Friday, 06 November 2015 10:03

Freedom to Choose

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Freedom to Choose to wear Bike helmets

Riding a bike can be great fun. The wind in your hair, getting some exercise, enjoying being with your family/friends.

For many of us that has been lost because of some wowsers thinking we are too immature to decide for ourselves whether or not to wear a helmet.

How can this decision affect anyone but ourselves? We are alone on the bike. The chances of being brain damaged and not dying in an accident are very low. I don’t know if things have changed but the records kept by doctors on cause of death of bike riders when this law started did not indicate whether a helmet would have done any good. Get hit by a car while riding a bike and there are going to be so many bits of you completely smashed a head injury will not be of much consequence. We are accepting the risk if there is one as an adult. Why does Australia not treat us as adults?

Skin Cancer

What about skin cancer. Bike helmets do not keep the sun off your skin. Australia is renowned for the incidence of skin cancer. Surely an adult could claim health issues for not wearing a bike helmet when riding a bike.

Bike rider deaths in Australia was 45 in 2014.

Cancer deaths in Australia were over 2,000 for this period.

Smoking

While we cannot choose to wear a bike helmet we can choose whether to smoke. Deaths from smoking each year in Australia are over 15,000. Would the Government please let us potential bike riders have freedom of choice.

Fatness or Freedom to choose being fat

One in five deaths a result of being fat as indicated in the following article.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/melaniehaiken/2013/08/19/overweight-watch-out-1-in-5-deaths-now-linked-to-being-overweight-or-obese/

A study heralded that being somewhat fat was healthier. The errors in the study saying that being obese does not increase risk of death are exposed in this article which has advice from HSPH’s Nutrition Department Chair, Dr. Walter Willett,

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/questions/ask-the-expert-does-being-overweight-really-decrease-mortality-no/

Stated politely, the paper is a pile of rubbish.

Q:  What is your advice to people who are 60 or more pounds (27 kg) overweight? 

A:  This amount of overweight is a major threat to health and greatly increases risks of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and many other conditions.  It will be important to consult with your health care provider to find the best approach, but in most cases this will be a combination of increased physical activity and healthier eating.  Often group support will be helpful, and in a few situations the addition of medication or surgery will be appropriate.

It is clear that the Flegal study is misleading and should be ignored by health professionals and the general public. The evidence that obesity can cause metabolic abnormalities and many diseases is backed by decades of research. Maintaining a normal weight and losing weight is definitely challenging in our current food environment, but following a healthy weight plan like this checklist, can help you take small but important steps towards health.

So why are we not enforced to lower our weight if we are obese? It is a deadly problem resulting in tens of thousands of deaths each year here, but the Government does not think it is as important as insisting all of us wear bike helmets when the number of deaths here last year was 45.

Amsterdam Again

Watch the people in Amsterdam in the daytime by viewing this webcam in our evening. Remember that they are eight hours behind us so noon there is 8pm here on the east coast. Make sure you have changed the resolution to the maximum 720p so you can see if the cyclists are wearing helmets. While the occasional scooter rider is wearing a helmet the cyclists were not during the time I watched.

https://www.terena.org/webcam/

They have freedom of choice. The rest of the world apart from New Zealand have freedom of choice. Is there something about this part of the planet that exudes nannyness?

Tell your Member of Parliament you want freedom of choice to wear or not wear a bike helmet.

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