Thanks to Rose for drawing attention to this report:
At a glance | Prof Dame Sally Davies’ review of obesity crisis
Ban eating or drinking anything but plain water on all urban public transport
Extend sugar tax on drinks to cover milkshake and flavoured coffees
Consider new taxes on all unhealthy foods, if action is not taken to cut their sugar content. Alternatively, put snacks in plain packaging, as has happened for cigarettes
Overhaul VAT so all unhealthy fare is consistently covered, and healthy foods exempt
Place a calorie cap on all meals sold in cafes and restaurants
End any advertising or marketing of unhealthy products at sports or concerts. Only sell low calorie food as such events
It’s quite mind-bending, really. Clearly smoking bans and the hyper-taxation of tobacco were just the tip of the iceberg. Dame Sally Davies doesn’t just want want to control what people smoke, but also what they eat. No doubt she also wants to regulate what they drink too.
If she gets her way, everyone is going to start hating bullying bastard doctors like her. Everyone is going to start hating doctors. And it’ll signal the death of the medical profession.
What she’s doing is to step into the moral void left by the decay of Christianity, and start introducing a new medical morality, in which “sinful” behaviour is replaced by “unhealthy” behaviour.
And she has no hesitation whatsoever about making her her edicts into the law of the land. So that if you eat or drink anything but plain water on public transport, you’ll have a fine slapped on you.
It goes further: she wants to change human culture.
“It is about changing the culture so snacking is no longer normalised. We need to make the bus, the train and the tube a safe place for children,” she said.
“It is a mindless way to eat and seeing other people eating does prompt you to think about eating.”
What’s wrong with snacking? Why does seeing people eating on public transport make it unsafe for children? If seeing people eating “prompts people to think about eating”, isn’t that exactly what happens in restaurants? Does she want to ban people “mindlessly” eating in restaurants too?
“We need to change the culture so food is not centre stage. We know that calories are better controlled if you eat breakfast, lunch and tea or supper rather than if you eat on the run.”
Why are calories better controlled if you eat at set times of the day? Why should we control calories? How many people sit down at for lunch and count the calories in their roast beef and Yorkshire pudding? How do you know how many calories are in a big fat crispy roast potato? Is it written on them?
Furthermore, some people need more calories than others. Large people who who perform heavy outdoor manual labour (e.g. digging ditches) are doing more physical work than pen-pushers in well-heated offices, so they’ll need more calories (because that’s what calories are: physical work). Anyone’s required calorie intake is determined by their calorie expenditure. If you live a busy active life, you’ll be using up calories faster than someone who remains seated all day. So if we’re to be “mindful” about our calorie intake, shouldn’t we be mindful about our calories expenditures, what we’re doing all day?
I have no objection to people thinking about calories. In my ice age simulation models I’m thinking about calories all the time – just not the calories in food, but the calories of heat which flow from the Sun and the centre of the Earth. And clearly Dame Sally Davies thinks about food in the same way as I do: as calories. What’s different is that she is a petty tyrant, in ways that I am not. She wants to control and regulate people, and I don’t. I want to free people, not control them.
What’s worse is that Sally Davies isn’t in the least bit an unusual Chief Medical Officer. After all, her predecessors include not only Sir Liam Donaldson (who threatened to resign if smoking wasn’t banned in all pubs in Britain, not just in those that served food), but also the notorious Sir George Godber. She comes from an entire new culture of petty tyranny which is has emerged in the medical profession over the past half century or more. These people are no longer interested in merely curing disease or caring for the sick: they want to control people’s behaviour right down to the details of every morsel of food they eat.
In my view, medical doctors are essentially no different from car mechanics. Their job is to repair people in the same way as mechanics repair cars. It’s not the job of mechanics to tell their customers where, or how fast , or how far they should drive their cars: that’s for the drivers to decide. But this is precisely what the tyrannical new doctors in the medical profession want to do. And they are quite open in their wish to make their prescriptions into statute law.
It will come to a collision between this upstart medical profession and the countless millions of people that they want to control and to command. And the inevitable result will be the destruction of the medical profession, and the diminution of their status to something akin to that of car mechanics. The medical profession will go the same way as the bullying, browbeating bishops and priests before them, and for the same reason.