Alarming figures from the UK's Department of Health reveal a significant change in the number of recorded problems among children and young adults. Of the monitored problems, the newly-defined syndrome of Overweight Babies, Children and Teenagers, or OBCT, shows the greatest increase.
It has been known for some time that allocating a set of initials causes an increase in people reporting the problem. Prior to the allocation of an acronym, most youngsters would rather not believe that they suffer from any given complaint. However, once initials are assigned, children and their parents can more easily relate to the syndrome, and it becomes acceptable to people generally.
Once the correlation between problem acceptance and an acronym was identified by healthcare experts, it became essential to allocate acronyms for all problems so that they could be allocated 'syndrome' status. This is particularly important if the problem is to be used by schools for funding purposes or to allocate extra time in exams.
As soon as the World Health Organisation defined the acronym OBCT, young people began to admit that they had the problem and treatment could start. In many cases the prescribed treatment is Encouraged Calorific Abstinence and Enhanced Physical Activity. A program of ECA/EPA has had extremely good results in dealing with most forms of OBCT, whereas dieting and exercise has never really worked.
Following this, the Department of Health has stated that their target is to find acronyms for at least two new syndromes per year. The first of these is likely to be the common hangover which will be re-designated so that sufferers will become known as Post Intoxication Sufferer's Syndrome -heads.