THE Government itself now knows its “nanny state” bullying over our diets will have zero impact on obesity.The Sun has long argued that education and exercise are infinitely more important and effective than destructive bans and taxes. Not only were we right, but the Department of Health plainly must now accept it too.
The Government’s own estimates show that outlawing TV junk food ads before 9pm will cut just two calories a day from a kid’s diet. Two! Half a Smartie. A minuscule fraction of the 2,000 a day a ten-year-old takes in.
Banning buy-one-get-one-free deals on snacks and fizzy drinks would save eight calories a day. Moving “junk food” away from checkouts? Nine.
These are negligible amounts, even added together.
And they lay bare the arrogant folly of a Conservative Party which, in its panic over obesity and NHS resources, has surrendered to the middle-class public health zealots who spend their lives tut-tutting at working people’s grub.
They imposed a tax on sugary drinks despite no firm evidence that it has cut obesity in any country which has tried it. It didn’t work there. It won’t here.
Nor is there any basis to believe banning fast food ads on the Tube will reduce one single person’s weight. It’s a theory. A hunch. Feeble politicians deciding “something must be done”.
Chief Medical Officer Sally Davies wants new taxes on chocolate and crisps. She must now be ignored. Tory nanny-statism has NO measurable benefits but does substantial harm.
It saddles everyone with higher shopping bills. It damages food businesses. It earns the Government a reputation for obsessive interference in our lives which should never be a Tory trait.
Few except Treasury Chief Secretary Liz Truss seem to grasp it. But if a new generation of Tory politicians is keen to take power they had better join her on the right side of this argument.
Because it’s all very well them trying to attract younger voters.
They won’t have a prayer if they still insist on being meddling busybodies and the enemies of personal choice.