The last CMO - a clinically obese guy called Liam Donaldson - left for a cushy job at the WHO after predicting up to 750,000 deaths from bird flu, and 65,000 deaths from swine flu in 2009 which persuaded government to order 110 million doses of the vaccine Tamiflu (a nice little earner for his friends in Pharma HQ), the Department of Health to order 32 million face masks, and the Home Office to make plans to dig mass graves.
That's a tough act to follow, but it looks like current post-holder Dame Sally Davies is going to try her damnedest.
Speaking to the Health Select Committee Dame Sally said: "We have normalised being overweight. I do fear this generation of children will live less than my parents' generation."Yes, in an age where life expectancy is soaring and the Office of National Statistics predict that a third of kids born today will live to 100, she is instead using a sound bite picked up from Jamie Oliver.
Note, too, the use of the term 'normalise' because it is an indicator of what kind of cranks (apart from jerk-off Jamie) she has been listening to.
She said she believes "the research will find sugar is addictive" and that "we may need to introduce a sugar tax".Again, the language - in particular the emphasis on addiction - is straight out of the tobacco control template so can only have been whispered in her ear by an anti-sugar pressure group who want to place their own snouts in the same tax trough so successfully gorged on by anti-smokers.
It's nonsense, of course, as Simon Cooke explains.
I'm sorry but it simply is not true - not even a tiny little bit - that sugar is addictive. Except in the 'it's very nice and we like to eat it' sense of addiction.
The idea - commonplace amongst the purveyors of New Puritan junk science - is that, because sugar stimulates the brain to produce dopamine in the same way as cocaine therefore it is addictive.But this is to miss the crucial point, which is to redefine the way the public look at sugar. Junk science it may be - and Simon quotes a proper definition of addiction in his piece - but it has worked brilliantly before.
Some may remember this famous exchange from a US Committee hearing in 1994, which was publicised gleefully by anti-smoking activists at the time.
Now, you can argue till the cows come home about whether you believe nicotine is addictive or not, and you can debate at length if the tobacco industry executives were lying or truly believed in their testimony. But it's widely accepted, even by anti-smokers, that the tobacco industry is not daft and understands how to defend itself.
They knew very well at the time that to admit tobacco is addictive would completely eliminate their ability - and, by extension, the public's right - to object to taxes, restrictions and bans on the basis of personal choice. You only have to look at what has happened since 1994 to see how that panned out
This is precisely the same tactic now being used to 'denormalise' sugar.
"Hey, how dare you tax my Mars Bar, I enjoy it!"And Dame Sally isn't erring on the side of caution when it comes to your personal choice, either, she has made her mind up.
"Well you would say that - wouldn't you - because you're addicted. You don't choose to eat a Mars Bar, you are compelled to by Big Sugar. You lost the dog in this fight so a 15% tax it is ... for starters!"
She said she believes "the research will find sugar is addictive"Of course it will. They are already working on producing it in the tried-and-trusted manner of paying for a pre-conceived result from start to finish.
We've seen it all before because it's all in the tobacco template - pretend a product is addictive instead of enjoyable and all objections can be safely ignored. Just get that addiction thing embedded in the minds of the bovine and, voilà! The extermination of personal choice as a barrier to government over-reach is your new weapon, and opposition-free legislation your prize.
Who cares if it is a fraudulently-manufactured moral panic? Jamie is selling books, Action on Sugar are seeking rent like a MoFo, and Dame Sally gets to emulate her predecessor by walking into a WHO position after aiding and abetting their latest initiative.
Now repeat after me ... there is no safe level of cup cake consumption.