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Healthists — including secular and churchy pietists — can’t have things both ways.

You cannot expect people to stop smoking and stay thin. It’s unlikely to happen.

Whilst obesity rates rise, we find more taxpayer-financed pseudo-medical experts who bite the hand that feeds them.

A recent case in point is a relative non-entity sucking at the public teat named Professor Craig Currie of Cardiff University.

A few days ago in the Daily Mirror, Currie called Britain ‘a nation of lazy porkers’ (H/T: Frank Davis).

Professor Currie explained the Type 2 diabetes issue to the Mirror in a most scientific way:

This is serious because there are a lot of people who are in deep s*** and they don’t even realise.

Eloquent, especially coming from someone whom the Mirror calls:

a top health expert

and

the diabetes expert.

Kudos to Frank Davis who researched Professor Currie’s qualifications. Emphases mine in violet below:

Given that nobody really knows what causes Type 2 Diabetes, I raised an eyebrow at the “top health expert” description.

But what struck me most was the utter contempt this man felt for millions of people to call them a “nation of lazy porkers”.

Wondering whether he was yet another loony doctor, I did a bit of digging. Turns out he’s probably not. Here’s his career summary:

Craig Currie’s Overview

Current
Professor of Pharmacoepidemiology at Cardiff University
Director at Pharmatelligence

Past
Professor of Pharmacoepidemiology at Cardiff University
Professor and Director at Pharmatelligence
Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Cardiff University

Education
Cardiff University / Prifysgol Caerdydd

De Montfort University

Craig Currie’s Summary

Experienced consultant in all aspects of medicines evaluation: epidemiology, economics, stats, database analysis and reimbursement strategy.

Specialties

Drug evaluation, device evaluation, drug reimbursement, epidemiology, health economics, medical statistics, clinical trial design, health services research, consultancy, business devotement, large database analysis (GPRD, THIN HES, clinical trials data).

Diseases of particular interest: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory disease, dermatological diseases.

Craig Currie’s Experience

Professor of Pharmacoepidemiology
Cardiff University
Educational Institution; 1001-5000 employees; Higher Education industry
December 2009 – Present (3 years 6 months)

Director
Pharmatelligence
Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Research industry
2006 – Present (7 years)

Professor and Director
Pharmatelligence
Privately Held; 1-10 employees; Research industry
2006 – 2011 (5 years)

Honorary Senior Research Fellow
Cardiff University
Educational Institution; 1001-5000 employees; Higher Education industry
1996 – 2009 (13 years)

underling
GSK
Public Company; 10,001+ employees; GSK; Pharmaceuticals industry
1999 – 2000 (1 year)

Craig Currie’s Education

Cardiff University / Prifysgol Caerdydd
PhD, Epidemiology/Economics
1996 – 1998

De Montfort University

De Montfort University used to be Leicester Polytechnic until the 1990s, when, under the 1992 Further and Higher Education Act it was allowed to grant its own academic degrees and took on its current name in honour of Simon de Montfort, an Earl of Leicester, who established the first English parliament in 1265.

It is unclear what Currie studied at De Montfort. Why not list the Bachelors degree?

It’s interesting that whatever he studied there enabled him to earn a PhD at Cardiff. Hmm. Where’s the Masters?

Frank was also interested in the rather unusual course of study Epidemiology/Economics (emphases mine):

Is it Epidemiology or Economics? Or Epidemiology and Economics. Or Epidemiological Economics? Or just something that begins with E?

Then he’s a Senior Research Fellow as Cardiff university for the next 13 years. What research was he doing? Something beginning with E? Anyway, in 2006, he also becomes a big shot in Pharmatelligence. Another strange combination word.

Our goal is to benefit the health economics of clinical institutions by blending unique data capture, research consultancy & in-depth analysis, providing health data outcomes effectively sourced from real-world situations.

So Real-World Electronic Data Capture = Questionnaires. And he’s evaluating medicines for the pharmaceutical industry.

So he seems to have precious little medical or biological education or experience, but he’s been analysing questionnaires Real-World Electronic Data from UK general practices, and publishing a number of papers …

P.S. Listen to the Prof Craig Currie here (BBC). Note that, in addition to his other insightful remarks, he helpfully points out that, in some cases of diabetes, “the old boy won’t work.”

And British ‘porkers’ are paying his salary.

It’s important to look behind the notional story for the truth about these ‘experts’.

Although the Mirror calls the Type 2 diabetes ‘worrying’ what concerns me much more is this:

[Currie] also called on the Government to intervene, adding: “It seems so futile that we know about these things but don’t actually do anything about it.”

Heaven help us. That’s all we need — more taxes going to ‘cure’ or a condition about which we still know rather little, even though we all know what Type 2 diabetes is.

The other more worrying aspect is the possibility of Government ‘intervention’ in our personal lives. Alarm bells should go off when we see the word ‘intervention’ — it is from the totalitarian Left. Look it up to see how it was used in the 20th century.

Last November Tory MP Dr Phillip Lee told the Institute for Economic Affairs people with medical conditions caused by diet may have to contribute to their healthcare costs in the future.

Today he reiterated the message and said: “It is not an easy message for people to hear but basically our lifestyles are causing these conditions to increase.”

Asked about charging people who could ill afford to pay for treatment, he said: “If you’ve got the money to pay for the food, you’ve got the money to pay for the drugs.”

And that is precisely what concerns me — and should concern readers — about ‘interventions’. No, it is not true that a week’s worth of diabetes medication costs the same as a bag of potatoes. In reality, under Lee’s plan, one can eat or one can purchase diabetes medication; one cannot have both. For a Conservative MP to say that is nothing short of shameful. It matters little whether his title is ‘Dr’. In fact, that actually makes it worse.

Frank’s readers comments relate their families’ experiences with Type 2 diabetes.  Nearly all of them said that a family member was diagnosed with it after they quit smoking.

It is almost axiomatic that people who stop smoking gain a lot of weight. I do know of ex-smokers who lost that weight but it took a few years and a lot of self-discipline as well as strenuous exercise.

Of course, never-smokers also contract Type 2. If smoking were still a normal activity, as it had been for decades, most of them would have reached for a cigarette to calm their nerves. Now, they reach for food instead.

Never have I known such a focus on ready-made food as I have in this century: snacks, huge pastries, food truck sandwiches, etc. There’s something wrong. I say that as a foodie.

A major factor in the rise of Type 2 is the preponderance of carbohydrate in our diets. As one of Frank’s readers says:

I also know a couple of thin people who have type 2. I also get frustrated with many medical studies because for SOME type 2′s, exercise can help. It helps me, I do weight training and have an active weekend job. But it doesn’t help everyone and it doesn’t help if the exercise causes a rise in blood glucose levels. But no doctor will listen. What causes a worsening of my diabetes was a low fat, five-a-day diet with an emphasis on starchy carbohydrates. Nearly killed me.

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