Thursday, June 26, 2003

Obsessity

Perhaps this could be a new term for someone who is obsessed with weight as a public health problem... just a thought.

In this vein, BBC News reports on a proposal to produce a 'polypill' of different drugs that could be given to everyone over 55 to reduce their risks of suffering a heart attack, stroke etc. While the whole idea seems like a good wheeze for drug companies, nonetheless it may have some merit.

What is interesting is the reaction of the health campaigners. Sir Charles George of the British Heart Foundation is quoted as saying. 'There is no doubt that the idea of a "pill for all ills" is enticing but whether we like it or not the rising tide of obesity, inactivity, diabetes and continued smoking rates cannot be ignored. A 'polypill' should never be a licence for people to lead unhealthy lifestyles - known risk factors will always compete with progress in medicine and can lead to other debilitating conditions such as cancer, arthritis, and bronchitis.'

No. Apart from smoking, the evidence supporting the effect of the other factors mentioned is still contentious. Wouldn't the whole point of such a pill be that we can eat, drink and be merry, and live longer in the process. In fact, isn't that what doctors are for?

'Miracle heart pill' for all, BBC News, 26 June 2003

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