Thursday, 28 April 2011

Yet more fun with statistics

Yet another study has been published presenting the bleeding obvious, and making it seem as if there is a major problem demanding immediate action. 

This time it is the dire consequences of lack of exercise, and poor diet, lifestyle factors, which are said to be responsible for x numbers and y% of deaths each year. I presume they mean premature  deaths or otherwise the implication is that if you live a healthy active lifestyle you will live forever. But what exactly do they mean by premature death. I don’t think I have ever seen a definition. Measured against what? What do they consider a reasonable age to die? At what point do they consider death to be normal and acceptable? 

And what exactly are the dire consequences of dying at, say 65, rather than 85. There is an implication that somehow this represents some sort of extra cost to society, but this is rot. Relatively few people these days die quick sudden deaths having been previously healthy, so I am sure that the last six months of most peoples’ lives are an expensive time, but this will be true whether they are 40 or 80. Nobody’s life is ever saved, by any medical or lifestyle measure, simply extended. Death is never prevented, simply deferred. 

Magaret Chan of the WHO indicates just how far out of touch she is with the statement,  “Slums need corner food stores that sell fresh produce, not just packaged junk with a cheap price and a long shelf-life.” What she does not seem to get is that shopkeepers will stock what people want to buy, that is how they make a living. The reason they often don’t stock fresh fruit & veg, and other healthy produce is that the wobbling lardbuckets that come in to their store won’t buy it. 

And if we are so increasingly unhealthy why is life expectancy so high. Our demographics are now such that we have so many elderly that the younger working population can no longer fund the pensions and healthcare bills of supporting them. As a society the cost of keeping people going until they are so enfeebled they have reverted to a neonatal type of existence is now breaking us. If people really want to make the choice to pursue a hedonistic, lazy, indulgent but short life why should we be hectoring them to do otherwise. 

So these are Zorro’s suggestions for government policy that will actually reduce pensions and health costs, restore a more supportable demographic distribution, and make people a lot more contented and happy. 

The over 65s should be entitled to the following.
     Duty free fags (The UK meaning, not the US....... Or perhaps both)
     Duty free booze
     Recreational drugs available free on prescription.
     Subsidised motorcycles (over 100bhp) and helmets banned
     Subsidised meals in McDonalds, KFC and Pizza Hut.

That is a reasonable start. Any other suggestions?


  1. "And if we are so increasingly unhealthy why is life expectancy so high?" My thoughts exactly! I am happy with the risks I take (healthwise) and the risks I take make me happy.

    Life is for living and not screwing ourselves up worrying about every little thing we do.

    Like your ideas for the over sixty-fives. How about lovers on prescription too? Please arrange for all to be enshrined in law at your earliest convenience. Cheers!

    Anna :o]

  2. the a&e charge nurse28 April 2011 at 16:42

    As the cliche goes healthy living doesn't give you more time, it just feels that way.

  3. Yay! Subsidised booze and bikes!!! :-D What do you think the income I generate on GMS and QOF go on already?