Anorak News | Fear of A Fat Planet: Billy Bunter Is Now An Enemy Of The State

Fear of A Fat Planet: Billy Bunter Is Now An Enemy Of The State

by | 13th, January 2014

FAT is bad. The top-down message is consistent. The Mail leads with news that Obesity is “worse than we first feared”.




Whose afraid of a fat planet? As the BBC reported this year: “Obesity quadruples to nearly one billion in developing world.” In the report “Implications for agriculture and food prices”, Sharada Keats and Steve Wiggins, note:

Over one third of all adults across the world –  1.46 billion people – are obese or overweight.

Overweight is bad? Don’t moderately chubby people look better and outlive the skinny? If we are all getting dangerously fatter, why are we living longer?

And then this:

In fact, policies on diets have been so timid to date that we simply do not know what might be achieved by a determined drive to reduce the consumption of calories, and particularly the consumption of fat, salt and sugar, in OECD countries. This has never been attempted, with the rare exception of the wartime rationing in Britain, which stands out as an unusual natural experiment that led to better health; but one that the British public were delighted to abandon once supplies had been restored after  the Second World War

Never mind the fact that people are eating more and not starving as much, and hark back to those halcyon days of rationing and carrots. Moves to ration chips are already afoot. Can we invade the rest of the planet with this fear of fat?




The fat are being stigmatised. Not teased. But seen as enemies of the state. In 2013, the bigoted America’s Boy Scouts announced they were excluding obese boys from their national jamboree. You fatsos are failed subjects. It’s not just in the US, where fat and sugary treats are now a moral issue. In 2013, Holli McAnn’s mother told the Watford Observer about why her child was sent home from camp: “This was a search for chocolate, but was carried out in such a manner you would have thought they were running an international drug-smuggling operation from their hotel room.”

Sophie Borlard (and there’s a name) thunders:

Dire warnings that half of Britons will be obese by 2050 are an ‘underestimate’, a shock report warns today.

Fat is no longer a sign of prosperity. It is sign of failure.

The obesity epidemic could be far worse than predicted because experts did not factor in how much fatter we are getting as we age, it says… More than a quarter of adults (26 per cent) are obese, up from just 8 per cent in 1980.

The story is rooted in a survey by the National Obesity Forum. In these early weeks of January the NOF prick the ears of the de-toxers and post Christmas  bingers with news of lurking fat. We hear from Dr Aseem Malhotra, a cardiologist at Croydon University Hospitals, South London:

“Junk food companies sponsor sporting events and athletes endorse sugary drinks, with advertising that targets the most vulnerable members of society, including children.”

Professor David Haslam, chairman of the forum, adds:

“Not only is the situation not improving, but the doomsday scenario set out in that report might underestimate the true scale of the problem. There needs to be concerted action. We’ve seen hard-hitting campaigns against smoking and it’s time to back up the work that’s already being done with a similar approach for obesity.”

Might. Doomsday might be over-egged. The experts says fat is worse than smoking.


In Times, Tam Fry, a spokesman for the forum, says, “It’s like the Jesuits — get them young and you’ve got them for life…If [patients] come in with a problem then you steer the conversation round to what the real root of the problem might be. One of the problems in the NHS is the number of its staff who have weight problems themselves.”

You’re not fat becaue you like eating. You’re fat because you’ve got issues. Let’s talk about them with a thin professional. And then we get this:

Susan Jebb, a government adviser on obesity, said that fruit juice was so sugary that it should no longer count as one of the “five-a-day” portions of fruit and vegetables and could even be taxed.

It is taxed. Undeterred by fact, she adds:

“Fruit juice isn’t the same as intact fruit and it has got as much sugar as many classical sugar drinks. It is also absorbed very fast so by the time it gets to your stomach your body doesn’t know whether it’s Coca-Cola or orange juice, frankly.”

Your stomach is not your tongue. Fact!

And they still buy the stuff.

Finally, in the war on fat, Morrisons Salford store has been steering people to buy good fruit and veg by populating the aisles with life size cut outs of local healthcare professionals, floor stickers and Let’s Shop Healthier signs. Want to see the experts? Here you are:


Screen shot 2014-01-13 at 09.13.08  Screen shot 2014-01-13 at 09.12.50 Screen shot 2014-01-13 at 09.12.40


Hands up who wants to look like them, the white, thin and jolly experts..?

Posted: 13th, January 2014 | In: Key Posts, Reviews, The Consumer Comment | TrackBack | Permalink