The new study by the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford says we 're suffering from 'warning fatigue'


Motherhood in Western Europe

Insights from Western European Mothers

The changing face of motherhood — Western Europe

The accompanying reports combine a review of existing literature with an analysis of original quantitative data derived from a poll of 9,582 mothers from 12 countries in Western Europe, making it one of the largest studies of this kind ever conducted

Child Obesity and Health

An analysis of the latest available data from the Health Survey for England (HSE)

Child Obesity and Health — download the full report in pdf format

In this ‘National Childhood Obesity Week’, the SIRC report, Children, obesity and heath: Recent trends, holds up a true mirror, accurately reflecting the trend towards slimmer, healthier children. more

The Future of Freemasonry

An examination of the role of Freemasonry in the 21st century


This report is, as far as we know, an account of the first ever study that has been commissioned by Freemasons from a non-Masonic body. None of the SIRC members involved in the project are Freemasons, a fact that evoked surprise and welcome in equal measure from the Lodge members we met. more

The Changing Face of Motherhood

Insights from three generations of mothers


The report seeks to answer some specific questions about the changing face of motherhood and determine the extent to which modern ‘solutions’ to motherhood are more or less beneficial than the solutions of the past. more

Warnings that Lead to Fatigue

Belfast Telegraph – 26.05.1999

Health promotion has become a cut-throat industry, an expert warned this week, without a hint of a smile.

Agencies, charities, politicians, academics and the mass media are all on our case trying, and generally abjectly failing, to knock us into better physical shape.

The hammer-it-home healthy living message sneaks in everywhere like subliminal advertising.

Even Coronation Street 's Jack Duckworth, beset with heart worries, turned down steak and kidney pie and chips in favour of tuna salad on Monday and waved away his favourite pint for a glass of red plonk. Vera turned pale and butcher Fred nearly expired on the spot.

There 's a diet drink ad on the go that tries to tempt you with a white bread bacon sarni the message being that if you fancy the cholesterol laden treat, you are weak, weak, weak.

It 's enough to have you reaching for the frying pan.

But at last the real message is filtering through. That too many Government health warnings can damage your health.

The tougher the party line, the more we rebel. Even or pehaps especially when we know that what we are being told is For Our Own Good.

When shock tactics are used to warn smokers of the health risks, they light up. Drinkers "nagged " about alcohol drink more.

When the authorities banned beef on the bone in the BSE scare, sales soared in defiance before the ban was implemented.

It 's called human nature. And it 's why diets always start tomorrow we 'll get round to joining a gym next pay day and would walk more if only there was time.

The new study by the Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford says we 're suffering from "warning fatigue " when a message is given so often it loses its impact. And they certainly have a point.

The healthy eating and exercise message has been expounded loud and clear for donkey 's years now. Yet obesity continues to rise.

Maybe what we need is less stick and more carrot.

And it's up to the health lobby to come up with the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed ideas.

There 's no doubt that we are what we eat and drink and that individuals can radically improve their chances of living a long and healthy life.

It 's up to the experts to do a smarter job of getting the message across.

Copyright © Belfast Telegraph