SIRC Media Watch Archive
Comment and Opinion – November 2001

Food for thought. The Young People in 2000 report, released on Monday (November 12, 2001) by the Schools Health Education Unit (SHEU) details the responses of 42,073 young people between the ages of 10 and 15 to a questionnaire on health-related behaviour. The report highlights a number of concerns relating to children's diet and their attitudes towards food. Of particular significance is the fact that nearly two thirds of Year 10 females (14-15 years of age) want to lose weight despite only 14 % of them being over-weight and approximately 5% are actually under-weight. Full story.

In praise of bad habits – the ICR lecture, November 2001. "In the Western world we live in an age that is, by all objective criteria, the safest that our species has ever experienced in its evolution and its history … At the same time we have, ironically, come to fear the world around us as never before. In the absence of real risks, we invent new and often quite fanciful ones. The better off in our society, who have the least to really worry about, are most prone to this novel neurosis of our age – fearing instant death from the contents of their dinner plates, unless chosen with obsessive care, and 'unacceptable' physical decline from failure to follow every faddist trend recommended by their personal fitness trainers. We fear that our children are constantly in danger from strangers – despite the fact that the vast majority of child abuse occurs within the family – and feel compelled to ensure their safe arrival at school by transporting them in people carriers – while at the same time decrying the depletion of fossil fuels and 'unacceptable' levels of environmental pollution – and we wonder why our children are getting fat. Full text.