Death lurk­ing in my healthy diet

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION - by Steve Con­sta­ble

I can’t say that the risk of re­duc­ing my chances of ovu­la­tion is likely to put me off yo­ghurt

WHAT’S that old joke? You re­mem­ber: Don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t eat too much, don’t fool around. No, it won’t make you live longer. It’ll just feel like it. I must con­fess, th­ese days, my to­ken ges­ture to­wards diet and fit­ness is low-fat yo­ghurt and Mor­risons multi-vi­ta­mins. So imag­ine my con­ster­na­tion to see the front page of The Times de­voted to pho­to­graphs of yo­ghurt and mul­ti­vi­ta­mins, warn­ing me that not only might they be im­pair­ing ovu­la­tion but also in­creas­ing my mor­tal­ity rate by five per cent. Now, the head­line: “Th­ese may in­crease risk of death” ob­vi­ously needs to be in­ter­preted rather loosely, be­cause, un­less I have missed an even big­ger med­i­cal break­through story, there is not much one can do to de­crease the risk of death, the thing be­ing, as I have al­ways un­der­stood it (and don’t for­get my wife was a nurse) more or less in­evitable. Nor can I say that the risk of re­duc­ing my chances of ovu­la­tion is likely to put me off yo­ghurt, es­pe­cially at Mor­risons’ long-stand­ing five-for-89p of­fer. But food gen­er­ally is hav­ing to en­dure a bit of a Dessert Storm at the mo­ment. If it’s not the Prince of Wales dissin’ McDon­ald’s in much the same way that Pres­i­dent Bush talks about the Ira­ni­ans, it’s threats to take that 14st eight-year-old from Wallsend into care (mother: “I get an­gry be­cause peo­ple feed him in the street”) and a bizarre ban on ad­ver­tis­ing cheese and por­ridge dur­ing chil­dren’s TV. I have to ad­mit to be­ing a lit­tle de­fen­sive about McDon­ald’s, be­cause, while it’s al­ways nice to be ad­ven­tur­ous in din­ing, at least there you al­ways know what you’re go­ing to get, all around the world. It may be a cul­tural cop-out in Tokyo or New Delhi, but when you want a snack be­fore foot­ball it’s a lot more ap­petis­ing than some of the greasy spoons and dingy ke­bab shops down the Tot­ten­ham High Road. What? Ex­er­cise? Oh, yes, I do still get some, even now. Push­ing the trol­ley to the yo­ghurt shelf, bend­ing down to pick up The Times . . . I can feel my risk of death de­creas­ing all the time.

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