IT turns out I'm fat because I'm Scottish.
"Scotland's bulging waistlines tell a tale of industrial decline, social inequality and – gallingly for a leading light in the 18th century Enlightenment – poor education." I read that in the Financial Times, so it might well be true.
Michael Matheson, Scotland's Health Minister, agrees: "Obesity is not just a health issue. It is a consequence of our culture, society and lifestyle in which weight gain is almost inevitable." So, for all these years, it's almost as if somebody has held me at gunpoint making me drink all that lager and eat too many pies and fish suppers.
The Scottish Government is not taking this cultural fatness lying down. It has a plan called A Route Map Towards Healthy Weight. Sadly previous initiatives against overweight and obesity have made little difference to the national circumference. A Route March Towards Healthy Weight is required.
Scotland is third in the world obesity league table, behind the US and Mexico. For many Scots the battle is lost. No amount of government intervention will change their lifestyles. They have to be abandoned to their fate. Let them eat a diet of cake washed down with sugary drinks.
The efforts and the budgets should be concentrated on preventing children waddling down the road to obesity and ill-health. The route map recognises this and advocates "establishing life-long habits and skills for positive health behaviour through early life interventions".
There are many healthy-eating plans already in place in primary schools. But it all seems to go pie-shaped in later years when your average pupil's idea of lunch is a portion of chips and curry sauce consumed on a street corner.
We have tried the carrot and now it is time for the stick. Future generations of children need to brainwashed into new attitudes to food. They get compulsory cooking lessons. They don't leave the school premises at lunchtime. A balanced meal is followed by energetic playground activity. Packed lunches are monitored. Children are trained from an early age to use a helpline to contact the food police if parents ply them with sugar and fat. Zero tolerance to obesity.
You might ask who is this fat bloke in the picture to pontificate? Just someone who is trying belatedly to go Mediterranean and not eat all the pies.
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