6 May 2009

The risk of a bacon sandwich

This piece on the BBC website interested me. I have a long-running bee-in-my-bonnet about the common government practice of telling me what not to eat, and how many carrots I should consume. I concur with the author's points about 'nudging' society towards epidemiologically 'better' ways of behaving, but I still find the tone of things like the 5-a-day campaign to be completely patronising. I also feel that this trend in British society has imposed a moral framework onto lifestyle choices which were previously left to the individual. Just think how most people react when they see a pregnant woman enjoying an alcoholic drink! The government advice is that abstinence is best, but the latest scientific studies conclude that the occasional drink will have no negative effects on the unborn child. Most pregnant women (including Mrs Lanky) do not drink at all, and it's in no small part due to the moral judgement that the behaviour now attracts.

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