Monday, 6 March 2017

Plain packaging for food (again)

Pandora's Box has been well and truly opened. From the Guardian...

Sell high calorie foods in plain packaging to beat obesity, says Brain Prize winner

Selling high calorie foods in plain packaging could help in the battle against obesity according to a leading researcher who has won a share of the most lucrative prize in neuroscience for his work on the brain’s reward system.

The colourful wrapping and attractive advertising of calorie-rich foods encourage people to buy items that put them at risk of overeating and becoming obese in the future, said Wolfram Schultz, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Cambridge.

Only a fool didn't see this coming, and Schultz seems like just the kind of loathsome, illiberal, messianic health fascist to push it forward...

“We should not advertise, propagate or encourage the unnecessary ingestion of calories,” Schultz said at a press conference held on Monday to announce the winners of the 2017 Brain Prize. “There should be some way of regulating the desire to get more calories. We don’t need these calories.”

Steady on, Wolfram.

“Colourful wrapping of high energy foods of course makes you buy more of that stuff and once you have it in your fridge, it’s in front of you every time you open the fridge and ultimately you’re going to eat it and eat too much,” he added.

The claim that colourful wrapping makes people buy more food is a strangely evidence-free assertion from a man who's just won a science prize. And why he is banging on about this on the day of his prize-giving anyway? He hasn't conducted any research on plain packaging, and the kind of research that is conducted on plain packaging is certainly not going to win any science prizes.

Weirdly, none of the media that have reported this story have quoted him explicitly supporting plain packaging for food, but the press release I saw earlier today contained this line:

Asked if he meant plain packaging for junk food: "I would think it's worth a try."

I'm sure there are plenty of people in the 'public health' racket who agree with him.


Proving my point in the Daily Mail is the Royal Society for 'Public Health', one the vilest nanny state pressure groups, who say:

‘While introducing plain packaging for foods high in fat, salt or sugar may be more complex than for tobacco, we certainly believe this is worth piloting to better understand what impact it has on consumer perceptions of these foods and ultimately on people’s buying behaviour.’

There is also a quote from yours truly:

Christopher Snowdon, head of Lifestyle Economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs said:

‘This is the slippery slope in action. ‘It was inevitable that there would be demands for food and alcohol to be put in plain packaging once the government capitulated to the nanny statists on tobacco.

‘Sensible people warned that this would happen. We were ignored, but we are being proved right.’

Sadly, there's no quote from Deborah Arnott.

No comments: