On Saturday 26th May 2018 at 5:45pm, we heard:
‘New research suggests that more than 1 in 3 women in Scotland will be morbidly obese, that’s at least 100 pounds above their ideal weight, by 2035. The research presented today in Vienna at the European Congress on Obesity indicates that women who have been to university are likely to be more adversely affected than those who didn’t
Here are the figures from a report in Medical Express:
‘The new estimates indicate that rates of morbid obesity in adults will reach 5% in Scotland (compared to 4% in 2015), 8% in England (2.9% in 2016), and 11% in Wales (3% in 2015) by 2035.’
So, 1 in 20 Scots are expected to be morbidly obese by 2035. The full paper suggests 5% of women and 6% of men will morbidly obese by 2035. Perhaps Reporting Scotland have misread the prediction for overall obesity rates as being that for morbid obesity rates? See this:
‘By 2035, [not morbid] obesity rates will be highest, and see the greatest rise, in adults working in routine and manual positions. As a result, the difference in obesity levels between those in managerial roles (29% males, 31% females) and those in routine and manual roles (39% males, 40% females) is expected to widen in England and Wales (with the exception of English females where it is expected to reduce).’
It seems too obvious. Have I missed something?
There are three serious problems with this report.
First, we appear to have an error confusing obesity with morbid obesity, producing tabloid headlines with a consequent negative effect on many female viewers and thus failing to inform viewers in a manner promised in the BBC’s charter.
Second, we have the failure to report on the key finding that morbid obesity, in Scotland, is expected to plateau at 5% while soaring past that figure elsewhere in the UK.
Third, we have the failure to report on the explanation for the above trend. The researchers offered a clear, confident and simple explanation for the significantly slower growth in obesity in Scotland – Scottish Government policy initiatives and resource allocation. For example: ‘The government put a massive push on developing a route map for how we can actually combat this. They put together resources from the NHS that were proving to be effective. They did put a lot of work into it.’ Further evidence of the effectiveness of the above initiatives can be seen in this: ‘However, almost no 15-to-24-year-old males in Scotland are expected to fall within this category, compared to 6% of the same group in England, the data shows.’
I appreciate that this was a short item but that does not justify the error and the major omission of both the key trend in Scotland or the explanation of it.
Footnote: I’ll make a further complaint to BBC and let you know how it goes.