Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Obesity policy - snobbery dressed up as healthcare

So, yet again, the Guardian lays into the choices of normal people:
A ban on junk food advertising before the 9pm watershed is long overdue. It should be supplemented by a ban on promotions and price cuts for “sharing” bags of chocolates, as Action on Sugar urged last month. And the sugar tax on drinks could be extended to food products, with the revenue channelled into initiatives making fruit and vegetables more affordable and attractive to consumers. The government’s failure to force change means that the rest of us will pay the price – in ill health and higher taxes – as big food rakes in the profits.
I've given up pointing out that obesity hasn't risen for over a decade, that how we define obesity (BMI of 30+) has no scientific basis, or that individual ingredients - sugar, fat, salt - are not the reason why folk today are fatter than they were in the 1970s (when they ate a lot more sugar, fat and salt).

Now I'm just cross and irritated by the snobby, self-righteous people who write editorials in the Guardian, pontificate on daytime telly, and fill the minds of young doctors with utter tripe about diet and health. It really is the case that what these fussbuckets believe is that your choices - especially if you're one of McDonalds' 3.5 million daily customers in Britain - are wrong. Worse these snobby judgemental nannies want to slap on taxes, bans and enforced 'reformulation' - to take away your pleasure in food - simply because what you like doesn't match what they like (assuming they get any pleasure at all from their sad diets of spiralised vegetables, quinoa and bean sprouts).

It really is time that the vast majority of people who eat a decent diet - including sugary snacks, fizzy drinks, pizza and burgers - tell snobby Guardian writers and public health officialdom to take a hike. Obesity really isn't the number one health problem facing the UK and slapping on controls, bans and taxes that might (but probably won't) result in all of us losing a handful of pounds will not improve the overall health of the nation one iota. Most people - 95 to 97 out of 100 - are not unhealthily overweight and, if we want to do something about obesity, we need to direct the resources towards the relatively few for whom it is a serious issue. Right now we're squandering millions on a fool's errand of reducing the whole population's weight when, quite frankly, the whole population doesn't have a weight problem.

The truth, of course, is that grand public health fussbuckets have decided that, because they disapprove of the eating habits (and drinking habits for that matter) of less well off people, those people should be forced to pay more for their food. It's just snobbery dressed up as health care.



Curmudgeon said...

Excellent stuff - well said!

Sobers said...

All that needs to be remembered is that the middle classes have always feared and hated the the working classes, and as the Left is now entirely a middle class phenomenon, the Left now wages war on anything that the masses use, as a proxy for attacking them personally. All the stuff about how awful Tesco et al are for 'local shops', the stuff about the tax arrangements of Starbucks, the attacks on fast food outlets and chains are all a way of saying 'The working classes are utterly dreadful' without saying it directly. After all, these businesses are successful because they attract the mass market, they are in effect a mirror for the consumption choices of the masses. If you attack those businesses you attack their customers, because the customers make the business what it is.

Its thinly disguised class hatred.

Ethelred The Unsteady said...

You are confusing "normal" with "commonly seen". The first means "ordinary, but not in a bad or morbid way".

It is very commonplace to be ignorant, reckless or cynical, but to the decent reflective mind these are not normal.

Your whole approach to life and everything is built on that fallacy, and it is why I will not waste my time reading your blog again.

Jonathan Bagley said...

Excellent article. I'd like one of these people to explain exactly what is wrong with a burger and fries as part of a varied diet. The nutritional details are available.
470 calories is little more than a snack.

Peter MacFarlane said...

Not to forget, either, that if they really wanted to save money for their sacred NHS, they should encourage everyone to eat and drink as much as possible, and smoke lots, because the real drain on resources is care for the old, and with the right consumption habits there'd be far fewer old people to worry about.

Curmudgeon said...

@Ethelred the Unsteady - do me a favour and don't bother reading or commenting on my blog again either.