Blobby bobbies on the rise

Just like the child in the proverbial sweet shop, newspapers can’t get enough when it comes to stories about obesity. The topic of how the nation is getting fatter as well as the more nuanced consequences for our general health and the cost implications on society and the health service are a sure fire winner for a freelancer like myself.

I’ve had stories published on the rise of fat kids, which parts of the UK have the fattest people, what ailments fat people have been turning up at hospital with, the cost of fat-proof hospital equipment, kids taken away from their parents for being too fat, firefighters called out to pick up fat people….. the list goes on and on.

There are dozens of straight-forward story ideas about obesity but it is the crafty ones that I really admire now.
So I was rather pleased with myself last year when I was involved in a piece that was published in the Sun on how prisoners were getting XXXL uniforms made for themselves in increasing numbers as the inmate population grows fatter.

Well I have been trumped by the Sun this week in that it managed to contact the manufacturers of police issue belts and found out they were running out of the XXXL sizes including the 56in waist. It is a good example of how to use a nugget of statistical information to build up a great story. The article was originally published in the Sun on Sunday and then was picked up by the Mail.

I’m not sure what we should be more concerned about? Police officers with 56in waists or the prospect of them having no mechanism to keep their trousers up?


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