Monday 13 January 2014

"Stupidity UK - It's worse than feared"

From The Daily Mail:

Dire warnings that half of Britons will be stupid by 2050 are an 'underestimate', a shock report warns today.

The stupidity epidemic could be far worse than predicted because experts did not factor in how much stupider we are getting as we age, it says.

For example, most adults no longer realise that as stupidity is not an infectious disease, there cannot be an epidemic thereof.

The report blames junk science for confusing the public about healthy eating, and says ministers and GPs are failing to get a grip of the problem, with NHS systems 'pouring petrol on the flames of stupidity'.

More than a quarter of adults (26 per cent) are stupid, up from just 8 per cent in 1980.

In 2007, an alarming government review warned that by 2050, stupidity would affect half of all adults and cost the economy £50 billion a year. Yet a report by the National Stupidity Forum says the predictions were 'optimistic' and underestimated the 'true scale of the problem'.

According to today's study, by 2050 stupidity could be affecting more than 100% of all adults.

The forum – which comprises doctors and other experts – says the Government is focusing too much on propaganda rather than helping those who are stupid to realise how much fake science they are paying to be bombarded with.

It also describes a reward system for GPs, which pays them to record that patients are stupid without having to offer any genuinely sensible dietary advice, as being 'unfit for purpose'.


A K Haart said...

By 2050 stupidity could affect over 100% of adults.

Mark Wadsworth said...

AKH, LOL, good point well made, I have updated the article.

Macheath said...

Daily Mail, April 2011

'Researchers carried out tests on 150 volunteers, all weighing over 21 stone, and compared them with results from healthy people.
In some tests, including memory exams, almost a quarter of the overweight participants scored low enough to be considered learning disabled.

After the initial round of testing, two-thirds of the volunteers had gastric bypass surgery to reduce the size of the stomach and lost an average of about 3st 8lbs.

After 12 weeks, they all took the tests again and the group that lost weight boosted their scores, particularly those involving memory, significantly. They also showed great improvement in organisational skills.

The 41 obese volunteers who declined the surgery ended up with even worse results.

Professor John Gunstad said the research showed obesity can damage the brain, ‘especially the parts most important for paying attention and learning new things’.'

Mark Wadsworth said...

McH, one of the weird prejudices which people have is that fat = stupid and thin = clever.

(See also, high forehead = clever, low forehead = stupid, weaning glasses = clever.)

Now, from personal experience, I don't see much to back that up, I've known fat clever people and thin stupid people (fewer of the former than the latter, but most people aren't fat anyway), but hey, the scientists say otherwise so it must be true :-)

Macheath said...

My personal experience tallies with yours, but, true or no, I do wonder whether the study has quietly influenced official thinking.

Since citing it would be likely to unleash cries of outrage on every side, those concerned would surely be obliged to seek some other public justification for drastic intervention - such as a revised study predicting obesity rates in a population as yet unborn.