Saturday, 15 February 2014
Tameside a borough of "fatties". But just why are the authorities concerned?
An interesting quote came from local MP Andrew Gwynne who said "It is clear that the current voluntary approach is not working and we need to open our minds to new approaches in tackling obesity". What does he mean "current voluntary approach not working"?
But this concern for the health of the poor and the "working class" is not new.
In 1903 the Government set up a "Committee on Physical Deterioration " to examine the causes of the unhealthy physical condition of the poorer members of society. This led to the first pieces of social legislation in the UK. Free school meals and compulsory medical examinations in 1906. The reporting of births to medical officers and in 1908 old age pensions and the compulsory demolition of "back to back" slums.
So the government then, as now, was motivated by a concern for our health and welfare? Actually no.
May I be excused if I view the Government's concern for our health with some suspicion?