So having vowed, on this very platform, to stop reading Sunday newspapers and all their fatuous ‘lifestyle’ articles, this past weekend I slipped. Well, we had a houseguest, a leisurely start to the morning, bacon and eggs, you get the picture? It seemed to cry out for a Sunday paper. But what did I find, screaming at me from the front page of a formerly sober broadsheet? Another 4X health warning, that’s what.

This time it’s red meat and processed meat-type products.  I don’t know about you but I’m sick to no doubt premature and self-inflicted death of being lectured by the Department of Health. How about the D of H butts out of my fridge and turns its attention to the elderly patients it allows to die in squalor and distress in its hospitals?

Generally I object to government guidelines on principle. Government already has its nose in far too many private matters which is why it can’t do effectively the things it really should be doing. In this instance I also object because health guidelines only ever penetrate to those who least need them: the people who make the human race a success story. People who eat without making a fetish of it, drink without falling into the gutter, make merry without any guidance from the Department of Happiness, and then  die. Of something or other. People who know, without recourse to any pamphlet pushed through their letterbox, that a steak should be an occasional treat and a handful of blueberries a day is not going to make them immortal.  

Meanwhile the parents who feed their children cheezy dinosaur corn snacks for breakfast, people who believe a Terry’s chocolate orange counts as one of their Five a Day (a happy thought), and the sofa slobs whose only exercise is tugging on the ring-pull of a soda can will continue on their blissful deep-fried way. They may shorten their lives, but that is entirely their business. Maybe they’re on to something. Who wants to make it to ninety if it means dying of thirst on an understaffed geriatric ward?

Sausages for dinner. Out of sheer cussedness.

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