Barcelona baby boom: does sporting success affect birth rate?BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7387 (Published 17 December 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f7387
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In advance we want to acknowledge to all bmj editors their permanent aid during all 2013rd year and to wish to all them a happy new year, best health and new and big successes every day during all the 2014th year.
Colombian good results in sports, at international competitions, mainly in football and cycling produce radical changes in the daily normal society dynamics. Vibrant actions of those sports of crowds can paralyze in any moment all our country. All life is suspended and working places are empty when an international competition goes, where a colombian footballist or a cyclist is participating. People forget to think about the necessity of working when that sportsman is winning or is a competition leader. We have never seen, during our life, social explosions caused in our country by sportsmen who have passed to the next phase of a FIFA world cup or by a cyclist who has gained a prix in the most famous world cycling tours. We think that in all colombian history nobody has suddenly stopped the daily current life in all our country as did Freddy Rincon, who scored a last minute goal against Germany, on June 19th in the final phase of the 14th tournament of FIFA world cup, in Milan – Italy (1), or by Luis Herrera or more recently by Nairo Quintana with their victories in the traditional classical well known cycling races of France, Italy and Spain. Trioumph in those sports are so emotive that normal traffic on the streets of the main colombian cities stops. This happens every time. However during the last thirty years those emotive events are causing several social problems because they are being accompanied by new forms of celebration, by shouts of people disorder, with an avalanche of antisocial people behaviour that astonishes and amazes all society. Nowadays those celebrations are characterized by people ingestion of bad quality alcoholic beverages, consumption of prohibited psychoactive drugs, insults, mocks, robbery, corruption, fights in the streets, women exploitation, pornography, scandals, irrational killings, social battles between policemen and adolescents, and social chaos. Nobody in Colombia has seriously studied the social effects of that emotive behaviour. We don’t have made statistical studies similar to that wonderful one published in the bmj last issue of this year (3) but our daily practice empirically shows us similar results. There is a good association between social traditional officially approved celebrations and the increase in the number of births, nine months after those euphoric events. A good example of this situation is what happens on June in the Huila’s department a very rich region located near Bogotá, ours country’s capital. Each year, in all cities of that department people celebrates, at the end of June, the traditional religious feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, in which takes place the selection and crowning of bambuco’s queens at local, regional, national and international levels, in all categories, from children, girls to old women. Bambuco is a popular colombian kind of folk music. It is danced by previously trained pairs. Officially the festival lasts 15 days. Children, schoolboys, girls, men, women, workers, students, peasants, teachers, lawyers, physicians, intellectuals, policemen, soldiers, and in general all people like to participate in all programmed activities. Every year on March it’s easy to watch the “Bambuco effect”, as a logical consequence of celebrating that feast. That month at the exit of several hospitals is frequent to listen the classical phrases that watchmen say to each women who leave with her baby after delivery: Have a nice Saint Peter’s feast on June. I’ll see you again the next March!
For judging well the goodness or badness of a spectacle it’s necessary to look at its social consequences in a short, medium and long term. It’s easy to label with numbers social facts and statistically to study the social results produced at practice by the spectacle. Although euphoria, produced by exciting victories, celebrations and feasts, is a form of vital energy and a kind of antidote to our true pauperism and bad social, political and echonomical realities, which promotes happiness, pleasure and eliminates pain for the majority of citizens, it’s always necessary to make the due analysis and take the respective control of those activities. We must study well their social consequences, how much people lose their heads and how much euphoria costs for all members of our society. This is necessary for a good healthcare planning.
Not only changes in number of births should be studied, but also other very important descriptive demographic parameters of social situations produced by the bread and circuses dynamics promoted by some political leaders in our country. It will be also very interesting to study the relation between use of contraceptive methods and euphoria.
3.Montesinos Jesus and colleagues. Barcelona baby boom: does sporting success affect birth rate? BMJ 2013;347:f7387
Competing interests: No competing interests
Barcelona baby boom: much ado about nothing.
Montesinos et al claim that a last minute goal by Iniesta may underlie an unusual higher than average nativity rate nine months later. A visual inspection of the figure 2 shows that every January preceding 2009 exhibited a number of births higher than the trend of series for the surrounding period, and particularly higher than in February. However, for year 2010, births in January were actually lower than the trend and lower than in February. Therefore an alternative explanation could be that people from Solsones and Bages refrained themselves from recreational and reproductive activities in the period before Barcelona & Chelsea match by some unknown reason, and the February nativity rise may reflect a simple regression to the sexual mean.
Furthermore, claiming as a boom an actual nativity rate on February 2010 that was indeed lower than the trend of series for this year seems to be an overstatement.
The differential interpretation of data by the varied conflict of interest by the authors suggest a serious risk of sportive bias.
Competing interests: While not an active supporter, I live very close to the Atletico de Madrid Stadium, the main competitor to Barça's present Spanish league championship