BBC Scotland once more hide SNP Government’s policy success to create scare on obesity in women

‘Experts predict Scottish women less likely to be obese than those in England and Wales’

‘BBC Scotland try to scare Scottish women with fears of obesity’


Combined male/female figures

At 06:26am and repeated six times throughout the morning:

‘Cancer specialists say obesity is set to overtake smoking as the biggest cause of preventable cases of the disease in Scottish women. Cancer UK’s report focuses on data from across the UK, but prevention experts say the results are expected to be the same in Scotland. It’s urging the Scottish Government to press ahead with plans to restrict supermarket special offers on junk food.’

This report is missing crucial information, from May this year, on scientifically produced estimates contradicting the mere ‘expectations’ of anonymous ‘prevention experts’ and illustrated in the graph above.

Based on research led by Laura Webber of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, reported in the Independent on 26th May 2018:

‘Under current trends it is predicted that 11 per cent of the population in Wales will be morbidly obese in 2035, roughly 340,000 adults, while Scotland is likely to plateau at about 5 per cent and England will rise to about 8 per cent.’

The researchers offer a surprisingly clear, confident and simple explanation for the significantly slower growth in Scotland – Scottish Government policy initiatives and resource allocation:

‘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.’

I appreciate that the trend graph relates to combined male and female obesity, but the table below shows that for other than two groups, the prevalence of obesity in Scottish women is expected to be significantly lower than that in England or Wales and notably much lower for the 15-24-year-olds most likely to have experienced, in schools and colleges, the ‘Scottish Government policy initiatives and resource allocation.’


Table: Predicted % prevalence of obesity

This is classic propaganda and bias by omission. It’s quiet and slips smoothly into the subconscious mind like a hypodermic needle. BBC Scotland know of the research by Laura Webber of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine because they reported on it, at the time, but only partially so as to obscure the Scottish Government’s role. I complained but got nowhere.

Now they rely on unattributed sources to subtly remind Scots women:

‘You’re no different from the rest of the UK’

‘You’ll suffer like the rest of the UK’

‘Your government is absent here.’

‘Feel negative, stay still, no, no……’

Correct headline?

‘Experts predict Scottish women less likely to be obese than those in England and Wales’




12 thoughts on “BBC Scotland once more hide SNP Government’s policy success to create scare on obesity in women

  1. William Henderson September 24, 2018 / 9:48 am

    Had a wee peek at Professor Bauld’s background after reading the BBC web article this morning. It appears that she is not a ‘medic’ as such but has been a leading light in the UK on anti-tobacco campaigning.

    From the nature of her published work it would seem that the obesity problem has occupied her attention only very, very recently.

    Her exhortation of the Scottish Government to ‘do something’ indicates an unawareness of what is in train or has already been done by that same SG.

    Your conclusion that this is an early-morning propaganda piece, in my opinion, is not wide of the mark.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Alasdair Macdonald September 24, 2018 / 12:40 pm

      It is noteworthy how quickly this ‘story’ has been demoted on the BBC Scotland page. The baleful ‘fat-shaming’ photo which is at the top of this piece has been changed to a much more reassuring photo of a woman having a consultation with a doctor.

      What Professor Bauld is quoted as saying is “While the results of this study focus on the UK picture, unfortunately the forecast is expected to be similar for women in Scotland.” Note that she says that it as a “UK picture” and that she then – quite wrongly and unprofessionally for someone who is an academic researcher and a BBC proclaimed ‘expert’ – ‘it is ‘expected’ to be similar. So the story is based on a speculation.

      While the BBC Scotland site led with the infamous photograph shown, there was no mention on the UK site, despite it being a UK study.

      Cancer Research – a charity to which I donate – is seeking to make a point and, like other charities can often state arguments in headline grabbing terms. Personally, I have concerns about the efficacy of that approach by a wide range of charities, but, sadly, it is the ‘shock-horror’ soundbites that get the publicity.

      Liked by 1 person

      • johnrobertson834 September 24, 2018 / 1:42 pm

        You’d think Prof Bauld might have read previous research on the topic and, as you say, avoided guesswork.


  2. William Henderson September 24, 2018 / 2:36 pm

    Just looked at the BBC article again (at 1530) and as well as being minimised on the web page it appears to have been substantially edited.

    Maybe someone at BBC HQ is monitoring “Talking Up Scotland”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alasdair Macdonald September 24, 2018 / 5:44 pm

      It has in fact disappeared entirely from all the BBC Scotland web pages. It appears only on the UK Health page as the fifth item out of 12. The main item is the enquiry into the ‘infected’ blood transfusions. GMS tired to present this as a particularly Scottish problem. Again, this is cynically taking advantage of the horrific experiences of people who were infected to score some cheap political points.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alasdair Macdonald. September 24, 2018 / 9:24 pm

        This story never even featured on the Northern Irish or Welsh pages of the BBC site. Given the projection for Wales compared to Scotland or England, there might have been some grounds for it being mentioned.

        Clearly, BBC Scotland was continuing to play it’s ‘Scotland is pure shite’ record.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Tom McCrory December 1, 2019 / 10:53 pm

    I seen a report on media lies regarding the young lady who’s daughter died from an infection in a Glasgow hospital, unfortunately I’m not sure if this was on your site. I thought it was a brilliant investigation. Both BBC Scotland @ STV have been running with this for weeks

    Hope you can help

    Much appreciated



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