Public health and authoritarianism

simonletchcrop-420x0Recent research shows that there has been a steady decline in childhood obesity rates in developing countries.

The report concludes that:

Effective public health programs are urgently needed for developing countries, where obesity rates in children still continue to increase.

Obesity rates have declined so we ‘urgently’ need government programs to help obese children? Righto.

This want for more government intervention in health is slowly turning into an authoritarian force. Chris Snowden talked about this in an excellent piece for Spiked. The most remarkable part in the piece is a quote from a president of the UK Royal College of Physicians from the 1950s:

If we go beyond facts, to the question of the giving of advice to the public as to what action they should take in the light of the facts, I doubt very much whether that should be a function of the College.

The health professionals did not see their duty to control, but to advise. Today it’s a different story, with the Royal College of Physicians calling for a  ban on individuals being able to smoke in their cars.

The constant want to ban anything and everything that is potentially ‘bad’ for you is not the duty of our health professionals.

Personal responsibility can never be forgotten when it comes to ones health.


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