The Fountain Pen, Guelph's On-Line News
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Confections for compliance?

Web posted on April 27, 2012

Dear Editor,

I came across your website while doing some research about cycle helmets, and I was fascinated and horrified, but mostly horrified, to read about the local helmet promotion campaign aimed at children. This consists of police officers rewarding children with vouchers for confectionery if the child is wearing a cycle helmet.

Whether this is a good use of police time is only a matter the residents of Guelph can answer, but encouraging children to wear something which has never been proved to be beneficial, using confectionery which is basically fat, cholesterol and sugar is frankly beyond belief. The risks of being overweight exceed the risks of cycling by several thousand times, but the police are actively encouraging children to indulge in behaviour much more likely to have a negative effect on the children's lives than cycling without a helmet. In the middle of an obesity epidemic which is already costing billions, and is set to cost hundreds more, this is quite literally incredible.

All the long term, large scale, reliable research shows no benefit from helmet wearing, and some shows an increase in risk. Regular cyclists, with or without a helmet, live longer and suffer less from all forms of illness. The consumption of confectionery is not associated with any health benefits, rather the opposite in fact.

This campaign redefines the word misguided. Please tell me it's some kind of joke.

Richard Burton
Little Stoke, Bristol UK


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