C . A . G . E .
Citizens Against Government Encroachment -- Citoyens Anti Gouvernement Envahissant
 

 

 

 

"People who eat, die."             Petr Skrabanek, epidemiologist.

Health Nannies

 

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO OUR MEMBERS AND VISITORS: 

Effective November 8, 2007 selected news articles and commentary will be posted on the C.A.G.E. bilingual blog at http://cagecanada.blogspot.com/  where you’re also welcome to post your own comments.   All past entries in this news section and all of ‘’news’’ sub-sections, will remain published here for future reference.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

November 1, 2007 - Robert Cushman, CEO of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network, was very instrumental in implementing one of the first comprehensive smoking bans in Canada -- the Ottawa experience that opened the way to provincial smoking bans as we now know them in Canada.  We illustrated in our tobacco section at http://www.cagecanada.ca/index.php?pr=Tobacco how unethically and immorally this pioneer smoking ban was implemented.  You will also find at: http://www.geocities.com/defendliberty2004/heathercrowe.html  the Heather Crowe story -- the story of the poster child for the Canadian smoking ban campaign -- that also took its origins in Ottawa with Robert Cushman’s assistance while he was the city’s medical officer of health. 

Evidently, Robert Cushman’s social engineering ambitions did not stop with smoking bans. 

The following article that appeared in the Ottawa Citizen October 31st, is more than enough to cause not only alarm but thorough indignation.  The good doctor is now pressing all Canadian doctors and the private industry to play hardball with citizens who have "bad" habits.  Considering that we are presently witnessing a trend whereby doctors in England are prepared to refuse an operation to smoking and obese patients until they stop smoking or lose weight, considering that even in Canada there are doctors who refuse to treat patients who smoke, considering that we have witnessed at least one case where a doctor refused to prescribe medication to a patient under the sole pretext that she’s a smoker right here in Quebec and that we’re witnessing an ever growing number of employers refusing employment to candidates  who smoke on their own time -- the term ‘’social engineer’’ is a wholly inadequate understatement.  What Cushman is doing with his call to doctors and private industries, is an incitement to intolerance and discrimination.  His current campaign, combined with the manner in which he implemented the smoking ban in Ottawa, cause us to worry that he will continue to expand his tactics by which he can control the lives of people whom he does not approve of.   

There is apparently one fact that Cushman is forgetting when he states that ‘’ if we're demanding a better performance from our doctors, our bureaucrats, our nurses and our hospitals, it's about time we demanded a better performance from our citizens ‘’.  The public healthcare system, including the good doctor’s salary, is not free.  It is paid for through the taxes of we, the very citizens whom he seems to disdain so.  Like any other employee in any given job or profession,  those who chose this profession are fully expected to perform efficiently for their pay.  It is their duty as public employees, to serve the us the citizens, not to dictate what lifestyles we may or may not choose.

Play hardball with patients with bad habits, doctors urged

Andrew Thomson, The Ottawa Citizen

Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Robert Cushman has been called a social engineer instead of a mere doctor, praised and pilloried for delving into smoking and pesticide bans, needle exchange programs, and bicycle helmet laws during his career in public service.

Now one of Eastern Ontario's top health care officials, he has another target: Canadians with unhealthy living habits who threaten to overwhelm the system as it prepares for an onslaught of baby boomers living longer and demanding costlier medical treatment.

The chief executive officer of the Champlain Local Health Integration Network wants doctors to get tougher with patients and wants employers to take more responsibility for the health of their workers.

Dr. Cushman said medical professionals need to place a higher premium on promoting individual responsibility and risk factors to their patients -- especially physical activity, weight, tobacco and alcohol.

"We need to get tougher on this," he said. "As a public health physician, you get accused of social engineering when you look at a few regulations, but education only goes so far. A lot of these things go backwards if you don't maintain pressure.

"Health professionals have been more timid on this than we have needed to be, because we don't like to play hardball. We're nurturing and caring."

Dr. Cushman, who co-ordinates funding and delivery for more than 200 health care providers from Cornwall to Deep River, was the Ottawa-Carleton region and City of Ottawa medical officer of health from 1996 to 2005. From the outset, his definition of "prevention" included poverty and other social factors contributing to illness, making him one of the area's best-known public officials.

Dr. Cushman helped the controversial indoor smoking ban take shape, supported a citywide ban on cosmetic pesticides and battled former Ottawa police chief Vince Bevan to preserve the city's crackpipe program in 2005.

A 2002 Citizen editorial chided him for issuing policy comments on everything from light rail to sport utility vehicles. But Dr. Cushman was unapologetic in his role as a health advocate, warning Ottawa residents that same year that physical inactivity was a major health risk facing the city.

A Champlain network report last December reported that diabetes, asthma, smoking and heavy alcohol use were all on the rise across the region, especially in poorer rural areas.

Dr. Cushman had no shortage of personal examples during his Citizen meeting, starting with the "illness behaviour" he often notices among the family and friends of hospital patients.

This past weekend, he saw 10 teenagers in a row cycle past his house -- none wearing helmets. This angered the man whose research and activism helped create a mandatory under-18 helmet law in the early-1990s.

And he mentioned talking to the manager of his local hardware store about stocking chocolate bars and candy on shelves a couple feet off the ground, hidden from adults, but at the perfect eye level for a small child.

"This system belongs to us, we pay for it," Dr. Cushman said.

"And if we're demanding a better performance from our doctors, our bureaucrats, our nurses and our hospitals, it's about time we demanded a better performance from our citizens."

Dr. Cushman hopes the Champlain network and municipal public health departments can help connect people to services ranging from gyms and personal trainers to social workers.

He also wants the private sector to promote better wellness in the workplace, from fitness equipment and employee assistance programs, to enforcing the boundaries of outdoor smoking areas, to corporate taxes earmarked for health care.

"I think that corporations and businesses have a selfish vested interest in having a healthy, happy workplace," said Dr. Cushman, adding that companies benefit from publicly-financed health care when luring workers or maintaining jobs.

 


 

  October 17, 2007 - De-normalization of the obese or even the slightly overweight is becoming a bitter scary reality.  With studies such as this one reported by the BBC, we are getting ever and ever closer to some type of legislation against what they estimate to be an unhealthy weight.  It is rapidly and steadily taking the form of the anti-tobacco campaign, including the notion that obesity is contagious and therefore does not only harm the obese but their friends and family members as well, as one epidemiological study suggested not so long ago.  It is amazing how they absolve the individual from any responsibility by suggesting that obesity is not the individual’s fault, yet it is in fact in that same country that the public health care system refuses to operate on the obese unless they lose weight.   So which is it?  Is it the individuals’ fault therefore they should be punished, or is it a societal problem from which the individual cannot escape?  Of course they want to make us all believe that the individual is helpless, thus making it pefectly justifiable to push any laws destined to protect the ''helpless'' for their own good!  

Obesity 'not individuals' fault'

Individuals can no longer be held responsible for obesity and government must act to stop Britain "sleepwalking" into a crisis, a report has concluded.

The largest ever UK study into obesity, backed by government and compiled by 250 experts, said excess weight was now the norm in our "obesogenic" society.

Dramatic and comprehensive action was required to stop the majority of us becoming obese by 2050, they said.

But the authors admitted proof that any anti-obesity policy worked "was scant".

Nonetheless, they said every level of society, from individuals to the upper echelons of government, had to become involved in the campaign against a condition which carried such great social and economic consequences.

In 2002, those who were overweight or obese cost nearly £7bn in treatment, state benefits and indirect costs such as loss of earnings and reduced productivity.

In 40 years' time, that figure could reach nearly £46bn, as health services struggle to cope with the ill-health such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and stroke which can be associated with excess weight.

"There is a danger that the moment to act radically and dramatically will be missed," said Sir David King, the government's chief scientific adviser and head of the Foresight Programme which drew up the report.

"It is a problem that is getting worse every year

So hard

Obesity, the authors concluded, was an inevitable consequence of a society in which energy-dense and cheap foods, labour-saving devices, motorised transport and sedentary work were rife.

Dr Susan Jebb of the Medical Research Council said that in this environment, it was surprising that anyone was able to remain thin, and so the notion of obesity simply being a product of personal over-indulgence had to be abandoned for good.

"The stress has been on the individual choosing a healthier lifestyle, but that simply isn't enough," she said.

From planning our towns to encourage more physical activity to placing more pressure on mothers to breast feed - believed to slow down infant weight gain - the report highlighted a range of policy options without making any concrete recommendations.

Industry was already working make healthier products available, the report noted, while work was advanced in transforming the very make-up of food so it was digested more slowly and proved satisfying for longer.

But Sir David said it was clear that government needed to involve itself, as on this occasion, the market was failing to do the job.

Shock tactics?

Public Health Minister Dawn Primarolo said the government would be holding further consultations to decide how to proceed.

She said it was too early to say whether the same "shock" approach seen in public health warnings against smoking would be adopted with obesity, or whether a tax on fatty foods, highlighted in the report but widely dismissed as unworkable, would be considered.

"The most important thing is there has to be public consent and understanding of the issues you're trying to challenge," she said.

"A mandate for change will be difficult because it has to be preceded by an understanding of the dangers of obesity."

She said the main aim now was to reduce the proportion of overweight and obese children to 2000 levels by 2020.

But the British Heart Foundation (BHF) accused the government of backtracking on promises, saying this was a "softer, more distant" target than one originally proposed - to halt childhood obesity rates by 2010.

But the Royal College of Physicians said it thought the report was "encouraging".

"The emphasis on cross-governmental initiatives is particularly welcome, as is the importance of addressing issues across society whilst avoiding blame," said its president, Professor Ian Gilmore.

The Food and Drink Federation said it understood its role in tackling the problem.

"Our industry is now widely recognised as leading the world when it comes to reformulating products; extending consumer choice; and introducing improved nutrition labelling," a spokesperson said.

 


 

October 14, 2007 - There is something terribly wrong when a school substitutes the role of the family physician and the parent, but what is even more disturbing is when a parent considers that this practice would be acceptable had  the reporting been done discretely.  Let’s be very blunt about this:  In our opinion, it is totally unacceptable for our children to be routinely evaluated on a one to one basis for their body weight in a learning institution, unless we expressly consent otherwise.  We don’t send our children to the doctor to learn how to spell, why should it be compulsory that a school evaluates the body mass index of our children especially when in the particular case in the following article, there is nothing alarming about the weight of the child in question.   Yes, school officials, just like any other responsible citizen, do have a role to play when they suspect that a particular child is being abused or neglected, but this role should be limited to report these special cases to the school psychologist or the social services agency and let these specialists take it up with the parents or the proper authorities when necessary.  When there is no sign of child neglect, abuse, or noticeable health problems, routinely passing judgment on the child’s weight is totally unwarranted, especially when it cannot be predicted what damage this evaluation can cause to the child’s mental and psychological state of mind at the vulnerable age when self esteem is of utmost importance.  In today’s society where eating disorders afflict our children at ever younger ages, such practices are totally irresponsible and parents should react vigorously against them if they ever became the norm in their own child’s educational institution. 

From 9 news.com

School sends home obesity notices with students, parent upset

DENVER – In an effort to combat the problem of childhood obesity, the Denver Public School District is sending home student health reports to keep parents informed. However, one parent says it should not have been sent home in her daughter's backpack because she read it.

 

"The part that upset her the most as she started reading it, there it stated that she was overweight and she started to cry saying, 'Mom, that school tells me I'm fat.' So, it was very heart wrenching," said Flaurette Martinez.

Her daughter Isabel was sent home from the Centennial K-8 School on Monday with the health notice. It listed her height, weight and body mass index – a measure of body fat. Underneath the listing it had a marking next to the status "overweight."

"My daughter is big boned," said Martinez.

Isabel's mother does not have a problem with what the schools are trying to do. She says that type of sensitive information should be mailed directly home to parents, because kids are prone to reading letters sent home by the schools.

"If she would have dropped this letter, a student may have found it and may have exposed it to other students," said Martinez. "Anything specific to the child should be mailed. It should not be given to the child."

However, DPS Spokesperson Alex Sanchez says schools do that all the time. Report cards, disciplinary notices and letters from the principal are commonly sent home with students. Sanchez says it is cheaper for the district to send these things home with students instead of by mail.

Martinez says that decision is causing her daughter emotional distress.

"Most of the information that we get sent to us through the kids is basically newsletters, but nothing this sensitive. This is a sensitive issue for everybody," she said. "It's real upsetting for me to see her worried so much about her weight issue when it's not really that big of a deal. She's not that overweight."

DPS issued this statement Thursday afternoon: "In an effort to help ensure our students' health, Denver Public Schools provides parents with their child's hearing, vision, and body mass index (BMI) results in a sealed envelope that is sent home with the students. DPS feels compelled to inform parents about these very important health screening results and provide information about making healthier choices. The health of our students is very important to us and we wish to be part of the solution, given the nation's childhood obesity epidemic."

9NEWS asked Martinez repeatedly if sharing Isabel's identity and her health information will make things worse. Martinez wanted people to see her picture so they would know Isabel is not that big. She also says the damage was already done when she read the notice and she's talked to Isabel about addressing this issue of sending the notices home with students. Martinez says her daughter is OK with this information being released.




September 25, 2007 – The health nannies are busy making a living by scheming even more ways to save us from ourselves.  They can suggest all they like and people can listen or not listen to them depending on one’s tolerance to risk, but it’s when these busybodies lobby government to turn their suggestions into laws, that it becomes an arrogant invasion to the sovereignty of our body.  If we were to turn all these do-gooders’ advice into legislation, we would soon not be able to get out of bed without putting on a full armor first!

Horseback riders should wear helmets: researchers

Updated Mon. Sep. 24 2007 9:15 AM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

A new study wants to rein in the number of injuries caused by horseback riding.

Researchers at the University of Calgary have found that getting on the saddle is more dangerous than motorbiking, skiing, or playing football.

The researchers studied 7,941 trauma patients treated at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary between 1995 - 2005. The team discovered that 151 people were severely injured while horseback riding during that 10-year period, with 45 per cent of them requiring surgery.

They say that previous studies show the "hospital admission rate associated with equestrian activity is .49/1,000 hours of riding. The rate when motorcycle riding is merely .14/1,000 hours."

Most accidents occurred in "wide open spaces (45 per cent), and on relatively good footing surfaces (38 per cent dry dirt and 37 per cent uncultivated land), on sunny (87 per cent), summer (55 per cent) afternoons."

Many of the patients weren't new to horseback riding, and that has health specialists calling for safety changes to reduce the chances of serious injuries in the sport.

"One of the main things we found was a lot of the people involved in horse injuries were actually very experienced riders. Their average years of experience was actually 27 years," occupational therapist Jill Ball told CTV Calgary.

The experience of the riders is forcing researchers to rethink earlier assumptions about horseback riding injuries. Common assumptions held that many riding injuries were due to inexperienced riders or those who were riding during bad weather. The new study suggests that just isn't so.

Researchers say they want riders to strap on helmets and vests before mounting a horse -- no matter what their level of experience.

Only nine per cent of riders were wearing helmets when they were injured. Doctors and therapists say that if more riders wore protective gear, the number of head and chest injuries would be significantly reduced.

 


 

 

September 21, 2007 - The following is a perfect example of supply and demand in action.  It is certainly not coercive feel-good policies that will change human behavior when the will of those affected is excluded from the equation. 

Junk food trade soars at Manitoba high school

Updated Fri. Sep. 21 2007 11:30 AM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

Smuggled snacks have become a growing problem at Kelvin High School in Winnipeg after a ban on selling junk food took effect.

The Winnipeg School Division's nutrition policy means neither the cafeteria, nor the vending machines have any treats available to fulfill a sugar fix.

But some students have found a way to satisfy the cravings, and make a few bucks in the process.

Julian Schioler is a Grade 12 student at Kelvin High School, and he and his friend Quinnton Daerden decided to go into business.

"I just sort of one day went out to Pharma Plus and bought two 12s of Coke and Sprite and just brought them back to school and started selling them, and then the next day, we were in business," Schioler told CTV Winnipeg.

Business is brisk, and the entrepreneurs often sell out.

"It's pretty good, we're making a lot of money," Daerden adds.

There is a fast food restaurant and convenience store in walking distance, but it takes too long to get there, according to one Kelvin student, Eric Parent.

"It's not worth the walk. If you're going to be here for lunch, it would take half an hour to go there and back, so it's not really worth it."

More than 70 people have joined a Facebook site called "Bring Back Sugar to Kelvin High School."

But school trustee John Orlikow told The Canadian Press that it's not a ban: "People can still bring their own. But we as a school division are not going to provide it."

The Winnipeg School Division told CTV Winnipeg the nutritional policies are based on provincial guidelines, and students who have an issue with them should take them up with the school principal.

With files from CTV Winnipeg's Jon Hendricks and The Canadian Press


 

 

 September 11, 1007 - If there were still people out there that didn’t know that careless driving on motorcycles is dangerous, these health warnings right on the motorcycles ought to set them straight !  If this insane nanny tendency continues, it is almost a certainty that we will soon need warnings and instructions on how to inhale and exhale. 

Health warnings for bikes

By Steve Farrell  of MCN Motorcycle News

Politics & the law

11 September 2007 11:07

Consideration should be given to cigarette-style health warnings for motorcycles, campaign groups have said.


The warnings would contain messages such as: ‘Motorcyclists make up less than 1% of road traffic but suffer around 18% of deaths and serious injuries.’


Paige Mitchell, coordinator of the Slower Speeds Initiative, said warnings should be combined with new regulations limiting the power, weight and speed of motorcycles.

She said: “If health warnings were used to support regulation and make the basis of regulation more intelligible to the consumer, then clearly that would be a good thing.”


Roger Geffen, campaigns and policy manager for CTC, the national cyclists’ organisation, said: “Anything that helps raise awareness - that prompts people think about the risks not only that they’re taking for themselves but imposing on other people - has got to be worth exploring.”

Roger Geffen said stickers on bikes quoting motorcycle casualty figures and warning us to be careful would make a “more helpful message” than stickers telling us to wear crash helmets, which have in the past been placed on bikes by manufacturers.


He said: “If the feeling is that the motorcycle helmet sticker works to influence behaviour, then working to influence the speed at which motorcyclists ride would strike me as a much more important thing to do.” 


The Slower Speeds Initiative and CTC were among eight campaign groups to sign a letter to MPs urging them to insist Government look at ‘downsizing’ bikes by limiting power, weight and speed.


 

 

July 20, 2007 - The following article from ‘’The Australian’’ clearly illustrates the dangers of public health campaigns that are addressed to populations at large without any consideration for individuals.  We can only hope that these troublesome ‘’side effects’’ of public health messages will raise some red flags to the public health community to tune down their ‘’one fit all’’ campaigns and trust family physicians and parents to make the best decisions for their offspring’s particular needs. 

One in five girls starve themselves

July 19, 2007

ALMOST one in five girls starve themselves or vomit up their food to control their weight, a new national survey has revealed.

The study of 8,900 children and adolescents has cited a dramatic rise in the number of girls aged 12 to 18 resorting to eating disordered behaviour like smoking and laxative abuse.

The results, collated from 57 schools, showed 18 per cent of girls had starved themselves for two-day stretches in an attempt to shed kilos.

This increased from 9.9 per cent reported in a study from 2000.

The research also found 11 per cent used vomiting for weight loss, up from 3.4 per cent.

And eight per cent of the girls said they had used cigarettes to deliberately suppress their appetite and control weight, up from just 2.4 per cent.

University of Sydney researcher Dr Jenny O'Dea said the findings seemed to represent a depressing new trend.

The constant publicity surrounding Australia's obesity epidemic may be driving more girls to take more drastic measures to slim down, she said.

“The slim ideal has become slimmer since the year 2000, and I think girls are still under a lot of pressure to get there quickly using these dangerous methods,” said Dr O'Dea, who will present the research at a nutrition conference in Brisbane tomorrow.

The problem was these methods don't work, she said.

“Studies have shown that girls who do this end up fatter because they're just setting themselves up for a binge,” Dr O'Dea said.

Fasting was very unhealthy and ineffective but other methods, particularly vomiting and laxative abuse, were life-threatening because they could induce a heart attack.

And smoking was a “dreadful” weight loss tool as it carried a whole new set of dangers, she said.

“Females have known for decades that smoking gives an `oral fix', but what an awful way to control weight.”

Dr O'Dea said the trend was occurring across all social classes, not only in wealthier white girls as was widely believed.

Affected girls also tend to be healthy weight or slightly overweight, but not obese.

Dr O'Dea said the findings showed the need for sensible, balanced weight messages in schools.

“We need to be very careful with the weight messages we give our girls because we can't have them going to these extremes,” she said.

AAP

 


 

June 20, 2007 - If we were to give out prizes for ‘’nannyism’’, the United Kingdom would undoubtedly win first prize.  After having banned whole milk and cheese ads during times of the day where children could be watching, their target is now the egg as we can read from the article below.   It is obvious these health nanny bureaucrats have way too much time in their hands, and while at one time we would simply laugh off incidents like these as absurd, they are becoming so systematic, they can be qualified as ‘’epidemic’’ (to use public health’s term of choice). 

The Daily Mail – June 19, 2007

'Go To Work On An Egg' advert banned for failing to promote balanced diet

It was a straightforward piece of advice which appeared to do a generation of Britons no harm at all.

But the classic advertising slogan 'Go to Work on an Egg' is far too dangerous for modern-day audiences, it seems.

Advertising watchdogs have banned the catchphrase, claiming it fails to promote a varied and balanced diet.

The egg industry wanted to rerun the 1960s television adverts, starring Tony Hancock, to mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic campaign's original use on billboards and newspapers in 1957.

But the Government watchdog has blocked it on the grounds that eating an egg for breakfast every day does not constitute a healthy diet.

The egg industry wanted to rerun the 1960s television adverts, starring Tony Hancock, to mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic campaign's original use on billboards and newspapers in 1957.

But the Government watchdog has blocked it on the grounds that eating an egg for breakfast every day does not constitute a healthy diet.

Yesterday the decision was attacked by the egg industry, nutritionists and author Fay Weldon, who helped coin the famous slogan as a young advertising executive.

She said: "I think the ruling is absurd. We seem to have been tainted by all the health and safety laws. Eggs were enormously healthy compared to what people were eating in the 1950s and a great form of protein.

"If they are going to ban egg adverts, then I think they should ban all car adverts because cars really are dangerous - and bad for the environment."

Amanda Cryer of the British Egg Information Service said: "We have been shocked by this ruling as eggs are a healthy, natural food which are recommended by nutritionists.

"Many other advertisers clearly promote their products to be eaten every day so we are very surprised that eggs have been singled out in this way.

"What's more, there are no restrictions on the number of eggs people can eat, which was recently confirmed by the Food Standards Agency, and between five and seven eggs a week would be totally acceptable for most people."

Before adverts can be screened on national television, they must be approved by the Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre, which was set up by Ofcom - the broadcasting standards watchdog - to enforce statutory codes of practice.

After lengthy debate about the campaign, the BACC decided the adverts do not comply with the broadcast advertising code.

In a written reply, it said: "This concept of eating eggs every day for breakfast unfortunately goes against what is now the generally accepted advice of eating a varied diet. We therefore could not approve the ads for broadcast."

 


June 16, 2007 - If this is any indication of how the anti-obesity campaign is making people look at those that have a few extra pounds as if they were a disease in the making, overweight people will be stigmatized and de-normalized more than the smokers.  Let's hope this judgmental anti-obesity fanatic in the following video is the exception, but unless we speak out and denounce this new tendency of de-normalizing yet another group of people, it will unfortunately be the norm in only a couple of years. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svxLdNsxPSw


 

June 10, 2007 - If our readers are not yet convinced that smoking bans have nothing to do with non-smokers’ health, the following article should make it very clear that they are designed to coerce smokers into quitting.  If our readers are not yet convinced that the pharmaceutical industry has big stakes in this issue and funds the anti-smoking groups to push their products, consider that nicotine replacement therapy has a success rate of approx. 7 to 10% and has in fact caused addiction to many who tried it, including young adults.   By consistent propaganda over the years, anti-smoking organizations and their funders, have conveniently succeeded to brain wash smokers that they are too addicted to quit on their own.  Please remember that millions of smokers have quit cold turkey long before nicotine replacement therapy was even marketed.

Anti-smoking groups attack tobacco gel that beats the ban

By RHODRI PHILLIPS and STEVE MYALL  9th June 2007


A tobacco-based gel designed to beat the smoking ban is sparking controversy among health campaigners.

NicoFix, which can be bought online and in a handful of shops in Britain, is billed as an alternative to smoking rather than a way of giving up.

Smokers can get their fix by rubbing a portion of the gel, which contains one tenth of the tobacco in a cigarette, into their palms.

Stocks of NicoFix have been rushed into shops, including Harrods and Selfridges, in time for the ban on smoking coming into force in England on July 1.

The new law prohibits lighting up in all enclosed public spaces and workplaces, including pubs, restaurants, offices and even bus shelters, taxis, company cars and delivery vehicles.

The NicoFix label reads: "Whenever you cannot by law or by convenience smoke your favourite cigarette you can apply NicoFix and within a minute your craving for nicotine will be satisfied for anywhere from one to four hours."

The gel is produced by American-based Advanced Formulations, which boasts that it is highly addictive and, unlike nicotine patches or gum, will not help smokers kick the habit.

Former Shadow Health Secretary Ann Widdecombe criticised the company for producing a tobacco-based product to get round the smoking ban.

And anti-smoking groups said addicts should be encouraged to give up rather than be given an alternative.

Conservative MP Mrs Widdecombe, a staunch anti-smoker, said: "It is a negative that the makers of this product are promoting it as a way to beat the smoking ban.

"Sadly, there will always be alternatives to smoking which manage to beat the system."

Elspeth Lee, Cancer Research UK’s tobacco control manager, said NicoFix contained the same harmful ingredients as cigarettes.

"There are far safer medicinal nicotine products such as gum or patches that don’t contain tobacco," she said.

"We would urge smokers to use these if they are indoors and are having problems with nicotine cravings."

Ruairi O’Connor, public affairs manager at the British Heart Foundation, described NicoFix as yet another product that appeared to offer smokers a nicotine fix without having to smoke.

He added: "However, as the manufacturers themselves stress, it does still contain tobacco, so is still harmful.

"It will also not have been through the same rigorous tests as nicotine replacement therapy, which is proven to be an effective aid to quitting."

NicoFix will be launched officially in the UK tomorrow. Sean Campbell, chief executive of Advanced Formulations, said: "It is not a product to help people give up smoking. It is to help smokers get over the ban when it comes in next month. "Whether they are stuck indoors at work and in need of a cigarette, or in a bar and unable to light up, NicoFix can come to the rescue. It will get them past the cravings.

"It is addictive so it is not something that non-smokers should try."

 


June 2, 2007 - The following article from the U.S.A. expresses our sentiments exactly when it comes to the Nanny State.  The author perfectly understood the concept that once you give in on one thing you set a precedent for more and more government intrusion ‘’for your own good’’.  Having the state pay for healthcare comes with a price and this is something else that the author seems to comprehend very well.  It doesn’t have to be this way.  Citizens can and must contribute to change these tendencies.  Profiting from universal healthcare does not mean that you’re donating your body to the state.  Let politicians know that your body belongs to you and only you can decide how you want to care for it.   Education is welcome, coercive legislation is not!

http://mensnewsdaily.com/2007/05/31/new-jersey-department-of-put-the-fork-down-fatty/

John Bambenek

New Jersey Department of "Put the Fork Down, Fatty!"

May 31, 2007 at 11:20 pm · Filed under Vox Populi, Current Events, Politics

The state of New Jersey has recently announced that it will be creating a state agency to deal with the growing problem of obesity among that state's citizens. This follows on the heels of many other local and state governments taking action against trans fat and other health measures designed to slim down the collective waistlines of the state.

The creation of such an agency is a dangerous political trend. We'll call the political thought behind such actions part of the "Coalition to Protect People from Themselves." People get obese purely through actions (or inaction) of their own. As a society, we eat more and move less than any other nation in the world (though obesity is a growing problem world-wide).

The smoking ban movement, largely successful, has brought into the public consciousness a perception that health decisions are supposed to be part of public policy. In that realm, they could at least pretend to hide behind the effects of second-hand smoke, though anyone who watched close enough knew it was really about sticking to smokers, not about second-hand smoke.

Moves against trans fat, such as what has happened in New York City, and attempts to ban foie gras in Chicago have no such communal health risks. If one person plumps up on trans fat, it means jack to everyone around them. The only one arguably at risk would be the person who ended up underneath these trans fat consumers. These laws are directed purely at citizens who the government believes are not making the best choices and need to be instructed on proper living habits with the force of law.

This near-daily encroachment by the elites in telling us plebes how to live is as meddlesome as it is dangerous. The idea that somehow bureaucratic busy-bodies are better equipped to judge and prescribe our dietary intake is absurd. The key to healthy living is to get the people involved motivated to do it. You can't control peoples' food intake unless you toss them into prison; personal responsibility is key.

More information, sure. Some ads on TV, fine. Trying to do it for people by creating yet more useless state agencies on an already strained budget isn't going to motivate people. Bureaucracies breed dependency, not responsibility. That being said, here's some food for thought.

For now, obesity, smoking, and other "bad health" behaviors are no one's business but the individual involved. There is no societal harm. With the universal health care being pushed by those of the same ideology as the "Coalition to Protect People from Themselves," that dynamic changes greatly. Any personal activity that may theoretically increase the cost of health care no longer is a private matter under a universal health care system. If you get fat and need 12 bypass surgeries, it is society that foots the bill.

One only needs to look to Europe to see how they are handling the problem, since it is their health care system (the one they are moving away from) that the Coalition seeks to emulate. The Health Secretary in the UK has said that the overweight and smokers should be denied health care until they quit smoking or lose weight. That's right, the government says you can't have that "single payer" health care (which should be more appropriately called taxpayer-funded health care) they promised unless you dance to their tune. It's called the Golden Rule. You take the King's gold, you play by the King's rules.

In a universal health care system, the government and society at large have a vested interest in how you live your life - what you eat, how much you workout, your drinking and smoking habits, and so on. You're spending their money, after all.

Government, on one hand, can't be trusted to wiretrap terrorist conversations, but on the other, not only can they be trusted with all of your medical records, but also with authority to make medical decisions regarding your care - indicating how little people have thought through "single payer" health care.

The New Jersey Agency for Fat People is yet another encroachment on the freedom to live out lives undisturbed by silly intrusions by governmental busy-bodies. A free country is no longer free when it has to get Uncle Sam's approval for the family dinner.

John Bambenek is the Assistant Politics Editor for BC Magazine and is an academic professional for the University of Illinois. He is a syndicated columnist who blogs at Part-Time Pundit and the executive director of The Tumaini Foundation which helps AIDS orphans and other children in Tanzania to get an education. He is the current owner of BlogSoldiers, a blog-only traffic exchange.

 


May 15, 2007 - With the Quebec health minister Philippe Couillard introducing the Healthy Lifestyle legislation in the general assembly today, a joint 400 million dollar  investment of the Quebec government through tobacco taxes and La Fondation André et Lucie Chagnon, we have to stay vigilant of how this healthy lifestyle campaign focusing on eating habits, will develop.  The anti-obesity interest groups both in the U.S.A. and Canada, some heavily funded by pharmaceutical interests, openly state that their campaigns are or will be based on the anti-tobacco strategy since the latter has yielded results in de-normalizing tobacco.   If this strategy does in fact take the same coercive and unethical proportions as the anti-tobacco strategy, one is to expect even more psychological, social and physical trauma than the anti-tobacco de-normalization.  The following article is a sample of what can be expected if this campaign becomes anything more than honest education and assistance towards healthier lifestyle choices. 

Authors 'making fat children bully targets'

By Graeme Paton

Children's books are "demonising" overweight pupils by portraying fat characters as spoilt, greedy and mean, according to an academic.

Popular stories, including the Harry Potter series, may be fuelling bullying of obese children in schools, it is claimed.

Professor Jean Webb, from the children's literature research centre at Worcester University, called for more balance in the way fat youngsters are represented. She said that Dudley Dursley, the spoilt and pampered schoolboy who picks on Harry Potter in J K Rowling's best-selling books, was typical of the way pupils are stereotyped.

"Dudley is a fat little rotter and his fatness is presented as a moral failing," she said.

In other books, such as Fat Boy Swim, by Catherine Forde, and Staying Fat, by Sarah Byrnes, characters only become popular when they lose weight, said Prof Webb.

One of the most reviled fat characters in children's books is Billy Bunter, Frank Richards's cake-loving anti-hero from Greyfriars school. Prof Webb told the Times Educational Supplement: "It's a delicate area and you must not marginalise particular groups."

Louise Burfitt-Dons, the director of Act Against Bullying, said: "It would be nice to see stories that lead people to see the individuality in one another rather than the stereotypes."

The findings came as experts called for schools to tackle obesity.

The Association of the Directors of Public Health called for a limit to the number of parking bays near schools to stop parents using the car on the school-run.


 

February 21, 2007 - It is frightening to see the creation of more and more radical groups such as National Action Against Obesity, a U.S. organization, judging from this press release they sent out February 19, 2007.  When one visits their website one can read terms such as ‘’second hand obesity’’, how normal Americans should not be overweight, how childhood obesity should be considered as child abuse.   In the following press release they're boycotting the Girl Scouts Cookies fund raising campaign suggesting that Girl Scouts are used as a front group to push millions of cookies.  This week we heard of Saputo right here in Quebec, being accused to advertize to children a snack considered unhealthy and asked that the ad be prohibited.  There is no doubt that the anti-obesity campaign is moving at a very fast pace taking its model straight from the anti-tobacco playbook.  Parental responsibility and authority will be seriously threatened if we let the situation deteriorate.  This concerns all citizens and each and every one of us should speak up against this steady erosion of our freedoms. 

 http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2007/2/emw504768.htm

 

 Girl Scout Cookies Boycott Called by National Action Against Obesity -- NAAO President MeMe Roth Cites Glut of Junk Food amid Current Crisis of Obesity

"Girl Scouts of the USA have a flawed business model in direct conflict with their posted mission statement. Profiting off cookies -- it's the wrong message, the wrong product and the wrong era. Girl Scouts have an economic, medical and moral imperative to dump junk food as their $700 million fundraising source," said NAAO President, MeMe Roth.

New York, NY (PRWeb) February 19, 2007 -- www.actionagainstobesity.com -- As America's child and adult obesity figures rise, National Action Against Obesity (NAAO), calls for a boycott of the reported $700 million in Girl Scout Cookies sold annually.

 The Girl Scouts sell up to 200 million boxes yearly -- that's about one box for every overweight American.  

"Girl Scout Cookies are high-calorie, high-sugar, high in saturated fat and nearly devoid of nutrition. Using young girls as a front to push millions of cookies onto an already bloated population further exacerbates an alarming crisis, no matter how cute the uniforms are," said NAAO President MeMe Roth. "The Girl Scouts sell up to 200 million boxes yearly -- that's about one box for every overweight American."

Girl Scouts of the USA have a flawed business model in direct conflict with their posted mission statement -- 'Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.' "Profiting off cookies -- it's the wrong message, the wrong product and the wrong era. Girl Scouts have an economic, medical and moral imperative to dump junk food as their $700 million fundraising source. NAAO would like the Girl Scouts to commit to a 5-year plan transitioning away from junk food as the organization's primary fundraiser," continued Roth.

NAAO suggests Girl Scouts look to Boy Scouts as a model -- they're known for community service, unlike Girl Scouts singularly identified with baked goods. "Do your good deed -- while Girl Scout Cookies are on sale through March, smile at the children, offer a donation, but leave those cookies behind."


 

February 10, 2007 - In a context where boulimia, anorexia and poor self image are now hitting our children in their pre-adolescence and even childhood, the psychological and physical damage the anti-obesity campaign is causing our children and young adults is far more dangerous than those extra kilos that many of them grow out of in their adulthood.   Taking away children from their parents and placing them in foster care simply because they’re obese, is not only totally unwarranted, unacceptable, unethical and immoral, but outright disgusting.   If this is not stopped immediately, how long will it be before our own country that is scheming and investing millions to counter an obesity problem that has been in part artificially brought about by lowering the body mass index in 2003, thus creating millions of overweight people from one day to the next, follows suit? 

 

Children put into care for being fat

By JAMES MILLS - More by this author » Last updated at 22:00pm on 29th January 2007

 Comments (15)

Overweight children are being placed in foster care on the grounds that they are victims of child abuse.

Experts have warned that feeding youngsters an endless diet of junk food causes serious health problems – and should be treated in the same way as physical or sexual assault.

Dr Russell Viner, a consultant paediatrician at Great Ormond Street and University College London hospitals, said he knew of 15 cases where children had been taken from their parents because of obesity.

‘When parents fail to act in their child’s best interests with regard to their weight then the obesity becomes a child protection concern,’ he said.

The youngsters often have obesity-related conditions such as diabetes or sleep apnoea, said Dr Alyson Hall, of East London’s Emmanuel Miller Centre for Families and Children.

She added: ‘Social workers try to help the parents but, in some cases, the parents are the problem.’

Around 13.4 per cent of children under ten are obese, compared with 9.9 per cent ten years ago.

 


The following article in the "telegraph" attempts to debunk the myths of childhood obesity. In fact pushing the anti-obesity "propaganda" to such extreme and deceitful means does not only interfere with parental authority and responsibility, but it can also create more severe psychological and physical problems to these same children they’re ‘’attempting’’ to protect.

For WHO’s own good ?

Basham and John Luik, Sunday Telegraph 26/11/2006

The Government wants to set up a database to monitor every child in the country — including their diet. But are our children as obese and unhealthy as we are told? And what about us? Health researchers argue that being overweight is actually beneficial: it’s dieting that kills.

Big Brother has an ambition: to become Big Nanny. The Government wants to introduce a £224 million "Children’s Index", a massive database of every child in the country, charting progress from birth to adulthood and flagging up "concerns" about each child’s development. Two "flags" on a child’s record would trigger an official investigation into his or her family.

Not surprisingly, Parliament’s Information Commissioner, in a report last week, was highly critical of the scheme. "Government policy proposes treating all parents as if they cannot be trusted to bring up their children " the report said. Increasingly, this is just what the Government and health

campaigners believe. One of the proposed danger signs on the Children’s Index, after all, would be if the child were not eating the requisite, government-approved amount of fruit and vegetables each day.

These health campaigners tell us that British children — and their parents — must be slimmed down because we, like much of the developed world, are in the grip of an obesity epidemic that threatens a health catastrophe. Indeed, the US surgeon general has claimed that obesity is "a greater threat than weapons of mass destruction". The media has picked up on the scares and

turned them into a kind of orthodoxy. For instance, the term "childhood obesity" occurred only twice in The Guardian in 1999. In 2004, it occurred 201 times, almost four times a week. The public have become convinced that the "epidemic" is a fact.

Yet the obesity epidemic is a myth manufactured by public health officials in concert with assorted academics and special-interest lobbyists. These crusaders preach a sermon consisting of four obesity myths: that we and our children are fat; that being fat is a certain recipe for early death; that our fatness stems from the manufacturing and marketing practices of the food industry (hence Ofcom’s recently announced ban on junk food advertising to children); and that we will lengthen our lives if only we eat less and lose weight. The trouble is, there is no scientific evidence to support these myths.

Let’s start with the myth of an epidemic of childhood obesity. The just-published Health Survey for England, 2004 does not show a significant increase in the weight of children in recent years. The Department of Health report found that from 1995 to 2003 there was only a one-pound increase in children’s average weight.

Nor is there any evidence in claims that overweight and obese children are destined to become overweight and obese adults. The Thousand Families Study has researched 1,000 Newcastle families since 1954. Researchers have found little connection between overweight children and adult obesity. In the study, four out of five obese people became obese as adults, not as children

There is not even any compelling scientific evidence to support the Government’s claim that childhood obesity results in long-term health problems and lowers one’s life expectancy. In fact, the opposite may be true: we could be in danger of creating a generation of children obsessed

with their weight with the consequent risk of eating disorders that really do threaten their health. Statistics on the numbers of children with eating disorders are hard to come by, but in the US it is estimated that 10 per cent of high school pupils suffer from them. Recent studies show adults’

attempts to control children’s eating habits result in children eating more rather than less. Parental finger wagging increases the likelihood that children develop body-image problems as well as eating disorders.

One of the principal targets of the obesity crusaders has been the school vending machine. However, the banning of these machines and their stocks of snacks and sweets is very much at odds with the most recent science on children, junk food, and obesity. In 2004, a World Health Organisation study of 8,904 British pupils found that overweight children ate sweets less

frequently than normal-weight children did. Children who ate larger amounts of junk food actually had less chance of being overweight.

One large-scale American study spent three years tracking almost 15,000 boys and girls aged between nine and 14 to investigate the links between body mass index and the consumption of fruit and vegetables. It found no correlation, and concluded that "the recommendation for consumption of fruit and vegetables may be well founded, but should not be based on a beneficial effect on weight regulation".

The parallel claim of an adult obesity epidemic is equally unsubstantiated. There has been significant weight gain among the very heaviest segment of the adult population. However, this has not been true of most of the individuals who are labelled overweight and obese, whose weights have only slightly increased. In America, it is true that there was a rapid increase

in the number of overweight people in the early years of this decade: but only because the classification of what was "overweight" was reduced from those with a body mass index of 27 to those of 25. Overnight, previously normal weight people discovered they were overweight.

The science linking weight to early death is flimsy, at best. Neither being fat nor moderately obese is associated with increased mortality risks. Last year, a US Centres for Disease Control study found the lowest death rates among overweight people. Furthermore, a study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that normal- weight individuals did not outlive their mildly obese counterparts. These findings are replicated in many studies over the past 30 years that have found maximum longevity is associated with being above, rather than below, average weight.

Nor, as is often claimed, does the nature of our diet seem to have much impact on mortality. Comparative studies analysing fat and blood cholesterol levels across different cultures fail to sustain the claims of a cause-and-effect connection between life expectancies and diets. Crete, with its Mediterranean diet, has one of the lowest incidences of heart disease, yet has a fat intake of 40 per cent, similar to the British level.

It is now well established that a low-fat diet does little to reduce the risk of *** cancer, colorectal cancer, or cardiovascular disease in postmenopausal women. The only certainty about the obesity-diet-mortality connection is that, as the late epidemiologist Petr Skrabanek observed:

"People who eat, die."

There is not even evidence that the heavily-advertised, much-criticised foods such as sugary breakfast cereals and fizzy drinks make children obese. A 2004 Harvard University study examined 14,000 children and found that junk food did not lead to obesity.

Extensive econometric studies debunk the connection between food advertising and overall food consumption. Food advertising may influence the consumption of particular food brands. It does not, however, increase either total food consumption or the consumption of specific categories of food. All of which is consistent with the fact that caloric intake for British children has not

changed significantly over recent decades. The latest National Diet and Nutrition Survey found that, since 1983, both boys’ and girls’ energy intake had actually declined.

Equally unsupported is the obesity crusaders’ campaign for population-wide weight loss. While they try to convince us that we are desperately fat and that our fatness will kill us, the truth about the risks of thinness and the large numbers of thinness-related deaths is quietly ignored. Large numbers of women suffer from anorexia, with one in five hospital cases ending in

death. A survey of 5,000 British women in 2000 found that four in 10 had suffered from an eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia. These numbers do not take into account the many men and women, neither anorexic nor bulimic, who place themselves at risk through their fixation with dieting.

Contemporary weight gain is not the result of higher food consumption; rather, it reflects a lack of exercise. For the first time in many years, membership of British gyms is in decline. A survey found that most overweight British women seeking to shed pounds choose a fashionable diet

over cardiovascular exercise or lifting weights at a gym. Overweight women are more likely to turn to cosmetic surgery, slimming pills or starvation to solve their problems, than to exercise.

But the sad truth is that attempts at weight loss are largely unsuccessful, even in highly controlled situations. Of every 100 people who respond to the crusaders’ sermon that they should lose weight, only four will be able to maintain their post-diet weight. Ninety-five per cent of dieters are fatter five years after their diet then when they started to trim.

Weight-loss campaigners also ignore evidence of an association between weight loss and increased mortality. Two American studies — the Iowa Women’s Health Study and the American Cancer Society study — found that weight loss was associated with higher rates of mortality. Research following up the ACS study found that healthy obese women were, in fact, better off not losing weight. They were at less risk from cancer and cardiovascular disease than healthy women who dieted.

Obesity crusaders believe that the nanny state has the right to define and enforce a single vision of what constitutes healthy living a good life. The government’s judgment is considered inherently superior to any individual’s judgment that fatness is at least personally tolerable.

The obesity crusade presumes a nursery nation comprised of docile infant-citizens too uncertain of their own values to be left to make their own way in a world in which an evil Ronald McDonald lurks under every archway. Obesity crusaders believe the individual has an obligation to order his life according to their judgment about health, and that the government may justifiably force him to conform if he demurs.

The lasting legacy of the obesity crusade will be both a much fatter government and a much thinner citizenry.

The government will be fatter through its expanded power to shape inappropriately the lives of its citizens. Britons will be thinner in their capacity for choice, self-government, and personal responsibility.

Patrick Basham is director of the Democracy Institute and John Luik is a health policy writer. On December 14, the Social Affairs Unit publishes their book, Diet Nation: Exposing the Obesity Crusade, co-authored with Gio Gori.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtmljsessionid=HEXV33SOD5TSJQFIQMGCFFWAVCBQUIV0?xml=/news/2006/11/26/nfat26.xml


 

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