Dispatches from the Department of CRAP Health

The University of Canberra’s Professor Rachel Davey’s got the obesity problem sorted:

During the second world war (1939–1945), the British government introduced food rationing with a point system in every household. Everyone was allocated a number of points a month and certain food items, such as meat, fish, biscuits, sugar, fats, and tea, were rationed.

Every adult was given a total of 16 points a month and could choose how to spend these points. Special supplements were available for young children, pregnant women, and people with certain diseases. Wartime food shortages and government directives forced people to adopt different eating patterns. They ate considerably less meat, eggs, and sugar than they do today.

Rationing was enforced in Britain for 14 years, and continued after the war had ended. Meat was finally derationed in June 1954. Petrol was also rationed, so people stopped buying and using cars, and public transport was limited. There was no “obesity epidemic” as food supply and travel was limited, meaning people ate less and did more physical exercise (walking).

Interestingly, during the years when rationing was enforced, the prevalence of obesity was negligible in the United Kingdom. And waste was minimised as both individuals and government agencies were busy finding new ways of reducing the waste of food resources to a minimum (sustainable consumption).

Is it conceivable that some form of food rationing and portion control may help address the dramatic rise in obesity and the sustainability of our foods supply?

Well, er, I suppose so, Professor Davey. After all, short of Kim Jong-Un, you never see a fat North Korean, do you?

Professor Davey, despite holding a Ph.D., seems unable to tell the difference between correlation and causation: Britons weren’t terribly fat before or after rationing either, as the source of this piece points out. One might as well propose rationing to increase the quality of Australian novelists; after all, Kingsley Amis wrote Lucky Jim during rationing, so if it worked for the Brits, why not us?

Deliciously, she also runs something called the Centre for Research & Action in Public Health … but it is probably better remembered by its shortened name, CRAP Health.

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7 Responses to Dispatches from the Department of CRAP Health

  1. NoFixedAddress says:

    Obviously if we taxpayers stop giving them money then we will get far leaner opinion.

  2. Name change could be Centre for Action and Research in Public Health – CARPHealth different but in a same kind of way

  3. Meerkat says:

    “Deliciously, she also runs something called the Centre for Research & Action in Public Health … but it is probably better remembered by its shortened name, CRAP Health.” that is so true, but as an example of zealots naming themselves and shooting themselves in the foot it pales in comparison to the late Mary Whitehouse. Mary Whitehouse was a very prominent British morals campaigner who started her campaigns in 1960′s, of particular concern to the group that formed around her was the state of National TV in UK and the fact it ws allowing in swear words, more nudity, sex etc. Mary Whitehouse and team came up with a name for her newly formed group of activists that they very nearly went ahead with and if fact only stopped at the last minute when her husband suggested to her it might not be such a good name. They were to have been called Clean Up National Television.

  4. AJP Robinson says:

    How do these people get funded? They write crap like this and then they worry that they are not taken seriously. They have forgotten the difference between academia and activism.

  5. Alan says:

    . Growing up during rationing we ate lost of bread, potatoes and stodge, food was cooked in lard, not olive oil. This produced what were called the healthiest generation ever in Britain.

    In the period up to the last 20 years or so, virtually everyone smoked and ate no “lite” (why can’t this be “Light’). fat free, low fat, low sugar, diet foods. The problem with these foods is that they are so unnatural that there is no goodness in them. They create fat but little energy.

    Solution would be, stop trying to nanny us, encourage everyone to smoke and get rid of all the useless tasteless junk that is being sold as food, This may also reduce the use of the energy drinks that seem to be sending young people crazy.

    All kinds of studies recommend the current fad for lite/reduced everything food. The evidence suggests that people were thinner and healthier eating animal fats and stodge. Certailnly exercise is also a factor, the fad foods do not attack this.

    If the theory and studies do not match the physical evidence, you should junk the theory.

  6. Jon at WA says:

    Where to start?

    Our nice Doctor, receiving cash from selling natural remedies whilst collecting a consultation fee from the tax-payer was seen riding the other way while a patient of the surgery lay in the carpark passed out under the influence of a cocktail of legal and illegal drugs and alcohol. The fact the patient should really be in what was once called a mental asylum being stabilised and receiving treatment, does not diminish the fact that many of the people masquerading as Doctors really do not give a shit about their fellow human beings. The fundamental first step of treatment is absent!
    The only people to show any care was the local pharmacist and the assistant, they closed their shop so they could attend to the unhappy tripper.
    More and more the mentally ill, known and assessed by the state will be released into the care of the local police as the welfare state grinds into bankruptcy morally and fiscally.

  7. Pingback: Anti-Brussels Campaign | Prick With A Fork

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