Tell me something we don’t already know

There’s nowt funnier than hearing a po-faced reporter declare in reverential tones the latest university research which reveals the bleeding obvious.

And so it was earlier this week, when a study by no fewer than three seats of learning led to the revelation that unfit people could get fit by taking exercise.

More specifically that doctors ‘prescribing’ a visit to the local gym was no more effective than if the patient went for a bit of a walk. Who’d have thought?

So, now we know that for the past decade or so, the hard-pressed health service for which we all cough up a sizeable chunk of our hard-earned cash has been stumping up for yoga sessions, dance classes and gym exercise for no better reason than it was fashionable.

In order that we do not again have to wait, chequebook in hand, for the professors-of-the-predictable to confirm what we already know, may I offer the following observations?

In virtually all circumstances, weight problems can be cured by eating less and taking more exercise. If that does not succeed, eating still smaller portions should do the trick. No fancy diets, no potions, no mumbo jumbo.

Similarly so-called tobacco-use cessation classes are all about stopping smoking. No end of discussion groups can substitute for will power. If you need nicotine gum I hear you can get it from the chemist. It’s cheaper than fags, so we’re all quids in.

And while we are on the subject of Intellectualising the Immediately Apparent can anyone explain to me why it was November 2011 before we discovered that snatching children, barely four years old, and thrusting them into full-time education damages their development?

August–born children are sent to school nearly a full year before their contemporaries who hang around in the womb for a few days. I knew this when my son set off for classes while his playmate remained at home with her mother for a full year.

Time for common sense, not more academic ‘research’.

Counterpoint by Scott Freeman