Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Government engages in class war on child obesity?

It seems the Government is planning on giving away 45,000 pedometers to kids to encourage them all to get fit and do physical activity (like walking which must be tough), thus fighting the next doom and gloom facing us, child obesity. The pedometers will however only be available in poor "deprived areas", presumably because fat kids living in affluent areas deserve coronary attacks, and anyway they've probably got health insurance.

The thing is, pedometers are well known for being a bit dodgy in what they report. If you use one of those cheap ones given away with Special K they tend to over report by anything up to 50%. If you want accuracy then it costs, often four times as much. You're looking at a fiver a pop at the bottom and about £23 at the top end. So how much is the Government spending in their class war driven fight against obesity?

The press release says that the pedometers are part of "£494,000 project to motivate inactive children to become fitter", so they must be using pedometers that are less than a tenner each at the very best. Even at the bottom of the range though it would mean a spend of about £225,000.

Is that money well spent as compared to just forcing physical activity on kids in school and stopping them sitting on their arses all day? I wonder how many of the pedometers will be broken within the first week of handing the toys out?

God I'm in a cynical mood this morning.


The Daily Pundit said...

I'm just wondering how the news will be received in some of those 'deprived areas': "I don't want a pedometer near my kids! They should be locked up!"

Anonymous said...

Oh happy day. Someone else who sees class warfare in the current cultural obsession with childhood obesity. I'm not alone.

Anonymous said...

You really think they'll be spending the half a mil on pedometers? What planet are you on.

It'll either be spent on grants to local authorities to employ 'Child Health Outreach Officers' or be used to second policy people from the DOH to local government.

The pedometres will be coming out of your council tax.

Buy pedometre stocks!

dizzy said...

I didn't say they would spend hal a mil on pedomteers. I said they are getting 45,000 and it's being paid from out of a pot of half a mil. ergo, how much are they each? If they are cheap they are a waste of money because they are inaccurate, if they are expensive they are waste of money because they will be broken.

Anonymous said...

Actually they are pretty good - Silva Pedometers.

As with all these things a deal is struck for mass production.

The project has been really well received and the pedometers are re-usable. The kids love them (and are walking more!)