I thought I would wade in on what the government announced yesterday to help improve the health of the nation. First I’ll gloss over the fact that this is the “brain wave” of Johnson – the stupidest person ever to hold the office of prime minister. I’ll gloss over the fact that Johnson has consistently voted/argued against health legislation (he even voted AGAINST a smoking ban 4 times). I’ll neatly side-step the fact that this government has no guiding principle, no desire to keep you and me healthy, this is just a populist measure because he got ill once in his astonishingly priviliged life.
I’ll just look at the legislation itself.
Point 1. Ban on TC/online adverts before 9pm. Do the sort of people who have to go to bed before 9pm have access to their own source of income and takke personal responsibility for their diet? NO! Why? Because they’re children.
Point 2. No BOGOF deals on “unhealthy foods”. Great, so now poor families are poorer.
Point 3. Calories to be displayed on menus. Perfect if you’re trying to maximise the amount of calories in versus money spent. So, again, if you’re poor you will buy the cheapest, most calorie dense food.
Point 4. A new “campaign”. FFS. There are enough already – look around you, fund what is there (CSP’s Move for Health has been around for years)
Maybe it would be more instructive to look at what’s not there:
– No taxation on sugary foods (note I haven’t put fatty foods – they’re not the enemy here)
– No subsidising healthy foods (could be paid with the taxes raised from the above – see?)
– No free or subsidised gym memberships or personal trainer costs etc
– No increase in state provided health services such as counselling, physiotherapy etc
– No offers of medical interventions such as programmes and/or surgery
– No acknowledgement that this is about poverty and/or mental health and/or opportunities
So what does this mean? Short answer – nothing. It is a toothless piece of pointlessness designed to make the general public believe that the prime minister is serious about something to try and combat the ongoing and increasing rise in health inequality. It will do nothing, NOTHING to improve the health of the nation. Not only that, last week the Tories voted to include food AND the NHS in trade deals with the USA (and anyone else) which means a lowering in food standards and therefore quality and less access to (currently non-existent) health programmes.
I’m interested in seeing what the various health bodies have to say on the matter but I am betting they don’t say much.
Watch this space. Meanwhile, here is a picture of me running with my dog – get a dog