ABC’s The Drum website has a weird post up by a guy called James Jenkin. It seems to be an attempt to get into the Guinness book of records with an entry for “most strawmen erected and shot down in a weblog”.
Jenkin’s view seems to be that people have the right to be fat and eat unhealthy, and that it is authoritarian and outright Orwellesque for governments to be taking measures against obesity. He also erects this ridiculous strawman that it’s all arrogant upper class people discriminating against the lower classes eating poorly.
Ordinary people can read. They’ve heard of kilojoules. They know exercise makes them healthier. They don’t need clever, educated, middle-class people telling them how to live their lives.
I am astonished that such complete bullshit could be a)printed, and b)uttered by a “teacher and teacher trainer”.
Obesity, and poor eating habits, which I might here just define as consuming food that is overly high in fat and carbohydrates, while neglecting food groups that contain protein, vitamins, fibre and antioxidants (such as broccoli or beans, nuts, meats, chicken, fish, grains, oats), is not a right that has to be defended against government intrusion.
Obesity is a result of poor education, of where you live and whether you have access to healthy foods in the first place, and it is a function of income. Healthy food costs money, and is often more expensive than the family bucket from the local fast food outlet. And this is where the government comes in, and has a vital role to play in my opinion, and that’s by making sure that healthy food is available and affordable to those with lower incomes.
It’s not about coloring people who eat fast food as stupid. It’s about making sure healthy choices are available for those with lower incomes and those in locations where healthy food is not easily accessible. The only person here who is trying to fabricate a connection between intelligence, income and food consumption is the author of this wretched piece.
These strategies certainly suggest the poor are a bit dim. Traffic-light labelling – for adults?
The only dim person I can make out here is James Jenkin. Traffic light labelling of food makes it possible for people to control what they are eating, and how much calories they are consuming. This is progress, it gives consumers autonomy and control over their food intake. How could anyone in their right mind be against that ? Jenkin comes across as some kind of idiot libertarian, who is sitting on his high horse of personal freedoms fighting the evil forces of government, who dare to suggest that we should teach ourselves and our children to eat healthy. What a complete moron.
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