I have long argued that supermarkets should be divided into two-sections: essentials and luxuries. Many of my friends have scoffed and said it is a ridiculous idea, and it would never work. I think it is worth a try. If we are serious about the obesity problem which is costing us millions of dollars a year and weighing down the health system, then we have to find a solution – and I do not think my idea is such a silly one. I do not understand why we are so concerned about the language used to describe people who are grossly overweight. I have always considered obesity to be a medical condition – one that is the consequence of a metabolic, or a medical condition. Those people need our help and support. They should not be ridiculed.
Those people whose weight problem is caused by overeating and a lack of exercise are fat, and that is the word we should use to describe their condition. I do not care if it offends their delicate sensibilities, or makes them feel bad about themselves. It is time we started to call a spade a shovel. If they are truly concerned, and they do not want to be called fat, then they should take the required action to lose the excess weight.
I do not care what the experts say, most people are fat because they eat the wrong food, and they do not play any sport or exercise.
Take the time to see what fat people are buying in the supermarket. Their trollies are groaning under the weight sugar-laden processed foods, bottles of soft drink – CocaCola contains the equivalent of NINE TEASPOONS of sugar. I hasten to add, Coca-Cola is not the only drink which is so heavily sweetened – check the others – they are equally bad – huge packets of crisps which are so heavy with salt they cause you to drink more soft drink, and the list goes on. Who needs double coated chocolate biscuits. It is obscene.
I felt vindicated for my unsympathetic views when I read that the British Government has held enquiry into obesity – for that read fat – and they are planning to implement a range of stringent regulations which will affect supermarkets, and how they label and display their products.
While these findings are British, I have no doubt they apply equally to Australia – and indeed most countries in the world who are facing a fat population problem. Some British supermarket meals contain almost twice as much sugar as Coca-Cola. I was astonished to learn that four teaspoons of sugar is added to four cheese ravioli in tomato sauce! That is a culinary sacrilege. Typically, the supermarket argued that sugar occurs naturally in tomatoes and this accounts for part of the sugar content, but on the label they do not differentiate between the two. Why would they?
Also, it has been revealed that sales of chocolates and other confectionary products are increased by up to 25% when they are placed on displays at the end of aisles, or at the check-out. It is a practice which they are planning to stop in supermarkets in Britain. The psychology of supermarkets needs to be investigated and regulated. There is no doubt, supermarkets have a gargantuan responsibility. Indirectly, we are supporting their profits through our health system, which is buckling under the weight – no pun intended. The problem is one for the whole community, and if our supermarkets are not prepared to act in a responsible manner regarding this pandemic which is engulfing Australia, then the Federal Government should legislate – and fast. We cannot support the increasing fat rate which is happening in this country. The number of fat people in Ballarat is alarming – particularly in the young. I am appalled at the number of those late teenagers, and early twenty-year olds, who are fat. What is going-on, we should be asking? We have been so keen to throw-out everything from the past, claiming it is no longer relevant to this technological age in which we live. What a load of codswallop! There were few fat people when most lads went to the Police Boys’ Club,and the almost every girl played basketball. I cannot recall a fat kid from my childhood. I can hear the politically correct police tut-tutting at me for labelling children as fat. The truth is they are, and I know why. Yesterday, I saw a woman on the Wendouree West, number 1 bus route, feeding her fat child – with her feet-up against the seat in front what looked to me like a Napoleon slice and a bottle of fizzy drink. The mother was equally fat, and eating and drinking the same. I am not prepared to support those people who are not willing to change their eating habits. As I said, most people are fat as a direct result of what they shove into their mouths – with little regard for their own well-being. If they do not care why should I? I take great care of what I eat. For years I took a size 28-30-inch waist trousers. I doubt they make them in that size these days. It would probably be categorised as anorexic.
In England they are considering a sugar tax of between 10 and twenty percent. I hope the same thing happens in Australia – before it is too late and we are all too fat to get off our three-axe handle backsides and do something about the problem.
Roland can be heard each MONDAY morning on 3BA at 10.30 with Edwin Cowlishaw.