SIRC Media Watch Archive
The Pick – December 2004

Steep decline in smoking might be reason for thicker waistlines. Obesity is considered a major public-health problem, but many scientists are coming to see it as a comparative blessing, given the alternative. These public-heath experts believe, in effect, that America may have traded smoking — a truly lethal habit — for the lesser deadliness of eating too much. Seattle Times

Atomic tomatoes are not the only fruit. Ben Goldacre names the winners of the 2004 Bad Science awards – the gongs nobody wants. Guardian

Don't blame fast food, television or the car – fat is a technological issue. We've long blamed television for turning us into a nation of couch potatoes but now the dismal science is weighing in with the idea that it is technology, rather than a change in tastes or the growth of fast food restaurants, that is the cause of obesity….Prof Propper says it is quite wrong to blame fast-food outlets or convenience food in supermarkets for the problem. They are a reflection of it rather than a cause. Guardian

Let this be a warning. Anything from changing a light bulb to having sex could result in death or serious injury. But do we really need to be cautioned at every turn? Or has society finally lost all sense of proportion? Life is by its very nature hazardous, but we seem to have lost all proportionality. Above all, we have lost the idea that grown-ups (which is what this Government cannot bear to think of us as) have a right to assess their own hazards and risks without applying to a jobsworth with a clipboard every time they want to turn on the hot tap. Independent