Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Mars Bar game

I really find all of this quite wearying—I'm not even getting that much pleasure from being right (almost) all of the time. What?

A few weeks back, I wrote a rather long post detailing some of the attacks on our more enjoyable past-times: I covered drinking and smoking fairly comprehensively, but ran out of steam slightly when it got to food.

Inevitably, of course, these filthy unaccountable QUANGOs—costing us over £250 billion every, single year—seem to be deliberately attempting to make it all too easy to carry on drawing together the threads of the ropes that bind us.

Today, those stinking cunts at the Foods Standards Authority are attempting to shrink the size of chocolate bars.
Chocolate bars could be cut in size to help fight the obesity epidemic.

The Food Standards Agency wants the average bar to be reduced by up to a fifth to reduce daily calorie intake.

It has drawn up plans for confectioners to make voluntary changes to the size of their snacks.

Uh oh: we all know what these fuckers mean when they say that something is voluntary, don't we? That's right: it's voluntary unless you don't do it—in which case it becaome compulsory.
By 2012 the watchdog wants all confectionary to weigh no more than 50g - currently Mars bars are 58g and Bounty bars 57g.

What? Where has this utterly fucking arbitrary figure of 50g come from? What the fuck are you people talking about?

I just don't have the energy to fisk this stupid proposal at length—perhaps I should eat a massive Mars Bar—but luckily The Heresiarch has done a sterling job.
Where to begin? I don't want to turn into Devil's Kitchen (that ecological niche is, after all, sufficiently filled already) but this is insulting and unworkable in equal measure. It's based on several layers of delusion, about nutrition science, about human psychology, and about the purpose of official advice. It's also an open invitation on the snack manufacturers to rip off their customers by selling them less for (presumably) the same amount of money.

Chocolate bars (and cans of fizzy drinks) are the size they are for good reasons. They are the optimum compromise between the manufacturer's desire to make the largest possible profit and the consumer's desire to have a moderately filling snack. If they are legislated smaller, or perhaps made smaller because of a voluntary agreement, then they would no longer fulfil their function. Many people would respond by buying more, rendering the whole scheme counterproductive. In any case, the notion that some quango should be setting more or less arbitrary targets for what people should consume would be scary were it not so absurd.

The alleged obesity "epidemic" is largely nonsense anyway, and not just because fatness is not a contagious disease. As reputable scientific studies show, there's almost no link between being "overweight" - as defined by the notoriously arbitrary Body Mass Index - and health problems. If anything, technically overweight people actually live longer than those whose svelte physiques meet with government approval. (As waistlines expand, after all, so does life expectancy.)

Do go and read the rest, because it is a beautifully written and comprehensive demolition of this completely fucking stupid idea. I am going to lie down in a darkened room and contemplate just what the fuck happened to this bloody country.

Oh wait—I know what happened to this country: I am reminded every time that a sentence like this pops up...
Health problems associated with obesity already cost the NHS £4.2bn a year, a figure that is set to double by 2050.

The Welfare State happened to this country. People decided that they were quite happy to borrow some security from the state. And now it's pay-back time: we are in hock to the state and this has fundamentally changed our relationship with our governments.

Now our lords and masters not only have the whip hand: they not only do not mind wielding the crop, but they care not that we can see them doing so. They not only have the apparatus to force us to do their bidding, they also have, as they see it, the moral high-ground.

The state is the loan-shark that we can't pay back and now we are about to get our legs broken by a couple of psychotic Glaswegians. And all for our own good.

And the media is entirely complicit—they know which side their bread is buttered. I mean, seriously, this kind of disgusting illiberalism is being proposed by an unelected QUANGO and the big news of the day is that Cameron said the word "twat" on a radio show.

Oh well, it has to get better, doesn't it.
Nor is it just chocolate bars and fizzy drinks. The FSA's press release warns that "later in the year there will be further consultation on dairy and meat products and savoury snacks."

Fucking hellski.

UPDATE: much of the motivation for the Welfare State was that it would help those in extremis—those people who were in a bad way and who could not help themselves.

Now, as regular readers will know, I have absolutely no time for the obese: the human body is a very simple machine in many ways and it is a fact that if you burn more calories than you ingest you will lose weight.

As such, if someone is morbidly fucking obese, the last thing that we should be doing is giving the fat lard-bucket more money to spend on food. Unfortunately, so perverse is our government that this is precisely what they have been doing.
A 25-year-old unemployed woman who was given an £8,000 operation to help her lose 16 stone is complaining because, as well as her weight loss, her benefits have been reduced.

Laura Ripley, who has never worked, was given the operation on the NHS to help her slim down from 38 to 22 stone.

But the 25-year-old, who receives £600 a month in benefits, is unhappy because as a result of losing weight she can no longer claim disability allowance amounting to an extra £340 a month.

This, she says, means she cannot afford to eat healthily - causing her to pile the weight back on.

The solution to this is very simple: cut her benefits even further so that she can barely afford to eat anything—and then just watch the pounds fall off her fat fucking frame.

The juxtaposition of these two stories highlights the utter stupidity of our rulers, does it not? On one hand, one of their pets is suggesting that everyone be punished because of a few lazy, weak-willed cunts and, on the other, the state is stealing our money to give extra benefits to the fat bastards so that they can continue to be fat bastards. It's insane.

Seriously, what the FUCK is going on in this country?
Since the extra allowance stopped Laura has put on a stone in just three weeks and claims she is being treated unfairly.

'It's heartbreaking that after all my hard work losing this weight someone's come along and ruined it.'

Look, you fat shit, the only person ruining this is you—stop eating and you will stop gaining weight. Do you understand this, you fucking useless waste of oxygen?
'I sometimes feel guilty about all the taxpayers' money that's been spent on me but I only want an extra £100 a month, that's all', says Laura.

Yeah? If I had just an extra £50 a month, I wouldn't have spent the last week living off mouldy bread, cheap noodles and the occasional Mars Bar (for energy) but that's just fucking tough, isn't it? Seriously, why don't you just go and fuck yourself? Or, as And There Was Me Thinking suggests (in a post that well worth reading in full), someone else...?
Hey Laura, here’s some advice for you -
But the 25-year-old, who receives £600 a month in benefits, is unhappy because as a result of losing weight she can no longer claim disability allowance amounting to an extra £340 a month.

You were not disabled you were a fat pie-munching fucktard.
‘I can’t afford to buy WeightWatchers crisps and cereal bars any more so I eat Tesco’s chocolate bars and packets of Space Invaders crisps, sometimes four of each a day’, says Laura, who spends seven hours a day watching TV.

Get of your lazy ‘Jeremy Kyle’ watching arse, find something productive to do and may be, just may be, you’ll have less time in the day to nosh anything, let alone choccy bars and space invaders.
‘People ask why I don’t snack on an apple – they’re cheap, but emotionally I don’t always feel like an apple.’

*splutter* – Emotionally, WTFF, the tax payer (or indeed a bona-fide benefit scrounger like me) doesn’t give a flying monkeys chuff about your cunting fucking emotions. I suspect the best thing you could do here, regarding your emotions, is get yourself a good, hard, dirty shag but let’s be honest, all the time you look like some piss take from Little Britain, you actually have less chance of a casual sexual encounter than Gordon ‘Country Fucker’ Brown, and funnily enough, he’s also a fat cunt that lives of the British Tax Payer whilst giving little in return.



Anonymous said...



The woman's trying to get back onto disability allowance. The association's there - if she's extremely fat then she gets extra money, doesn't have to find work and gets a 6 grand operation lavished on her.

If you reward need instead of effort then this is exactly what you'd expect to see, isn't it? Yet this is exactly what people refuse to believe people do - that they increase their 'need' to get more money or help.

Really tragic really. Some people are so screwed up and the state makes it worse by going along with it :S

Anonymous said...

Couldn't they just have used the £8,000 to print up a lot of cards with "Lose some weight or you are going to die" on them?

(Also I'm sure there's an episode of the Simpsons where the exact same thing happens)

Leg-iron said...

The chocolate manufacturers will be delighted to comply with this. There'll be no need for compulsion. Just like the tobacco industry who kept the price from cigarette machines the same by puttng fewer in the packs. Anyone remember those machines? They seem to have gone now.

The size will decrease but the price won't. I wouldn't be surprised if they started the idea themselves.

I feel a bout of Tourette's coming on...

thefrollickingmole said...

They really are a perfect storm of fuckwits arent they?
We had the "Ban plastic bags to save the environment" crap here in Oz. Government wanted it (based on frankly fraudulent research) and the big supermarkets wanted it (Get people to pay for bags not give them aay free) and the consumer didnt.
At the moment its a few states doing it, but with a bit more pressure from our own "lobby groups" it will be Oz wide.
So the consumer gets shafted, the quango justifies its existance, and the supermarket makes .005c more profit on each purchase.

Personaly Id sack the cunts and replace them with this bloke.
Hes the ideal doctor for Ms lardyarse above. (its worth a look at his whole series, they are quite good)

Kafka said...

It's also more back-door metrification. Changing something from 56 or 57 grams to 50 grams is rationalising, sneakily, from 2 ounces.

Katabasis said...

One of your best blogs yet DK.

It boggles my mind to think what could be done with the cash if the Quangos were destroyed overnight.

the a&e charge nurse said...

Not since Marion Faithfull have I heard so much stuff and nonsense about Mars Bars.

First of all let's take the single study as 'gospel' line of argument.
A single study MAY prove very important, or influential but it does NOT constitute the highest standard of evidence, no, for this we need meta-analysis of all the trials and the extent to which they can be reproduced over time.

Secondly, morbid obesity (which is on the increase) DOES increase risk for both disease and mortality.
Google: "Increases in morbid obesity in the USA: 2000–2005" (R Sturm)- for some stats.

And while obesity may not be contagious it is still very dangerous for children with obese parents, because guess what - yes, very good, you've guessed it - many children of fatties soon morph into fat mini-me's.

By all means agonise over the size of a Mars Bar, but while those of Ricky Gervais stature might have an extra year or two, Dawn French clones (statistically) will be less fortunate, as will their Mars Bar addicted off-spring.

DK on the same side as Andrea Dworkin - wonders never cease (she died at 59).

Kevin Boatang said...

As i said.

Dodgy Financial Advisor said...

Do you think she would like to buy a pension?

Letters From A Tory said...

Laura Ripley was the lucky / unlucky* recipient of a letter on my blog this morning. What a story.

*delete as applicable

Rob said...

"I can't afford to eat properly".

People continue to get away with this lie. It is astonishing.

A Mars bar contains about 250 calories. Reducing it from 58g to 50g will knock about 35 calories off that. 35 calories, absolutely fuck all.

But what about the people who eat multiple bars, I hear the progressives cry. The difference will be greater then. Well, yes, but people who eat multiple Mars bars in one go will simply buy more if the bars are smaller.

Do these nazis understand people at all?

microdave said...

Many chocolate bars already have shrunk over the last year or two. But of course the price hasn't.....

Anonymous said...

psychotic Glaswegians

That's a tautology, ya Embra bawbag.

Unknown said...

And my friends wonder why I left Gordon's Britain! $8000 comes to about NZ$20,000... fuck me! You can did a big fuckin hole and bury the fat bitch and that FOESC at the same time and still have change to emigrate before ....

Fidothedog said...

That fucking woman should be rended down for bio fuel, could keep an eco town going for months.

Martin said...

"The state is the loan-shark that we can't pay back and now we are about to get our legs broken by a couple of psychotic Glaswegians." -
Who are they? I might know them.

Mike Goggin said...

This fat, spoilt, cry baby, and all the equally spoilt quangocrats are entitled to vote. As people like this seem to be in the majority, the rest of us are screwed. QED.

A libertarian dictatorship is beginning to look quite attractive. Trouble is, I'm so angry about the FSA and a million other idiocies, it might be difficult to be benevolent.

the a&e charge nurse said...

A libertarian dictatorship?

Will it be led by an a 18 year old who polled 36 votes in a recent byelection?

Perhaps you should stick to worrying about the size of choccy-bars, or the threat posed to society by welfare scroungers?

Anonymous said...

Great post DK. You regularly come up with stuff that removes any wavering in my conviction that the state needs dismantling, leaving only its core responsibilities.

The Filthy Smoker said...

The Daily Mail doesn't allow comments on their piece about this fat little fuck-pig, but her local rag has no such quibbles. Not a lot of sympathy for Jabba there...

the a&e charge nurse said...

TFS - 'fat little fuck-pig' ......... that's a bit harsh isn't it?

Don't forget that some are finally coming round to the idea that food addiction should be classified as an eating disorder (like anorexia, etc) - this from Volkow & O'Brien (2007)
"DSM-IV recognizes eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia as mental disorders with severe impairments and serious adverse outcomes but does not recognize obesity despite its devastating medical and psychological consequences. Obesity is characterized by compulsive consumption of food and the inability to restrain from eating despite the desire to do so. These symptoms are remarkably parallel to those described in DSM-IV for substance abuse and drug dependence which has led some to suggest that obesity may be considered a "food addiction".

Incidentally, do you propose that we should treat 'alchies', 'smackheads', and 'smokers' with the same contempt once the (negative) physical effects of these activities start to kick in, not to mention the 'skinnies' if we are thinking about eating disorders - or, like the Devil, are you more worried about the dire threat to one of our great choccy institutions ?

David Gillies said...

It takes a 3500 calorie excess to gain a pound of body weight. If she put on a stone in three weeks then she was EXCEEDING her energy requirements by 2300 calories a DAY. That's 500 calories more than I normally eat in total and I'm an average-sized 5' 8" 11st guy (I'm aiming for 10st 5 so at the moment I'm on 900 calories a day, and the weight is coming off fast).

David Gillies said...

"some are finally coming round to the idea that food addiction should be classified as an eating disorder"

and some are a bit bloody hacked off at being expected to bung 600 notes at Vicky Pollards From Whom No PIe Is Safe. If it's an addiction she can go to Lardarses Anonymous or whatever. On her dime.

manfromthefuture said...

This sounds suspiciously like another bad foods initiative. Remember a while back they tried to get in a bad food labelling system. salt, sugar and fat were the bad ingredients. Luckily this was deflected by the supermarkets who cleverly responded that they already had such labelling in place – but of course, not standardised across all vendors.
What we are seeing here
is the nucleation of the bad food tax. Just like smoking and drinking, if its bad, then you should pay a toll, you know, to finance the health system so it can look after you. Etc. etc.

Mike Goggin said...

a&e charge nurse - my post, under my own name, was tongue in cheek, for Pete's sake. Sigh ....

FrankFisher said...

On the fat brighton bitch - first, I wish she'd die - but second, why are we suprised? We *pay* people to become alcoholics, we *pay* people to become skagheads, we*pay* people to be obese, and.... we *pay* people to have children they cannot take care of.

Why are we surprised when the fucks take the money?

This country is doomed - utterly doomed, I mean failed-state doomed - unless this is turned around; and it cannot be turned around without making a lot of people - children included - hungry. Starving them. Making the cunts *work*.

Will any party propose this? Nope. Slow suicide - that's what this is. The slow death of a once-great nation, killed by softheartedness, sentimentality, socialism.

Bring back rationing! said...

You discredit the human body in calling it 'simple'; if you eat more than you burn, the body burns more and stops eating.

They did experiments, back in the fifties I think, where they paid people in prison to get fat. It was a scientific study of the medical causes and effects of obesity. And do you know what they found? The subjects couldn't do it. They put on about 10% of their initial body weight, and then stopped, even though some of them were eating two or three times the recommended calorie intake.

Body weight is regulated, like every other biological system, by a network of dozens of hormones and feedback mechanisms and mysterious bits on the ancient underside of the brain.

The statistics say fat people eat the same on average as thin people. The 'thermostat' is simply set differently. And yes, you can lose weight in the short term by starving yourself, but the body adjusts itself back to normal within about five years.

For most people, the control mechanisms work fine. If someone is dangerously fat, it's because something is broken. There are theories, like Ad36 and insulin receptor insensitivity, but it's complicated and we really don't understand how it works. Which is why they can get away with this crap. And the vilification of them is immoral. It's like saying paraplegics are just lazy, and the clinically depressed should just 'buck up'.

Regarding how much you should eat and what should you weigh, who do you trust? Biological mechanisms honed by reality over millions of years, or 'experts'?

Anonymous said...

It's dead easy .
Encourage people to smoke again.
Look at all the old photos of slim happy smokers.
All these tubby non smokers aint gonna make 70 believe me.
My M.O .
50 happy smoking slim and very healthy.
Eating has replaced smoking as a comfort,believe me I hardly no anyone who is slim nowadays.
I remember seeing a documentry on the Aleutions ,(they have the lowest heart attack rate in the world.
I remeber they cut to a scene on the beach where they were hunting Walrus.
After a while they took a break and lit up.
Even the 78 year old who was still fit was "avin a fag".

NHS Fail Wail

I think that we can all agree that the UK's response to coronavirus has been somewhat lacking. In fact, many people asserted that our de...