgent suggestions for traffic light labelling on food and suchlike, the latest figures show that obesity amongst men has fallen to 22% and the female obesity rate has fallen to 24%.
So something must have changed - either the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges are scandalously misinformed or else the British public has been on a massive eating binge in the last year (those latest figures are from 2011).
Ah but what about the children say the doctors:
Charlie Powell, campaigns director of the Children's Food Campaign, applauded the academy's intervention. He said: "Andrew Lansley should act on this excellent set of robust recommendations, but his track record suggests that he will once again ignore the advice of our best medical experts."
Ah yes those children - I don't have figures for everywhere but I'm pretty sure Bradford won't be out of the ordinary in terms of obese children - here, for Year 6 children, there has been a slight fall over the past three years and the rate remains below 20% (marginally above the national average). And note that this uses the very discredited measure of Body Mass Index.
None of these actual facts supports the argument of the Academy that we should set about banning advertising & sports sponsorship, fast food outlets near schools and celebrity endorsement. Let alone introducing "fat taxes".
There really isn't a growing obesity crisis and doctors should help people who get too fat rather than seek to punish the vast majority who never get past being slightly chubby.