So, I’m in my second pissing contest with BBC complaints in a year.
The context: On the 5th January, BBC Breakfast did a piece on how we are all eating too many calories. To start the piece, they sent a journalist into a shopping mall to interview people about how many calories they think they should be eating a day. They then whipped out their online BMR calculator to show them all how silly they were and what a bunch of porkers they are for eating too many calories a day. You could clearly see the BMR calculator on the journalist’s tablet: it even said BMR and the number in bold capitals.
The problem? BMR is your base metabolic rate, not calorie intake. To calculate calorie intake you have to put that number into the Harris Benedict Equation. Even if you are a lard ass that sits in front of your computer all day like me and gets no exercise you still have to multiple the BMR by at least 1.2 to get calorie intake.
So, BMR IS NOT calorie intake.
The piece was, therefore, misleading to say that they are the same thing.
Why is this important?
For the people being interviewed they have left that mall thinking that they are eating far too many calories and may cut right back to what was suggested by the BMR calculator. For the viewers, they may go and try to calculate it themselves. While some website state that you need to then use the HB equation, many do not.
The ramifications? Malnutrition. Organ damage. Osteoporosis. Extreme dieting. Eating disorders. Death.
So, I complained.
What did I get in response?
“We understand you feel this programme gave misleading information on the number of calories people require as it didn’t take into account the Harris Benedict Equation.”
FEEL? Wha? It WAS! You said that BMR IS calorie intake!
The whole BBC complaints system is based on trying to brush you off at the first point by making out that the problem is that you are overly sensitive and they’ve done nothing wrong. If that doesn’t work, then they try to pound you into submission by giving you the run around until you give up. At the most, you get a final “sorry” but they will not admit that they have ever done anything wrong and they never do anything about it.
I would boycott paying my TV license if I could but the BBC cannily have the law on their side so that no-one can protest the disgrace that the BBC have become.