Add some greens to your couch potatoes
DID you perk up, anticipating extra funding for cancer drugs or hospital equipment, when you heard that NHS England has found £40m to make us healthier?
Hmm. It seems that 100,000 obese people are going to be offered free cookery and exercise classes. And it’s not a one-off. The NHS is putting aside £40m a year for this ridiculous project.
Forget the tired argument that money will be saved because we’ll all be fit and healthy and not taking up hospital beds.
Leading us by the nose will not achieve this.
No one can say any longer that they don’t know about balanced meals, or that sugar is out to get us. We are saturated with lifestyle programmes and documentaries on the subject. Bestseller book charts are packed with reducing plans and dietary advice; even local councils offer tips for better living.
Acting ignorant about what makes us fat is as daft as trotting out the old ‘we can’t afford healthy food’ argument.
Sadly, many people are on a restricted budget and have to make do with what is left in the store cupboard at the end of the week, but we are not talking about families like this who are in dire straits and have little or no choice about what they eat. These people are rarely, if ever, obese, but are more likely to suffer from malnutrition.
The likely candidates for the free cookery classes will usually be slumped in front of the TV with vast quantities of fast food. It is their choice and has nothing to do with being informed, or not being able to buy a carrot.
A vegetable stir-fry is much cheaper than a takeaway curry. A jacket potato with cheese costs much less than a Nando’s blow-out.
And for those who say food can be an addiction – yes, I agree. But we can also get addicted to being healthier, without a penny being sacrificed by the NHS.
Thank goodness for Uxbridge College students who have clearly been eating plenty of brain food.
A team has performed brilliantly in a national competition called Debating Matters, winning the local heat last term and scooping the London final this month.
They will now compete in the national final in July; one of 12 regional teams. Many congratulations – and good luck. We’ll all be rooting for you.