We need old-fashioned willpower to lose weight – not government interference

When Michael Gove declared that the people of this country had “expert enough”, his political opponents were very much the opposite. Looking back, I think he may have had a point. Because there is a certain breed of expert that I just can’t stomach.

Expert in nutrition. I’m sure they were just trying to help. But their findings can be very misleading. As soon as one breakthrough nutrition study is published, another breakthrough nutrition study appears to contradict it.

Take the egg. In 2018, it was reported that eating six eggs a week could reduce the risk of early death. But in 2021, it was reported that eating one egg a day – in other words, seven eggs a week – could increase your risk of early death. How can six eggs extend your life, but seven shorten it? I do not know. Maybe that’s why they sell eggs in six cartons. The seventh will take you to the edge. Then there is red wine. Is it good for you, or bad? I do not know. In January 2021, a study claimed that drinking a glass of red wine a day could give you heart problems. But just three months later, a different study claimed drinking a glass of red wine a day could help you avoid heart problems.

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And the confusion doesn’t end there. In 2008, one study found that wine is bad for your memory – while another found that it is good for your memory. At least, I think that’s what the study says. hard to remember Maybe I’ve had too much wine. Or not enough. However, there is at least one thing that all experts agree on. Ultra-processed foods – such as chips, ham and sugary breakfast cereals – are bad for us. According to scientists at Imperial College London, eating a lot of these foods can increase your risk of getting cancer. I do not dispute the findings of scientists. What I dispute, however, is their solution. Governments, they argue, should prevent us from buying ultra-processed foods – by imposing a heavy tax on them. What a horrible suggestion. And if the Tories are stupid enough to go along with it, they are more misguided than we think. For one thing, it would show that the minister knows absolutely nothing about the lives of busy working parents. Some nights, ultra-processed food is all many of us have time to cook. And even if we have time to cook something healthier, our children still prefer junk.

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My son’s favorite foods are chicken nuggets, Peperami and Cheerios. If he could, he would eat all three for every meal. In fact, he says that when he leaves home, he will leave. How I’m going to get him to eat vegetables when he’s older, I don’t know. Go round his flat and push steamed broccoli through his letterbox?

There is one more thing, though, that is more important. Imagine adding taxes to even the most affordable foods during a cost-of-living crisis that has seen grocery prices rise by 16.7 percent. I don’t know if these scientists at Imperial have ever tried raising 21st century British children on a diet of kale and green beans. Maybe they can try it, as a next experiment. I doubt they will regret it. However, even if the rate of inflation does not triple every second, we should still throw away the garbage tax. It’s the statistics of the most unhappy, sanctimonious, high-handed nanny. The Tories should believe in personal responsibility, not government intervention. So if we want to lose weight, we have to rely on long willpower.

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Rather like nutritionists, our politicians seem to have faced a hopeless problem. At one point, they worried our aging society was unsustainable. Next, they panic because our unhealthy diet will lead us to an early grave. Of course this idiot can join the dots. Obviously, the first problem can be solved by the second. Instead of encouraging us to cut down on junk food, the Government should be encouraging us to eat more.

Give out free packets of Frosties at school. Get a GP to prescribe Turkey Twizzlers on the NHS. Replace fluoride in our tap water with Irn-Bru. Then the Government no longer needs to raise the state pension age to 68 years. Because none of us will live that long.


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