Just following orders

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

You may recall that back in August I wrote about the NHS deciding it was going to weigh and measure children in England, check them against the Body Mass Index (BMI) and then send parents a letter to tell them if the computer says their child is fat or thin.  You may also recall that I said the BMI was a bloody stupid way of measuring obesity.

Well, this week #1 brought home a letter from the council and the Primary Care Trust (PCT) telling us that they will be weighing and measuring children in his year so they can gather statistics on obesity.  To this end they would be taking the child’s weight, height, name, address, postcode, date of birth, gender and ethnicity.  The statistics would be anonymised and sent to the NHS “nationally” (they mean England but the NHS aren’t allowed to use naughty words like that) but the weight and height would be recorded on the child’s file locally within the PCT.

The BMI is a graph with two axis – height and weight.  It doesn’t have ethnicity, address or age on it.  Therefore, the extra information is not required to calculate a child’s obesity on the BMI scale.  I accept that the statistics would benefit from having a geographical element to them for which the start of the postcode would be sufficient.  In fact, even this isn’t necessary because primary schools in Telford take their children by catchment area as opposed to selection like a secondary school so 99% of the children going to the school will all be from the same postcode area.

So why do they need names and addresses?  Oh yes, to send the “our computer say your child is fat/thin” letter which may or may not be a load of bollocks.  I won’t go into the reasons why the BMI is bollocks, click the link at the top of the post and read what I said originally.  All I’ll say is, quite a few “health professionals” have agreed with me that the BMI is bollocks.

Anyway, a form was attached to the letter so that we could refuse consent for the weighing and measuring which we filled in and returned.  The form was put in a folder with the others that parents had returned – quite a few of them by the look of it.  One thing that was missing from the form was somewhere to write down why we’d objected so I phoned up the PCT to tell them.  I said that I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking that they have to provide every bit of personal information the authorities ask them for, because the BMI is a rubbish way of measuring obesity and because they were recording too much information.  The woman I spoke to said she agreed with me to a certain extent but said that they had been told to do it.

Just following orders, that’s ok then.

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  1. axel (1214 comments) says:

    Euro alert

    Apparently, the french and germansd are manipulating the financial crisis to facilitate our entry into the Euro and we are going to have to beg to get in.

    I have forgotten all the salient points of the rant but they all seemed to make sense at the time.

    they all seemed to be policy changes, in the last while, where if there was an alternative that was less damaging to the pound, it was not taken, that is 2 choices, both equally good for the euro but one that was shitty for us and they always picked that one.

    On the plus side, the conspiracy soon devolved into a masonic illuminati rant but there did seem to be an odd amount of coincidentality.

    Are there any other reviews that we have read out there that would back this up?

  2. M Anderson (47 comments) says:

    This week #1 brought home a letter…telling us that they will be weighing and measuring children in his year so they can gather statistics on obesity.

    What do the child’s name, address, postcode, date of birth, gender and ethnicity have to do with obesity?

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