Here we go, another parliamentary sidestep. Sugar taxed. Job done. No more obesity.
If only. Note that nobody’s singing, especially the fat ladies.
Badder than bad
Because parliament doesn’t have a clue what happens next, does it? The ultimate can of worms. Worse than terrorism, the migrant crisis, climate change and World War III combined.
Of course current members will be out of office when it happens, out to retirement too, probably. But they’re always going to know it started on their watch – the day they voted for sugary drinks to be taxed as the curb against obesity.
Fat chance – even though yes, we do guzzle too many gallons of fizzy-pop.
You won’t see fewer fat people though, despite Coke sales taking a dip. Because MPs haven’t clobbered WHY people chug so much – and WHY they gorge themselves on power foods too.
None so blind
They haven’t addressed the cause, so people will just keep getting fatter. Bigger and bigger, more and more – way beyond the two-thirds of us who are overweight or obese already. Probably including themselves, even though they never touch the stuff – unless you include tonic water.
Yeah, yeah – too many sugary drinks make people bulk up, especially kids. They have the taste, they crave the stuff. Yet nobody twigs that such craving is not natural, that something is wrong if their bodies demand hit after hit of sugary reward they don’t actually need.
They don’t need the power food they hanker for either, do they? What you call “junk food”. Some junk – there’s instant energy in them, that’s why they’re popular. And they’re only unhealthy if you eat too much of them. If you glutton and have two. Even Jamie Oliver sells superburgers.
See it’s not sugary drinks that make people fat – one Coke didn’t swell you up in 1966, it doesn’t swell you up now. But too many sugary drinks. Too many burgers. Too many chips. Yeah sure, it’s the road to fat-dom.
Except everybody’s so busy scoring headlines that nobody asks why.
WHY IS THE SWITCH THAT STOPS BINGE EATING BROKEN?
Time to get real
Simples. All the food we’ve been chowing down over the last twenty years – meat and veg both – is shot through and through with every farmer’s No 1 growth booster.
The binge switch is busted by antibiotics.
Check the facts – antibiotics have been used on farms in industrial quantities for the last fifty years. Right now, today, the world uses 65,000 tonnes a year. Which is how come there’s enough food for the 7½ billion people we are today – from the same land resource that could only feed 2½ billion of us back in 1952.
We’re bulking up from the super-fatteners in our food – and no wonder. From egg to full-grown roasting chicken in 6 weeks. From calf to Aberdeen Angus sirloin steak in 16 months instead of four years. That’s the power of antibiotics.
OK, so tax sugary drinks double. Tax them to hell and gone off the market – we’ll still get fat. Because the super-fatteners we eat every day have jammed the binge control wide open – so it’s not just sugary drinks we’re pigging out on, it’s everything.
Two full-size helpings at dinner, double pudding – chips, snacks, chocolate bars, the works. And then we sit down to watch our favourite Great British Sugar Factor on TV – binge food before the watershed.
So who’s in charge?
But hold it, antibiotics – shouldn’t these be controlled by the medics?
In a word, yes. But these days any Tom, Dick or Hans-Gustav can shovel pretty much as many antibiotics into his cows as he likes and no-one will say them nay – not Public Health England, not DEFRA, not the Food Standards Agency, nobody.
And certainly not the General Medical Council – they’ve got their hands full worrying about antibiotics in medicine. About how they’re not working thanks to the snowballing number of superbugs with antibiotic resistance. About how any day now, our life-saving miracle drugs won’t work any more.
Which puts them in a nasty Catch 22 – no heart bypass or hip replacement – no life-changing wonder surgery – is possible without antibiotics. But superbugs like MRSA are increasingly immune. They know they’ve got to stop prescribing antibiotics, but also know they can’t.
Until the day finally comes when they achieve zero. When the only defence against infection will be how clean and free of germs we can keep ourselves. And cutting away infection – amputating – any part of us that becomes infected, because there is no other way.
Uh huh. Meantime, we’re still chowing down antibiotics with every meal we eat. And those antibiotics, like they’re supposed to, kill more and more of our gut bacteria every time. The same gut bacteria that control our immune system and directly manipulate so many other vital body functions.
Until inevitably, our surviving bacteria become resistant to antibiotics themselves. So that whatever drugs we’re prescribed have no chance of working anyway.
Fatter and fatter
And all the time, we’re getting fatter and fatter and fatter. To the point where governments realise we can’t go on and antibiotics are finally withdrawn from agriculture altogether. No more fatteners, people might stand a better chance.
As if. Because the damage has been done.
By that time most of us will be seriously obese – well in the grip of terminal illnesses like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and a zillion others resulting from immune system meltdown.
Which is when the food chain will conk out. Not enough quick-grow animals to supply world hunger. Not enough health protection against the overcrowded and unsanitary conditions of intense factory farms. Too much for the system. The world goes back to pre-antibiotic methods, like in 1952.
Oops. A food shortfall for 5 billion people. World-wide famine and disease. See how misplaced a sugar tax really is? How totally irrelevant and off-target? The headache is solving the antibiotics crisis, not pushing up the price of Coke. Like we said, nice one Westminster.
Which leaves it up to us if we’re going to survive. We ourselves, and the heck with the politicians.
With the old one-two. Hiked up hygiene standards in everything we do, always washing our hands, cleaning things. And taking out germs around us wherever we can, sterilising the place everywhere we gather. At work, in schools, in restaurants, at home – eliminating harmful pathogens down to nothing.
The first takes soap and water, every chance we get – always before food, and always after the loo.
Better shift to organic foods while we’re at it too. The Heathrow runway’s taken more than twenty years – how long will it be before Westminster finally takes action on antibiotics?
A bitter pill to swallow, eh? Maybe a spoonful of sugar will help.
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