Barometer

If curiosity doesn’t kill the cat, what does?

1 August 2020

9:00 AM

1 August 2020

9:00 AM

The first nanny state

The Prime Minister’s strategy on obesity has been labelled a work of the ‘nanny state’ — not least because Boris Johnson himself, during his campaign to become Conservative leader last year, promised to banish ‘the continuing creep of the nanny state’. The term can be traced to the 12 February 1965 edition of The Spectator, under a piece with the byline ‘Quoodle’ — a pseudonym used by the then editor Ian Macleod — about the government’s decision to prohibit cigarette advertising on commercial television. ‘Personally I regard the proof of a causal link between heavy cigarette-smoking and the incidence of lung cancer as overwhelming,’ he wrote. ‘But so is the link between heavy drinking and death on the road. And perhaps between gambling and bankruptcy… This new victory for the nanny state represents the wrong approach.’

Fat of the land

How many Britons are overweight or obese? The percentage of the population classified as obese has increased from 15% to 29% since 1993. The current levels, by age group, are:

    Overweight | Obese

16-24 | 22 | 15

25-34 | 34 | 23

35-44 | 37 | 29

45-54 | 36 | 36

55-64 | 39 | 34

65-74 | 43 | 33

75+ | 41 | 31


Source: House of Commons Library

Spanish test

How dependent is the tourist industry on Britons visiting Spain? Number of visits by Britons last year:

Spain | 18.1m

France | 10.1m

Italy | 5.1m

US | 4.8m

Ireland | 4.7m

Netherlands | 3.5m

Greece | 3.4m

Germany | 3.4m

Source: ONS

What killed the cat?

A cat was found to have contracted Covid-19 from its owners, but suffered only mild symptoms. What are the most common causes of death in cats?

Trauma | 12%

Renal disorder | 12%

Neoplasia | 11%

Mass lesion disorder | 10%

Neurological disorder | 7%

Source: Royal Veterinary College

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