Hat tip to Rose, for this continuation of yesterdays’s thread.
Explicit cigarette-style warnings of the link between drinking and health conditions such as bowel and breast cancer should appear on the labels of alcoholic drinks, a charity has suggested.
The Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) said fewer than one in six people (16 per cent) were aware of the Government’s low-risk alcohol guidelines, only one in 10 knew of the link between alcohol and cancer, and the majority (80 per cent) were unable to correctly estimate the calories in a glass of wine.
I don’t want to know what the Government’s low-risk alcohol guidelines might be. Nor do I give a damn about any link between alcohol and cancer. And last, but not least, I couldn’t give a toss how many calories there are in a glass of wine.
And in the unlikely event that I ever want to, I’ll be able to find out quickly enough.
For me to “know”, or “be aware”, and “correctly estimate”, I’m going to have to be thinking about this sort of stuff quite a lot. And I’ve got better things to think about. I don’t want to be drawn into the obsessive healthist mindset in which everything is a health threat to obsess over.
I don’t think the way these people do. And I don’t want to think the way they do. The way they think revolts me.
I’m actually quite interested in calories at the moment. Calories are a measure of energy content. But I don’t usually use obsolete calorie units when thinking about energy: I use SI unit Joules. And I’ve been calculating heat flow rates through radioactive snowballs. Because that’s what I’m interested in right now.
The RSPH, warning of an ‘alcohol health awareness vacuum’, has published a report which recommends a best practice labelling scheme to raise public understanding of the effects of drinking on health.
It wants to see a drink-drive warning on the front label, along with the mandatory inclusion of the Government’s low-risk drinking guidelines of no more than 14 units a week.
The RSPH also suggested that traffic light colour coding could help drinkers make use of unit information in the context of the guidelines.
They’re going to have a hard job raising any “public understanding” in me. And good luck trying to get me to “make use of unit information”: I’m completely indifferent to it.
The charity said its research indicated that a calorie content per container or per serving on the front label could result in an almost 10 per cent swing in consumer purchasing decisions, from the highest-alcohol drinks to the lowest within all main drink categories – for example beers, wines and spirits – and across all socio-economic groups.
It said the effect would be particularly pronounced among young drinkers, aged from 18 to 24, who would switch purchases from high to low-alcohol drinks by as much as 20 per cent.
Not much chance me ever stopping drinking neat whisky as a nightcap last thing at night.
The charity said a deadline set by the EU Commission for manufacturers to bring forward proposals for the self-regulated provision of calorie labelling is set to expire in March.
Let the deadline expire. The sooner it expires the better. And when it’s finally expired, bury it six feet under, with a concrete slab on top, and “Deadline. Expired March 2018. RIP” chiselled on it.
It added that depending on the eventual shape of the UK’s proposed exit from the EU, Britain may find itself left behind continental labelling advances – unless it manages to use Brexit as an opportunity to implement a best practice scheme faster and more efficiently.
The whole point of leaving the EU, as far as I am concerned, is to escape from the top-down regulation that comes with it. So I dearly want the UK to be “left behind” all those continental “advances”.
RSPH chief executive Shirley Cramer said: ‘Having a drink with friends or family is something many of us enjoy. ‘However, the potential health consequences of alcohol consumption are more serious than many people realise.
If and when people choose to drink, they have the right to do so with full knowledge of both what their drink contains and the effects it could have.
‘Consumer health information and warnings are now mandatory and readily available on most products from tobacco to food and soft drinks, but alcohol continues to lag behind.
‘As Britain exits the EU, we ask that any additional regulatory freedom be used to strengthen that contribution – not to diminish it.’
Oh God, can’t people sit down and enjoy a few cheeseburgers and beers (and cigarettes) without obsessing about “the potential health consequences”? It occurred to me to adjust the second paragraph above to read:
“If and when people choose to smoke cigarettes, they have the right to do so with full knowledge of both what their cigarette contains and the effects it could have.”
So that’s why tobacco comes with all these health warnings: it’s because I have a right to “full knowledge”.
Soon everything will be plastered with health warnings. Because people have a right to know. I can see beaches plastered with health warnings about drowning, sharks, jellyfish, portuguese men of war, oil slicks, tsunamis.
Professor Sir Ian Gilmore, chairman of the Alcohol Health Alliance, said: ‘It is clear from this research that the public want labels to include the drinking guidelines, and we know from our own research that 81 per cent of the public want to see the guidelines on labels.
‘Alcohol is linked with over 200 disease and injury conditions, including heart disease, liver disease and at least seven types of cancer. We all have a right to know the drinking guidelines, along with the risks associated with alcohol, so that we are empowered to make informed choices about our drinking.’
Well, I think that Professor Sir Ian Gilmore has right to know that I for one think that he’s completely off his rocker. And 87% of most ordinary people probably feel the same way.
What they’re trying to do, I suppose, is to infect everyone with their healthist obsession. They want to get people worrying about tobacco, alcohol, sugar, salt, meat, and so on. And then they want them to bring this obsession to bear upon everything else as well – e.g. global warming. The idea is to get people to see threats and risks in all directions everywhere.
The health warnings are intended to make people think about health. And in fact to think about nothing but health. And once you’ve got people obsessed with health, they won’t be able to think about anything else. And perhaps that’s the whole point.
So if I were to become obsessed with my health, I’d be obsessively counting the calories in everything I ate, and counting the vitamins, and perhaps every single chemical compound in them. And I’d be weighing myself, and measuring my blood pressure, and my blood sugar levels. And I’d have books on nutrition. And I’d work out at a gym. And I’d cycle everywhere.
And one thing I wouldn’t do would be to do what I actually am doing. Which is looking at the heat flows inside 25 km radius radioactive snowballs that heat up, melt the ice to water (blue), and deposit radioactive rock (black) at the core of the snowball, leaving a thin layer of dirty ice (light grey) on the outside.
Why am I interested? Because I’ve been wondering whether life might have started in the seas inside these melted snowballs, much like some people think it started in hydrothermal vents on the terrestrial sea bed.
It’s as good a thing to think about as anything. If nothing else, it’s me thinking independently for myself. rather than being told what to think about (health) and how to think about it (worry).
And it’s also fun. And of course the obsessives hate all fun.