Fat, forty and fed-up with it? The food “Mickey Finns” that push us to obesity

Sad and Overweight 2
Our overweight future – thanks to antibiotic fat pills -“Mickey Finns”. Picture: poznyakov / 123RF Stock Photo (First published – 6 January 2017)

One Big Mac won’t make you fat. But you can OD on them. Pushed by “Mickey Finns” that make your body always hungry.

You scoff and scoff like it’s going out of fashion. Too many calories – boom, you’re a porker.

Except it usually happens slower than that. And there’s not a hell of a lot you can do about it.

Chubby in childhood, the pounds keep piling on. Until one day, hello forty and size 16.

It’s the Mickey Finns, see?

Invisible fat pills

None of us realise we’re taking them. They’re slipped so quietly into every meal, not even doctors realise we’re on them. Every mouthful, another little dose. An unseen diet of the most efficient growth promoters on Earth.

Make no error – these are fat boosters, Big Time. Specially chosen because they bulk up bodies fast.

One, by triggering hunger pangs all the time. Two, by never letting the body decide when to stop. And three, by making the body absorb more nutrition than it’s meant to. Nowhere to go, so all that energy is stored as fat.

Nah, we’re talking rubbish, right? Nobody in their right mind would drip-feed growth boosters to the world at large. That would trigger an obesity epidemic.

Quiet please, epidemic in progress

Uh huh.

So would somebody please explain why two thirds of all adults are already seriously overweight or obese? And why one third of our kids are too?

Kinda looks like an epidemic, doesn’t it? Even our Chief Medical Officer* Dame Sally Davies, says so – though she attributes it to sugar.

Sugar as a growth booster?

If it was, there’d be farmers shovelling it into livestock as fast as they could. All those mouths to feed, see? 2½ billion of us worldwide fifty years ago – 7½ billion of us now. And all farmed off the same land area, because the planet hasn’t got any bigger in that time.

But farmers aren’t shovelling sugar, are they? It never even occurs to them.

Tell you what they are shovelling though.

Wholesale growth boosters

Antibiotics – 240,000 tonnes of them worldwide.

Which if we’ve done our maths right, works out to around 10 grams each for every one of the 19 billion chickens, 1.4 billion cattle, 1 billion pigs and 1 billion sheep that currently are required to feed us.

And guess what?

Using antibiotics to boost growth at volumes like that started back in the 70s.

Back when factory farms first took off Big Time. Or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) as the industry calls them. Where antibiotics aren’t just used as growth boosters, they’re vital to keeping animals alive in super-crowded and unhygienic living conditions.

Big money though. From egg to roasting chicken in six weeks. From new born calf to Aberdeen Angus steak in 14 months. Jackpot!

Rise of Mickey Finns

70s, huh? When our current fat 40-year-olds were a twinkle in their parents’ eye.

Back when baby illnesses started regularly getting treated by antibiotics. And when doctors first noticed that antibiotics given at two years old almost guaranteed overweight youngsters by five. Even worse, when teenagers were prescribed antibiotics so often, they’d had them 17 times before they reached 20.

But how about all those animals chomping antibiotics?

Like everything else they eat, most of them get pooed out. 80% in fact, manure to enrich soil and fertilise plant crops. So it’s not just animals ingesting antibiotics, it’s plants too – fruit, cereals, grain crops, vegetables, you name it.

Animal feed crops too. So even though they get pulled off antibiotics before they’re sent to market, those animals are still noshing antibiotics with every meal. Right there in their feedstuff. Mickey Finns for animals.

Which means just about every food type in our supermarkets has antibiotic residues in it. Drip-drip growth boosters, the same as the animals get. And just like them, we’re fattening up too.

But there’s a difference.

The Mickey Finn price tag

Animal lives are short, once they’re fat they get eaten.

Humans are there for the obesity long haul. For the overweight conditions that challenge muscles, joints and breathing. For the type 2 diabetes. For the asthma, cancer and heart disease. All the joys that long term obesity brings.

Mickey Finns. And we thought they were Lifesavers.

Meanwhile all our heavyweight medics are running around, worrying about antibiotic resistance. Who cares if the drugs don’t work, they’re going to kill us anyway.

So how long before the penny drops and we dump them altogether?

* Note: Professor Dame Sally Davies was England’s Chief Medical Officer from June 2010 to September 2019. As of October 2019, the current Chief Medical Officer is Professor Chris Whitty.

About this blog

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead.

The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.

Reference links checked and working at time of posting. However, some URLs may be taken down or re-sited later. If your link goes nowhere or you get an Error 404 message, please accept our apologies.

Originally posted on 14 May 2018 @ 5:32 pm

Our pandemic time warp: now “normal” is gone, most probably for good

The future is already here – and it’s nothing like we expected. Photo by Sasha • Stories on Unsplash

For a tiny little germ, coronavirus is getting blamed for a lot of things. Job losses, the economy going south, the end of the office job, the collapse of the hospitality sector, the meltdown of the airline industry, just to think of a few.

Yet if we’re honest about it, a lot of these were going to happen anyway. Coronavirus just speeded them up. Telescoped a few decades of inevitable change into an almost overnight revolution.

Not caused by the germ itself of course, but by straight economics. Whenever it’s money at stake, things change regardless how calmitous the difference.

The way we were

Take the office job. Even before the Internet, computer savvy execs were already working from home, frisbee transferring work from office to residence by floppy disk – and that was forty years ago.

“Flexible” working has been a thing for at least the last ten years. And now WFH has shown win-win cost savings, the whole office culture has gone for a ball of chalk.

Employees score better work-life balance, more family time, zero commuting costs, affordable lunches and the end of alarm clock tyranny. Employers gain massively on office rental, improved staff morale, higher productivity and overall commitment.

Right there is a revolution as far-reaching as any we’ve felt before – and driven by the same unbeatable force. Money.

Money talks

For instance, forget the politics, coal mining became too costly, imported natural gas was far cheaper. Same thing with ship building and car making, doing it here was too expensive. Textiles too. Remember how Manchester led the world? These days, designer T-shirts come from China or Bangladesh.

Yeah, so we became a service-business country, everything done on computer. Lockdown no problem, keep calm and carry on from the dining room table.

Except for support businesses – and the inconvenient fact that we’ve become an indulgent society. We like eating out, going to movies, chilling out in the pub – and best of all, at least once a year’s blue sky holiday.

All of which has now gone pear-shaped. Coffee shops can’t survive, ditto sandwich bars. Designer clothes get a miss when day-to-day at home is so easy in tracky bottoms. And climbing on an aeroplane? With furloughs and redundancies, who can afford that?

But here’s a thing. Remember money is the driver.

World competition

So how long will it be before bosses realise that Doreen Smith from Ealing is a good deal, working from home like she is. But how about Pamela Chen in Singapore? Half the salary, AND two qualifications in book-keeping.

And here is where the future starts now. Realising we have to up our game. Just hanging on to everyday means we’ve got to be competitive.

Except we’re not when you look at the money.

Take your pick from India, China, South Korea or almost anywhere – they’re all cheaper. And throw in the work ethic, twice as keen to work overtime or go the extra mile. No contest.

All which says we have to be more careful with the money we have. Because how secure are we?

Being careful

Which, think about it, will make us more frugal about going out – even though we want to – assuming we ever get out of lockdown. More careful about spending on nice-to-haves. Staying home and watching the pennies.

So cut back on the dining out. Climbing on an aeroplane becomes a dream. And these days, even business trips happen on Zoom.

Coronavirus has stampeded the change. And until we get better than the rest of the world for the same price, or come up with a new must-have entirely – like robotics, or AI , or extracting power from hydrogen – “normal” will just be something we can dream about.

All from one tiny little germ.

But there are wins

Coronavirus has brought us plusses though.

With all the emphasis on washing hands, we’re not getting sick from other germs that used to make life miserable. With better hygiene, tummy bugs like norovirus, salmonella and campylobacter have dwindled to nothing. And how few of us are getting common colds or flu?

Best of all though – we may not like it, but it’s happening – we’re getting used to adversity. Tougher at handling things. Getting good at meeting problems and rising above them. Becoming more resilient, resourceful and downright determined.

Never thought we’d say it, but “thank you” coronavirus.

Back Off, Bacteria! is the blog of Hyper Hygiene Ltd, supplier of what we’re convinced is the most effective health protection system in the world. A fully mobile, all-automatic Hypersteriliser machine mists up workplaces with ionised hydrogen peroxide, spreading everywhere and eliminating all bacteria, viruses and fungi. Hypersteriliser units are supplied to businesses and institutions across the UK, notably the haematology and other critical units at Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester; Doncaster & Bassetlaw Hospital; South Warwickshire Hospital; Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital; and Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead. The Halo Hypersteriliser system achieves 6-log Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% of germs destroyed. It is the only EPA-registered dry mist fogging system – EPA No 84526-6. It is also EU Biocide Article 95 Compliant.