Thursday, 11 February 2010

More Healthist Fail

As mentioned recently, Danny Finkelstein understands the contradiction between constantly talking about obesity, thereby pointing out that it is normal, whilst simultaneously trying to 'denormalise' it.

He alluded to the same view again today in relation to Michelle Obama's reclassification of obesity as a threat to US national security (?!?).

Others will never get it, though. For example, I give you Lisa Markwell. Yet another arrogant, deluded fuckwit who doesn't recognise failure even when it takes her roughly up the chutney.

So the only difference between our eating habits 10 years ago and today is that now we know we're eating crap. Still doing it, just feeling guilty about it. Possibly.
Yes. All that money spunked up the wall by interfering government for no tangible benefit whatsoever. But at least our lives are more plagued by guilt, so it's not all in vain.

A new survey of the nation's eating habits reveals that, despite relentless government campaigns and draconian food labelling legislation, the numbers who slump into obesity are almost exactly the same. We're eating less wholegrain cereals and milk, and more sausages and fizzy drinks – and just about nobody is managing to get their five a day.
Time for a different strategy then, perhaps?

Of course not.

What are we – and by we I mean the adults who are on nodding terms with avocados, cous cous and blueberries – to do about it? We must do something.
Listen, you daft tart, you don't have to do anything. It's not your life and not your problem, OK?

But banning kids from having fizzy drinks won't work these days – they're on sale in most secondary schools.
Nice throwaway comment, dearie, but if that's true I'd be more than a little fucking gobsmacked. I shall be equally lackadaisical in my research (which is in keeping with the general feel of a Puddlecote red mist-o-meter rant) by stating that I reckon you are talking big hairy ones there.

If memory serves, Scotland were talking about vending machine bans on such things 5 or 6 years ago and that was before mockney fucknut Jamie Oliver got involved. If even a marginal majority of UK secondary schools still sell fizzy drinks to kids, when school meals have been ruthlessly shorn of anything with even a whiff of fat, and Ed Balls is banning fast food businesses within half a mile of a school or park, I'd be forced to consider that Hairy Moneyball isn't actually the most unremitting waste of taxpayer cash the country has ever seen, which of course, she is. Without a doubt.

So what has Lisa got to say about the endemic failure of intervention in the lifestyle choices of others?

Here's the plan. Instead of insisting that our children eat up their greens and reach for the fruit bowl before the Dunkers, we should put a premium on healthy stuff and instil a little mystique and prestige around it.
Oh, I see. More of the same, but from a different angle.

Christ al-fucking-mighty. The simple reason why telling others what to do, however disguised, is a perennial failure, is that people naturally don't respond well to being told what they should be doing. Most especially kids.

But the best is kept till last for Lisa, whose brain wheel is spinning frantically, despite the hamster obviously having long since expired.

It's a high-risk strategy, but the evidence is alarmingly in favour of changing the status quo.

Girls between 11 and 18 always want to appear older than they are, so why not give them the impression that the adults are having all the fun by eating exotic fruit.
No, no, no. Youngsters are shamed by their parents, they certainly don't wish to copy them. It's why the current crop aren't all listening to Duran Duran and wearing Pringle jumbers (girls) or make-up (boys).

You want to stop kids taking up smoking? Tell them their parents think it's cool. Stop them drinking? Get hammered every night and embarrass them, they'll soon get the idea.

Eating cannellini beans and kiwi fruit will have the same effect as watching our parents wolfing down kippers and suet pudding had on my generation.

Telling them what not to eat or drink has no effect because you're an 'oldie'. Just by eating it, without the lecturing, isn't shifting the emphasis one inch, it's still old people with their funny habits. And the vast majority of kids will naturally rebel against it.

It may require more effort than nagging. But we owe it to the next generation to eat more healthily ourselves, then teach them how to do it – even if it means being so uncommonly cunning that they don't realise what we're doing.
Firstly, if you owe the next generation anything, it should be a future free of nagging. Secondly, if you really want to be cunning, as you put it, Lisa, how about a great idea which has worked for thousands of years without any of the expensive fail which you are keen to perpetuate.

Let them make their own decisions in life. Allow them to grow up on their own terms, to enjoy living to the full, making their own mistakes, before they inevitably, as happens with age, turn into a grouchy old hector like you.


subrosa said...

Apologies for going off thread but, giving 'due consideration' (!) to your comment at my place, I thought Ian Hamilton's recent post may be of interest to you Dick.

Ian Hamilton is one of the 4 who took the 'Stone of Scone' from Westminster Abbey in the 50s.

TheFatBigot said...

All Nanny's naggers are perfect kindling for the bonfire of the Quangos.

Hands up everyone who has not heard about the desirability of eating a balanced diet? Come along, don't be shy. No? No one? We've all heard it, some just choose not to do as they are told.

We would all still hear the message even if every tax-funded nagger were sacked tomorrow because parents and schools will continue to teach it as they have since life began.

Anonymous said...

Wonder what would happen if an immediate budget cut was made to all quangos and fake-charities, across the board. No more government money. Zero. None. Have them all pull it in by donation. Too many quangos operating across international boundaries getting too much funding from taxpayer monies that should be going back for the people from where it was paid. Less nagging indeed.

Mark Wadsworth said...

@ Anon. nothing would happen, except we'd all be a little wealthier and a little more contented with our lives.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Michelle Obama's reclassification of obesity as a threat to US national security (?!?).

I have some sympathy with the view.

The armed forces, both here and in the U.K, have already, on more than one occassion, pointed out that new recruits drop out numbers are severly effected by the fact that they are fat bastards and can not meet the physical requirements of the battle fitness test.