Vile stuff, sugar. Jamie Oliver says so, so it must be true.
Makes us fat, rots our teeth, turns us into porkers with our fingers and toes chopped off.
So of course we should tax sugar, stomp it out.
Like tobacco and smoking. Tax it out of sight, hide it from the public eye.
Ban sugar on TV too – all programmes, all advertising, everything there is. In movies and magazines too. Hide sugar products away in the supermarket and double their prices.
Ban sugar on TV? Sure, all those cooking programmes – cakes and puddings and things. To a nation of obese and recognised sugar addicts – a very bad influence. Bad, bad, bad.
Chop the lot
Which means, in popularity order, that we should axe The Great British Bake Off, Nigella Lawson, Masterchef, Saturday Kitchen, Heston Blumenthal, Great British Menu, Nigel Slater, Rick Stein, Jamie Oliver and Come Dine With Me.
Oh, and anything to do with jam-making – the vilest of the vile. A wicked past-time that even our Chief Medical Officer, Dr Dame Sally Davies, has fallen prey to – her “energy-making” therapy.
Just why is it so bad? Loaded with sugar through and through – according to the BBC’s online Good Food site – “… to qualify as proper jam, the finished product should contain 60% sugar.”
Good Food! 60% sugar!
60% sugar – when a 1.75 litre bottle of regular Coke contains ONLY 16%!
Jam should carry a health warning. Shocking! Scandalous! Write to your MP immediately.
Because you can buy TWO 1.75 litre Cokes in the supermarket for £2. Or FOUR of the supermarket’s own brand for the same price. But you can buy own brand strawberry jam for just 29p – nearly 40 times the sugar hit, for less than 15% of the price.
So what kind of a tax is going to stop anyone? 500%? 1,000%?
The mark-up on a medium-sized Coke at your local Odeon bughouse is more than that already
Just who is kidding who, here?
And that’s not even thinking about the level of sugar in ordinary foods, prepared meals and the like.
All sugar and sweetness
Meanwhile Bake Off goes on and on. Sugar in your face, programme after programme. Like Nadiya Hussain’s winning birthday cake recipe? 175 grams of caster sugar – 35 teaspoons. PLUS 500 grams of icing sugar – 100 teaspoons. 135 teaspoons altogether.
Yes, congratulations to Nadiya, but what about us poor addicts?
Sure, sure, it’s bad and something should be done – but is ANYONE addressing why so many of us have a sweet tooth? That our sugar cravings are so severe? And is ANYONE doing anything to stop these cravings – instead of flying off to Bermuda on the sugar taxes we have to pay?
A joke, right? As John Belushi demonstrated in his TV doughnut sketch. Reality upside down.
Because the truth is, we have little or no control over the foods we crave, our body does that without us ever even thinking about it. A hormone called ghrelin does the trick, pumped out by the resident bacteria we all have in our gut to take care of digestion.
OK, so the ghrelin says gimme, gimme, gimme, sugar, sugar, sugar.
In a healthy body, that isn’t supposed to happen. We eat, we have enough, our gut bacteria tell us to switch off. Finished eating, we’re satisfied.
Uh huh. So something’s wrong. And something’s wrong with a lot of us, because more and more of us are getting fat. Our gut bacteria are making mistakes – not turning off when they’re supposed to – and extracting TOO MUCH nutrition from the food we eat as well.
Uh huh, part two. And what could possibly skew our gut bacteria so wildly out of kilter that the whole system tilts out of balance, like some madman running amok?
Wonder drugs, ultra thugs
Simple, simple. What kills bacteria? No less than the miracle wonder-drugs of our time – antibiotics.
OK, so we take them for some infection or because we’re having an operation. Down in your gut, the harmful bacteria get killed alright – so do a lot of innocent bystanders, the beneficial bacteria that keep our bodies in good order.
And they’re not just in medicines.
There’s antibiotics in most of the food we eat too. Growth boosters given to livestock to make them bulk up bigger and faster. Given to plant crops too, for the same reason.
And the same thing happens to animals as happens to us. Their gut bacteria are out of balance from the antibiotics in their feed, their ghrelin equivalent doesn’t stop producing. So they eat themselves stupid – noshing all the time from habit, as there’s not much food value to be had out of grazing grass.
But they’re not grazing grass any more – not most of the time. They’re mainlining on boosted feedstuff that puts their gut bacteria on turbo, their bodies are full of it.
They eat that, we eat them, we get fat too – it’s not rocket science.
But for some reason, all our celebrity chefs and nutritionists are running round like chickens with their heads chopped off, shouting that we should tax sugar.
Yeah, we should get serious about cutting down sugar intake.
But we should also get serious about how we do it. Taxing the supply does nothing except push the price up.
So? It’s more expensive. But everything always goes up – money is not affected by gravity.
Better to reduce demand. Get our bodies to ask for less, problem solved.
Get off the pills
Which means GET OFF ANTIBIOTICS.
Unless it’s life-threatening, avoid them like the plague. Because that’s what they are in the long-term – fat becomes obese, becomes type two diabetes or heart disease or cancer – a nasty slow-motion car crash over the next twenty years. The Black Death killed in days, antibiotic damage kills in decades, none of them pleasant.
And just what the hell happened to proper TV programming in prime time anyway?
Cookery? Soaps? Dancing?
Back in the day, that was mid-afternoon gap-filler, padding to get through the nothing. Balanced evening viewing was Western, private eye, Western – the way life is supposed to be.
Which means we’re already paying a sugar tax, like it or not. All those sweet, syrupy programmes – not worth the licence fee.
Time to get out more and do some exercise. TV is not good for your waistline either.
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