Thursday 31 January 2019

Coco Pops are the new tobacco - Tom Watson

'Elementary, my dear Watson'
The Advertising Association invited Tom Watson to harass them give the keynote speech at their conference yesterday and the great man shared his insights on Twitter afterwards. Watson lost a lot of weight last year after going on the kind of low calorie, high exercise diet that anyone can do.

At the time he explained that he 'basically stopped taking sugar, refined sugar, and then I started walking 10,000 steps a day and walking up staircases and when a bit more weight came off I started to jog and cycle.' He has retrospectively dropped the bit about vigorous exercise and, under the spell of Aseem Malhotra (picture above), has decided that sugar consumption is the sole cause of obesity and that other people are not clever enough to lose weight without government coercion.

His talk to the Advertising Association was straight out of the anti-tobacco playbook... 

There is no 'dental crisis' and you will be hard-pressed to find a scientist who agrees that sugar is 'every bit as deadly as tobacco', but facts are optional in the growing war on food.

Nor is packaging a form of advertising, for that matter, but Watson uses anti-smoking rhetoric to get around that...

This is uncannily similar to the claim that cigarette packs are 'mobile billboards' and 'mini-billboards', but don't worry because when the campaign for plain packaging was underway, ASH's Deborah Arnott assured us that 'the “domino theory” i.e. that once a measure has been applied to tobacco it will be applied to other products is patently false'.

I'm not sure if the allusion to heroin is deliberate or not, but it's worth remembering that Kellogg's cut the sugar content in Coco Pops by 40 per cent last year in an attempt to appease the fanatics. This is twice as much as the 20 per cent reduction demanded by Public Health England but it is clearly not enough to satisfy Tom Watson.

As the food industry will learn over the next few years, fanatics can never be appeased.

PS. In a busy week for the slippery slope, Lewisham's Director of Public Health is earning his £139,923 salary...

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