The number of questionable health surveys and reports becoming gospel truths on the BBC at present appears to be on the rise. The source is invariably 'experts' or 'scientists' trying to sell either magazines or alternatively raise their profile and subsequent funding through increased publicity.
But that of course is not good for the truth, or even consistency. And where health advice is concerned you'd hope the BBC might see the value of at least one or the other. Sadly though the whole 'try to live a healthy and active lifestyle' story could only really be done once by 'scientists' and the media without creative embellishment. (Question: How many ways are there to say consume fewer calories, lose weight, live longer?)
To put some of the most recent stories in wider context, back in 2002 the BBC reported that “eating the right foods can improve mental health”, a claim it repeated, with little apparent development of the story this week, supported by new research which shows a bad diet can lead to depression.
So. If you eat bad food, you get in a bad mood. OK? Not "news", but at least the latest story is consistent with its 2002 forebear.
But the BBC also reported, back in 1999: Depression, anxiety and stress can have a profound effect on the ability of people with diabetes to control blood sugar levels. Not to mention: A third of young people admit they turn to food when they are unhappy about their love lives. So are people in bad moods because they eat badly, or do they eat badly because they are in bad moods?
Or is it neither? Because the link between mood and health and weight could be genetic, according to the BBC.
Not convinced, well there is a fourth option. The BBC has also reported: “Women with a low cholesterol level could be approximately twice as likely to suffer from depression or anxiety problems.”
Twice as likely? Sounds very precise. But now it’s low cholesterol that is linked to depression, so I’m really confused. Fortunately, there is somebody we can ask. The grumpy. Because today the BBC revealed that grumpy people are smarter than their cheerful peers.
Because you see grumpy people concentrate better and are therefore smarter. It’s just a shame that to get that way they have to either eat more, or possibly less unhealthy food in order to either get the higher or lower levels of cholesterol required to definitely make them either grumpier and healthier (not to mention a better employee), or happier and healthier (and capable of living longer… though not as long as smart people with good jobs, who must be grumpy in order to keep those jobs don't forget).
Still, it could be worse. You could live in Africa where people are the most pessimistic, according to the BBC, particularly in Nigeria (it must be all that chocolate and junk food they either do or don't eat).
Though for every cup half empty there is always one half full. So where is the happiest place on earth? Well, that would be Nigeria, according to a report on the BBC.
So in order to be as happy as the world’s most unhappy people, the health-conscious junk food junkies of Nigeria, you just need to remember to eat the right mix of high and low-cholesterol food to ensure you are happily obese, in a thin and depressed kind of way. All of which will make you more or less employable and therefore less likely not to die young or live to a ripe old age (you'll instead be suspended in some kind of limbo, I presume).
But be warned, if you are on the obese side of skinny you may get a hard time, leading you to ask, as the BBC has recently, why "fattism" is seen by many as an acceptable prejudice?
Good question, perhaps it’s because of a report on the BBC which claimed soaring obesity levels look set to drain local health and public service budgets, which will mean higher taxes for all.
Glad we cleared that up...