SIRC Media Watch Archive
The Pick – March 2005

The key to a long life? Eat, drink and gain weight. Fat people have won a health reprieve from a study which showed that those who are overweight tend to live longer than those of normal weight. Doctors may have to re-think the definition of the ideal weight after researchers found that the risks of piling on the pounds do not become evident until people are extremely obese…David Haslam, chairman of the UK National Obesity Forum said: "It does raise the possibility that we will have to change the criteria for what we regard as overweight."The researchers, from the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute in the US, analysed death rates and body mass index (BMI) Among the obese there were 112,000 excess deaths compared with those of normal weight but the vast majority of these – 82,000 – were in the extremely obese category with a BMI of 35 or over. There were 34,000 excess deaths among underweight people but there were 86,000 fewer deaths among the overweight than those of normal weight. Jeremy Laurence originally in the Independent now available from China Daily

Drugs firms turning Britain into 'pill for every ill' society. Britain is being turned into "pill for every ill" society by the multibillion-pound drugs industry, which encourages patients to take medication for "unhappiness", according to a committee of MPs. The drugs industry was heavily criticised for promoting the wider use of medication to increase its profits in a report by the influential Commons Select Committee on Health. Independent.

'I am an orthorexic' . An obsession with healthy eating could be dangerous, doctors have warned. So what's it like suffering from orthorexia? Orthorexia nervosa is an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. Unlike the related anorexia, sufferers are concerned not with quantity but with quality. It's not about feeling fat, but about feeling pure. BBC.

Now eat up your healthy food or we'll send matron round to make you. The government announced this week an authoritarian policy that has no place in a civilised society. No, I don’t mean the terrible Prevention of Terrorism Bill. I am talking about new Labour’s latest plans to make Britain "a healthier and fitter nation" — surely enough to send a shudder through any freedom-loving citizen. Times.

Girls aged six 'unhappy with weight'. By the age of six, most girls are now dissatisfied with their bodies and want to be thinner, researchers have claimed; almost half believe they need to go on a diet to lose weight. Research published today suggests that, within a year of starting school, most girls are being subjected to peer group pressure to lose weight. Independent.

media scare storiesShock, horror – I'm well. How useful is the never-ending torrent of health stories in the daily press? Not very, says Steve Cochrane, who spent a gruelling month sifting through the scary, the serious and the plain silly. Guardian.