CHILDREN from poor families can be identified by how FAT they are, public health minister has claimed.
Anna Soubry said when she was at school pupils from deprived backgrounds tended to be “skinny runts”.
But cheap and easily available junk food meant the situation had reversed.
There is one very big falsehood running through this whole 'obesity epidemic' scare. That is the assumption that fast food is cheaper than food you prepare yourself.
I read that article while eating a take away curry. It cost £10.90 for the two of us. Ten pounds is roughly what I spend on dinners for work for the two of us for a week.
In one week that typically includes a bag of apples, a bag of bananas, two loaves of bread and various sandwich fillings. The apples are not Granny Smiths, the bananas are not ethically sourced, organic whatnot and the bread is not Warburtons; I don't buy the best but we don't go to McDonalds every lunchtime either.
I had a kebab on Saturday that cost £3.60. That did for two meals because yes, I did reheat what was left over the next day :-)
£3.60 is enough for two chicken steaks, a small bag of potatoes and a tin of peas.
Fast food is generally more expensive than home cooked food. The difference is, it is easier.
We don't eat fast food every day of the week because we don't want to get fat and we couldn't afford it anyway. It would save us a lot of time though.
Miss Soubry’s comments, in an interview with the Daily Telegraph, came after she threatened food manufacturers with legislation unless they cut the amount of fat, sugar and salt in products.
And then we have the 'junk' food you buy in supermarkets. I buy a lot of Sainsburys own brand food, and if you take the time to look, you will see that the bulk of it is often healthier than branded stuff. Healthier being measured in the governments terms of low fat, sugar and salt, not my terms of a simple balanced diet.
She told the newspaper that the culture of “TV dinners” had eroded traditional structures of family life and led some homes to dispense with a dining table entirely.
I don't think eating at a dining table really has anything to do with getting fat. We often didn't bother when I lived with my parents and we never do now.
It's not where you eat, it's what you eat.
She added: “It is a heartbreaking fact that people who are some of the most deprived in our society are living on an inadequate diet. But this time it’s an abundance of bad food.”
Well I'll have to say, it doesn't break my heart. Unhealthy eating habits cannot be blamed on an abundance of bad food. 'Bad' food is only part of what's out there. In an affluent, western country like ours there is an abundance of food. Food of all kinds, we have more choice now than ever before, and that's what it boils down to, choice.
We can talk about the most deprived in our society but there is no poverty. Deprived still means access to TV's, computers, phones, clothes, cars etc. Our benefits system is extremely generous to those with children.
The minister suggested some parents thought cheap junk food was the only way to feed their children.
Then it's the parents that are at fault. Junk food is not cheaper than a balanced diet, it's just easier. If parents choose the lazy option, that is why their kids get fat, not because the parents can't afford to feed them properly.
If you can afford junk food, you can afford to buy and cook your own food.
Imran Hussain, head of policy at Child Poverty Action Group, said: “Obesity, in this country and in other developed countries, is linked to deprivation.
Notice the use of the term, 'developed countries' there? Developing countries have deprivation, real deprivation, not just smaller tellys and second hand i-phones, but no access to food, medical care and clean water. They do not have obesity problems.
So why is obesity linked to deprivation in developed countries? Well in our country we throw large amounts of cash at the 'deprived'. An unemployed family with two children will bring home more in benefits every week than me and Mrs Bucko earn.
Giving people free money for not working breeds laziness. Telling people they are deprived or living in poverty creates a sense of futility.
Maybe we have bred a benefit generation who simply cannot be bothered anymore. If they are used to having everything done for them, maybe that now includes cooking food.
Maybe we should get rid of the self perpetuating fake charities like the child poverty action group. Charities like this make their money from the existence of poverty so need to keep the illusion going.
Maybe we should cut back benefits to a small amount enough to tide people over and stop encouraging people to stay out of work and breed.
Maybe if people could gain the sense of pride you get from achieving things for yourself rather than sitting back on the couch and moaning that they are poor, people would take more responsibility for their life and choices.
“Rather than blaming parents, ministers should look at the piles and piles of evidence that make it absolutely clear that the real reason why our obesity problem is going to get bigger in the years ahead is because our child poverty problem is going to get much bigger as a result of the Government’s own policies.
Nah. What the Child Poverty Action group wants is for the Government to loot more of our money to give to the 'poor'. That will not solve the problem, only perpetuate it, but just as the Tobacco Control Industry need smokers, poverty charities need state dependence and poor people.
“Poor children are much more likely to miss out on healthy food on cost grounds than children living in households with average incomes, and research shows that when the incomes of poor families rise, parents spend the gains on improving the diets of their children through buying fresh fruit.
Research shows whatever you wan it too these days, but what I don't understand is why these people think fruit and veg is the answer to everything. Basic fruit and veg is affordable and should be eaten as part of a balanced diet.
I think research also shows that the more we scare people about all adults being paedophiles, the more likely it is that children will spend their time inside, in front of a computer rather than playing out and getting exercise, but like I said, what's the value of modern research?
“With low income families being hurt by stagnating wages, cuts in Government support for the low paid or those out of work and soaring prices, the obesity problem and the pressures on the NHS are likely to worsen.”
Maybe low income families are being hurt by having too many children while on low incomes and by not correctly prioritising their spending.
Maybe government support for the low paid creates welfare dependency and poorer taxpayers.
Maybe there is no obesity epidemic. Maybe it's just anther excuse for fake charities to make money and the government to legislate.