Childhood obesity survey in shambles

Almost every country in the world is trying to get their arms around the increased incidence of overweight and obesity.

The United Kingdom hoped to do this via the development of a “National Childhood Obesity Database.”

The idea was to weigh all 5 to 11 year-olds to create the largest database of its kind in the world — with the hope that having this good-quality data would translate into effective programs for increasing physical activity and improving diet.

Well, I’m not sure how having this data would help with these goals but it looks like they aren’t going to get it anyway.

Only 48 percent of the country’s children were given permission by the their parents to participate in the study. Conservatives in the UK are calling this shambles over data collection “just one more public health failure by this government.”

What a waste:

1. There is no evidence that the goals of collecting this data (increasing physical activity and improving diet) will have any impact on childhood obesity.

2. Even if there was, it’s not at all clear how having this data would help in making these goals occur.

4. Even if having this data would help, it probably not possible to collect it.

When are public health officials going to stop wasting their time on projects that will have no impact on the problem of childhood obesity and start focusing and dealing with the real issues?

Allen Oelschlaeger
Author of The Straight Scoop About Childhood Obesity



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