That is why the Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, is correct to say that we need to ban snacking on local public transport.
I predicted on Twitter yesterday that her whole report and recommendations to attack the ‘snack culture’ that is driving obesity and Type 2 diabetes in the UK would be dominated by tabloid headlines about the nanny state and I was bang on the money.
People have been screaming about personal choice and how this woman is bonkers and a dictator, even a Food Nazi!
However, where do you draw the line between so-called freedom of choice and the fact that Brits are dying nearly three years younger as a result of the obesity epidemic and it is costing every person in the UK an extra £409 in taxes annually.
According to this new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development the UK is the second fattest nation in Europe, after Malta.
Chew on this unpalatable fact guys, 2 out of 3 British adults are now overweight or obese.
Can you stomach the fact that only three in ten Brits have a healthy diet?
Add into this mix that another report today also says that there are soaring rates of childhood obesity too.
So instead of the tabloid headlines we should all be giving serious thought to all of Dame Sally’s ideas.
Let’s start with the banning of snacking on local transport.
The clue is in the word ‘local’.
She is not talking about banning food on long journeys but she is clearly targeting the short trips to work or more importantly to school. Ask yourself this question does your or your children’s jaw always have to be moving?
We have developed into a snacking nation where we never stop eating. Do you really need to walk down the street drinking an overpriced sugary coffee and probably a muffin in the other hand? Of course, you don’t.
Do you really not have time for a decent breakfast? Or are you just lazy? How about getting up earlier and to use the cliché always make sure you go to work on an egg or preferably two?
We have more household appliances from microwaves through freezers to help us eat sensibly but we have become a nation of fat lazy slobs and I should know because everything I described above was me a few years ago.
I was morbidly obese weighing the best part of 22 stone and a type 2 diabetic.
I was one of Sally’s statistics and I was definitely on the way to an early grave. Let’s be straight, I am still overweight and I am still a work in progress but I have reversed my Type 2 and shed the best part of six stones and feel at least twenty years younger. And how did I do it?
Well by eating low carb, high good fat real food like my mum used to serve up, cutting out all sugar, avoiding ultra-processed food and walking.
By starting the day with eggs, I have managed to stop snacking and the weight has dropped off.
It really is that simple but we as a society have forgotten how to cook. Or to take time and cook for our families or even to look after ourselves and our health.
Real cooking lessons have disappeared in schools and our High Streets have become infested with takeaways and sugary junk outlets selling stuff that is literally killing us.
We all rely too much on convenience and junk food. That is why she is correct to say one of her recommendations is to change planning rules to make it harder to open fast-food takeaways.
Just how many chicken shacks, Indian takeaways and kebab shops do we really need in one parade of shops?
People always say kids are getting fatter because they are always on their computers and not out playing but that is such a cliché. When I was a kid in the Sixties and Seventies the only takeaway was a chippie and we only went there on an occasional Friday!
We also weren’t bombarded with advertising marketing and sponsorship of sport by the junk food industry and sugary soft drinks industry.
Sally wants to phase out all marketing, advertising and sponsorship by unhealthy food and drink makers of all sports.
Who in their right mind could argue with that? It is indisputable that excess sugar is now linked to obesity and Type 2 and also to illnesses from cancer through to heart attacks and even dementia. Many scientists believe that the sugar scandal could be bigger than tobacco as it is marketed at kids.
I believe if Cricket and Formula 1 had to drop sponsorship by tobacco firms like John Player why should Coca Cola be allowed to sponsor the English premier league or Mars the England football teams or McDonalds the Olympics? The answer is they shouldn’t.
That is why Sally is right to name and shame the English Cricket board who have just taken sponsorship from KP and are going to actually name the teams in their latest competition after their products like Hula Hoops! Crazy just crazy.
Likewise, major sports stars like Gary Lineker promoting crisps should be ashamed of themselves and the industry should be banned from using any sporting star to promote unhealthy snacks.
The facts are plain. We have been sold the con of a balanced diet and ‘a little of what you fancy’ doesn’t harm you but the soft drinks industry and big food would say that wouldn’t they as unhealthy foods are big business for advertisers.
Did you know that around £300 MILLION a year is spent on promoting soft drinks, confectionery and sweet and savoury snacks! That's nearly half of the total spend on food and drink advertising!
It is interesting that the MSM and the dinosaur press are always so quick to slag off people like Sally and scream nanny state, it couldn’t be anything to do with the millions they receive to advertise sugary unhealthy grub could it?!
There is much of merit in Sally’s report but as per usual it is hidden and deliberately confused by the food lobby.
One major omission is the desperate need to change the dietary guidelines which still promote the so-called Eatwell plate that recommends that a third of your plate should be starchy carbs.
All around the globe we are seeing increasing numbers of people who have reversed their Type 2 diabetes and obesity by ditching sugar and starchy carbs and this evidence should not be ignored any longer as it is clear that it is the cheapest way to combat these dreadful chronic diseases.
We need a rational and informed debate and that debate is not helped by Boris Johnson describing these sorts of initiatives as a ‘sin tax.’
The real sin would be for us all to get wrapped up in the tabloid nanny state hysteria and to ignore the growing obesity epidemic which is not only a danger to individuals but also to the health of our nation as a whole.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.