Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I wonder...

From the BBC:

Poor diet ‘costs £6bn a year’

Poor diets cost the NHS £6bn a year in ill-health - three times as much as smoking, a study suggests.

Researchers calculated the figure by studying the death rates and prevalence of food-related problems such as heart disease and cancer.

Why doesn’t anyone ever do a study on, say, how much “poor diets”, or smoking for that matter, actually save the pensions system each year?


Anonymous mark vassallo said...


Great Idea! While we're at it, we could study how much the pension system could save if we removed speed limits and the requirement to wear safety belts and actively encourage binge drinking (oh, wait a minute, they're already doing this).

1:46 PM  
Blogger Scott Callahan said...


Don't get me started on safety belt laws.

Anyway, think of the ancillary benefits. So much for the NHS' surprising shortage of dead bodies that you pointed out to me yesterday.


1:57 PM  
Blogger Scott Callahan said...


More seriously, though, if the introduction of government action to encourage, or even force, people to behave in particular ways (which is, generally, the implication of such studies) is going to be based on such economic considerations, then at least there is an obligation to look at all the economic implications, no?


2:09 PM  
Anonymous Richard said...

It's a free world Mark. You cannot blame anyone but the individual for a life shortened by smoking or poor diet, and I for one would not wish to tell another person what to do with his health. if I did he might try to tell me to do something safer with my leisure and career, and that would be no fun at all.

Speed limits are for the safety of those around not just the individual; seat-belt fines are unjustifiable except for parents looking after children.

2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Researchers calculated the figure by studying the death rates and prevalence of food-related problems such as heart disease and cancer."

Of course these are the same people who are counted as dying of 'smoking related diseases' if they smoked and 'passive smoking' if they knew someone who smoked and 'alchohol related diseases' if they liked a tipple as well as 'lack of proper excersize' if they didn't run marathons. The fact that many of them had lived their biblical three score and ten, (or more) is neither here nor there. You can't let a little thing like that get in the way of a good study.

I think the corpse counters should be made to fight it out amongst themselves, maybe in a reality TV show.

"He smoked twenty a day!" "Yeah"
"He drank four pints a night!" "Oooh"
"He didn't belong to a gym!" "Wow"
"He once ate a Big Mac!" "Noooo!"

"For chrissakes, he's a hundred and three." "Ah"

Incidently I believe that four pints of beer at a single session brands one as a binge drinker, in which case I'm surprised that only one in four of us qualify.

Kevin B

7:36 PM  

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