Blog: Dean BestDouble+ Britain

Dean Best | 15 August 2008

According to a leading UK government advisor, the threat to the nation posed by obesity is as great as that of terrorism.
 
The BBC reported yesterday (14 August) that Durham University public health expert Professor David Hunter said ministers should be taking "bold action" now, before we become a nation of fatties and the NHS is overwhelmed.

And, if Hunter had his way, this action would include forcing manufacturers to cut salt, fat and sugar from products.

"The government was quick to move for things like ID cards or 42-day detention without trial - now it needs to show similar leadership in public health. The threat to our future health is just as significant as the current security threat," Hunter said.

So, according to Hunter it isn’t enough that the government is eroding our civil liberties to ‘protect us’ from terrorism. The government should also have control over what we put in our bellies.

Responding to criticism being levelled at the food industry over rising obesity levels, companies have voluntarily reformulated many of their products and introduced low salt, fat and sugar alternatives.
 
But ultimately, what consumers choose to eat should remain in their hands. If the government is going to take action on obesity, it should raise public awareness of dietary issues and educate people about the evils of trans fats etc in an accessible fashion.

To legislate what can and cannot be eaten is a draconian measure that pushes the idea of the nanny state a little too far. Are we destined for an Orwellian future where The Ministry of Plenty dictate what we eat? Double plus good though!

To read the BBC's full report, click here.

Katy Humphries, Deputy Editor


BLOG

Upfield Foods, home to ex-Unilever spreads assets, makes notable appointment

UK food-industry veteran David Salkeld is to take a senior position at Upfield Foods, the newly-instituted business that is home to Unilever's former spreads assets....

BLOG

Nature's Path quits US organic trade body in "protest"

The Organic Trade Association, which represents the organic industry in the US, has seen a high-profile member quit the organisation, taking a swipe at the body's stance on policy issues....

BLOG

Early skirmishes in the Ketchup War

In the 1970s a squabble between the UK and Iceland over fishing rights in the North Atlantic earned the somewhat hyperbolic name of the Cod War....

BLOG

Brexit could be worse for dairy than Russia ban, EU and UK producers warn

Russia's embargo on a swathe of foodstuffs from the EU in 2014 - a ban that lasts to this day - hammered the bloc's dairy industry. But producers on both sides of the English Channel have warned the i...



Forgot your password?