The media reported yesterday that the
UK has the highest proportion of obese woman and the second highest proportion of obese men in Europe. It would appear that nearly a quarter (23.9%) of British women is obese as are 22.1% of men.
What I want to know is where the hell they are all hiding?
Logic would suggest that at least two (20%) out of every ten woman I know are clinically obese, and forgive me obese folk, obese is big, not overweight, big and I would notice – but I don’t because they are just not there (as in 20%)! That said, I do know (and like) obese women, but totting up family members, friends and colleagues, obese women total 9.5% and overweight women 4.7%. (I am overweight but have not included myself in this total – although that said I wear size 16 clothing which would suggest I am not overweight, yet my BMI suggests I am, and damn it I know I am!).
These figures (of course) only relate to my little circle of female comrades, whether they are family, friends or colleagues and are therefore not a true representation of female fattiness countrywide. Yet, my wanderings in the mean streets of the city do not thrust this large population of large women in my face – I would notice – so yet again I would ask – where the hell they are all hiding?
I don’t trust stats and these stats are based on this report from the European Health Interview Survey. The
UK figures are based on this Health Survey for , 2009 which clearly states in Main Topics that “The HSE 2009 was a short survey with a relatively small sample size….” England
The questionnaire is here (pdf). Scroll down to pages 44-8 which deal with height and weight and notice that reasons for refusal (to be weighed) are part of the questionnaire.
So assuming that some will refuse to be weighed - and are not excluded from the survey (guesstimates used?) - the outcome must be slewed. Whatever the case, this admitted small sample size has been extrapolated to reach a desired outcome? And, and this is an important and, when this cross-section of the general public were chosen randomly to represent a true cross-section of the general public, how could ‘they’ know that this random selection did not include a disproportionate amount of obese people?
I will muse on the above while I eat enormous amounts of chocolate (don’t like it very much really) as I exercise by wiggling my toes.
Where are they all hiding?
(On a serious note, I do understand and appreciate that obesity is associated with many health problems and is not really recommended as a ‘lifestyle’.)
PS I don't know why there are strange gaps in the first paragraph - but I can't correct. Maybe because my beloved comp is still not well?