It’s reported that a decade of government spending on healthy eating advice has had a negligible effect on people’s real-world diets.
People are eating as badly as they were 10 years ago despite the spending of hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money on advertising campaigns on fruit and vegetables, saturated fat and other health issues, the Government’s food watchdog admitted yesterday.No doubt the Righteous will be dismayed by this news, but surely it reveals a healthy scepticism about official health messages, which is paralleled by the response to propaganda about the evils of drinking and smoking.
In a nationwide nutrition survey, the Food Standards Agency found that the majority of people were still eating too many processed foods and sweets and not enough oily fish and fresh fruit and vegetables. Adults ate twice as much sausages as white fish, and boys almost equalled their consumption of salad and other raw vegetables with chocolate. Teenagers ate five times as much white as wholemeal bread.
The survey suggests that the Government has made little headway in reducing the diet-related ill-health, which the Cabinet Office estimated last year costs 70,000 lives and £6billion to the NHS annually.
Rather than encouraging people to actually enjoy food, all these messages simply promote a joyless, calculating approach to nutrition, which is exemplified by the widespread rejection of the unappetising, politically correct slop now served up as school dinners.
The tiresome “five a day” message must be put into the same category as the official alcohol guidelines as something plucked out of thin air with no real scientific justification. Adhering to it won’t do you any harm, but neither is there any guarantee that not adhering to it will.
Not surprisingly, the food fascists are calling for more compulsion, underlining their arrogant, patronising stance that people can’t be trusted to make decisions for themselves.
And all these claims of cost to the NHS are bogus, as it has been abundantly demonstrated that the biggest factor in healthcare costs is how long people live. Increasing longevity will ultimately cost the NHS more.