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War on Sugar

Mars, owner of Dolmio and Uncle Ben’s food brands, is labelling its products to tell people which ones they should only eat once per week. It is something to do with trying to get people to eat less sugar, for some reason.

Nutritionist Jenny Rosborough from Action on Sugar told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme: “It’s great that they are pushing forward this responsible labelling and raising awareness. “But the challenge we have with it is that only the health conscious will look at the labels in the first place, therefore it’s not going to hit the people who need it the most.”

By which she means poor people who are too stupid to be allowed to make their own decisions. And who are Action on Sugar anyway? The writer of the blog Hemiposterical has found that they are the same people as Consensus Action on Salt and Health, funded largely by the mysterious Marcela Trust. What motivates them, I wonder? (Incidentally, even the NHS is very lukewarm about the harmful effects of salt, when pressed.)

And where did this new war on sugar come from? There is a sugar tax. There is even an app. Made by a quango. It is like a conspiracy of very boring illuminati. And even evil multinational corporations are going along with it. Very strange.

Perhaps it originates from inside the World Health Organisation, who last year urged “countries” to reduce people’s sugar intake by half to 25g per day for adults because sugar causes bad teeth, obesity and diabetes. Yesterday I drank a 330ml bottle of lemonade containing 33g of sugar. I am not obese, do not have diabetes and still have all my teeth.

Put yourself in the position of the head of a government agency. You have an amorphous blob of population and you can poke it with various sticks (such as advice, regulation and taxes) and observe the effects (such as the amount of money spent on certain medical treatments). You can vary the pointyness of the sticks and the amount of poking and get different effects. You keep doing this until you get the effect you want. The truth of the stick is irrelevant. Individuals have no reason to think that there is any truth in government advice. It can be ignored (ignoring taxes is harder). What surprises me is that I observe people making some attempt to follow the advice and berating themselves for failing.

50 comments to War on Sugar

  • Mr Ed

    The best part of this is that the Mars bar slogan, sometimes but I’m told incorrectly attributed to Murray Walker, was ‘A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play‘.

    And if you want to look at the website for Mars Bars in the UK, they ask for your date of birth.

  • Roue le Jour

    Mr. Ed,
    Thy don’t still have that photo of Marianne faithfull, do they?

  • Alisa

    The last paragraph of the post is no less than brilliant. As to why sugar of all things, the answer is: because it tastes good.

  • Rob

    All part of the Progressive War on Reason.

  • Mr Ed

    Roue le Jour,

    Ah well, that might explain it.

    Is there a safe amount of government ‘advice’? Have we not passed our limits already? I used to wear a film badge to monitor my exposure to radiation, can we devise an app that tells you when you have received a statist propaganda overload?

  • Kevin B

    The great John Brignall who runs the Numberwatch site has a nice analogy for type two diabetes and it’s links to the ‘obesity crisis’.

    We can most simply illustrate this method of creating a scare by means of a parable, thus avoiding the already contaminated vocabulary. Like all analogies, it is inexact, but it illustrates the principle.

    For this recipe you need two classes of virus that share a feature, in this case a high degree of contagiousness, though one is common but relatively bland and the other rare but extremely nasty. Let us call them Coryza and Ebola.

    The first step is to rename the first, using the common feature as an excuse, so we change its name to “type 2 Ebola”.

    The second step is to create maximum coverage using both terms together. This is a process known among stage magicians as misdirection. It creates confusion among readers about the differences between the common and the nasty.

    The third and critical step is then to drop the “type 2” and announce that you are doing “research” into Ebola, thereby forever conflating the two varieties in the public mind. Common and nasty are permanently wedlocked.

    I would post a link, but I upset the spambot and it doesn’t like me posting links anymore.

  • By which she means poor people who are too stupid to be allowed to make their own decisions.

    Indeed, it’s a class thing, pure and simple. The middle and upper-middle class lefties have no problem with the sugar content of a soy cafe latte or Jamie Oliver’s thick chocky pudding, they just don’t like the proles eating sugar. It’s no different from the vicar’s wife lecturing the poor on good housekeeping.

    Incidentally, when I moved to Sakhalin in 2006 I quit using Dolmio and ready-made pasta sauces because they were not available, and took to making my own from cans of chopped tomatoes. When some Dolmio arrived and I was able to buy it, I found it tasted sickly sweet. I’m guessing they need to add it to preserve it, but I’ve never eaten it since for that reason.

  • ams

    I’ve noticed that people are a bit weird about weight. Like your (assumed) intelligence, your weight seems to have something to do with other peoples evaluation of your worth as a human being. They moralize about weight, unconsciously, automatically, and with absolutely no sympathy or self-awareness.

    Nevermind that your diet has very little to do with your body type (unless you eat more than 10,000 calories a day), that poor people can’t live at the gym, and that no one talks about actually trying to improve people’s metabolism through medicine, which might fix the “problem”: If you are overweight, you are a lesser person who can be legitimately abused by your betters. It’s like watching chimps establish a cruel and brutal pecking order. It doesn’t matter that all the suggested lifestyle changes that the overweight person is supposed to adopt are just hair-shirt witchdoctery: You wouldn’t want to encourage them (to what? Survive and pass on traits you disapprove of?), now would you?

    The Air Force nagged me constantly with e-mails about not meeting the American BMI chart. I weighed something like 200 lbs. I wasn’t fat. I passed my PT tests, which is more than I could say for some toothpick types. But I was legally “almost morbidly obese”.

  • ams

    I saw this billboard put up in my city attempting to shame fat children into eating less.

    Children! Elementary school aged children! First of all: They don’t control their diet. Second of all, their bodies are still changing rapidly, and who knows how they’ll develop?

    I don’t know why diet is tied to class, religion, and tribe in that tangled ball of insanity that lives in most people’s minds, but it apparently is.

  • ams

    I’m almost to the point where I regard *all* moralization, and the emotion of shame and guilt as a whole, to be harmful and untrustworthy. It isn’t what it supposedly is. Instead, it seems to be a way for people low on some unconscious social hierarchy to be jerked around by people “above them”.

  • It is like a conspiracy of very boring illuminati.

    The Dulluminati?

  • gneal

    For years, the wise powers that be pushed a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet. And it worked — for some people. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for others. Those other people experimented with their diet, read new research, and discovered that a high-fat, low carbohydrate diet worked for them. Part of the research indicated that long term, consistently high blood sugar was a factor causing type 2 diabetes. So now sugar is the new fat, and must be shamed as brutally as fat was in the 1980’s.

    Unfortunately, the extreme anti-sugar people miss several key points. First, any easily digested carbohydrates, including rice, white flour, and potatoes, are almost as bad as sugar. Second, while reducing sugar and carbohydrates in your diet is one way to control blood sugar, some people achieve the same effect through a combination of heredity, regular exercise, and a little self-control.

    All told, I’m OK with pushing a “excess sugar and carbohydrates may be bad for your health” message. Unfortunately, we’ve already seen instances where the government has decided that information simply isn’t enough and has tried to exert additional control: the sugar tax, limits on drink sizes, etc.

  • Alex11

    Mr Ed, thanks for pointing out that the Mars site requires your birthday, as you need to be over 16. Incredible.
    It was happy when I entered 1st January 1800 though (lucky nobody under 16 would ever lie about their age).
    And I see the website front page was written by joyless authoritarians.
    Happily I find that boycotting firms that lick the boots of politicians greatly simplifies decision-making when I shop.

  • Tedd

    It makes sense to me to protest coercive force used to change people’s eating habits. But that doesn’t mean that a stopped clock isn’t sometimes briefly correct. If you live in North America then you almost certainly eat more sugar than you should, unless you’ve already taken steps to reduce it. And that is presumably true in some other countries, though perhaps to a lesser degree. The fact that odious people are starting to notice and take advantage of that fact doesn’t change the fact.

  • Mr Ed

    Alex11, Indeed, but I hope that you didn’t put in a false dob past your bedtime, that would be naughty if you are under 16. It’s worth looking in full at the front page of the Mars site:

    Age Check

    Please enter your date of birth below.

    Our promise
    As a responsible manufacturer, and in line with our Marketing Code, we need* to check your age to ensure that we adhere to our commitment to market our brands responsibly.

    Promoting products responsibly
    For more information about how we only promote our products responsibly, please follow the link to the Mars Marketing Code.

    Please enable cookies in your browser to use this site.

    How long before some tusk** complains that the terms ‘cookies‘ sends out ‘the wrong message’ about proper eating and should be banned?

    *No, they don’t need to. They just want to cringe, and not be regulated.

    **Tyrannical, useless, scumbag killjoy.

  • Laird

    “Happily I find that boycotting firms that lick the boots of politicians greatly simplifies decision-making when I shop.”

    I’m not sure how that works, since except for the occasional post such as this one I often don’t know which firms are licking the boots of politicians. Perhaps someone could start a website with a database?

    As to the substance of this post, Tedd is certainly correct that many in the west (the US particularly) consume far more processed sugar than is good for us. I’m as guilty as anyone. (And carbohydrates are merely complex sugars, so they are just as bad.) Being reminded of this is no bad thing. But the health scare-mongerers have been almost universally been proven wrong, and it is right to ridicule them. Saturated fats were bad; now research shows that they’re necessary and good for you (in moderation, but that’s true for everything). Eggs were bad; now they’re good. Salt lead to high blood pressure; new research shows that’s wrong. The high-carb, low-fat diet was (and, to some extent, still is) being pushed by the government and the medical community; now we know that’s wrong, too. In fact, the raw data used in the NIH research of 40+ years ago which lead to that conclusion had been reexamined by modern researchers using more sophisticated analytical techniques, and they’ve shown that the data was completely misunderstood and the recommendations are nearly 180 degrees wrong. The whole “food pyramid” pushed by the government is based on pseudo-science and is clearly wrong, yet it’s still being treated as received wisdom and is even taught in medical schools.

    The lesson from all this is that whatever passes for “science” when promulgated by a government (or a quango) should be viewed with extreme skepticism, and the presumption should be that it is completely wrong. Woody Allen may yet be proven entirely correct.

  • Ben

    “Official” advice is the reason we have a significant increase in obesity, heart disease and diabetes. This started with the demonisation of saturated fat and promotion of the food pyramid loaded with carbs. I don’t think the advice is getting any better.

    Even the “5 a day” fruit and veg rule, which most people would consider to be received wisdom, is groundless. It was started in 1991 as a marketing campaign by Produce for Better Health Foundation, a food producers group which is funded by the likes of Pepsi, Del Monte, Walmart, Tropicana and Monsanto.

  • Juliet 46

    Sod you Dolmio, I’m going to eat you more often than I did before….Ooh clever Dolmio

  • Sigivald

    Generally speaking, if a nutritionist says something, I ignore it.

    One might almost benefit from doing the opposite, but that’s a bit too blindly reactionary.

    “Nutritionists” are not, it turns out, actually experts – in both the US and UK the term is completely unregulated, requiring no qualifications whatsoever to use.

    Any hippie fool can decide they’re a “nutritionist” and start talking nonsense, and other fools somehow believe them.

  • Alisa

    ams, you are of course correct that “fat” people (however defined) are the main targets of anyone who enjoys pocking their noses into the lives of others. But on the other hand, note also the ongoing campaign against female fashion models who are supposedly too thin, the excuse being that they serve as bad examples to young girls who presumably hold them as their role models. Which is not to say that there aren’t many people who are too fat or too thin for their own good, but just to show that these would-be authorities on all things good and healthy will always find a reason to meddle in things that should be none of their damned business.

  • Alex

    Yes, the demonisation of fat in the 80s, 90s and early 00s is instructive. The rapid switch away from saturated fats of animal origin to unsaturated vegetable fats was initially regarded as being hugely beneficial and butter et al were demonised as unhealthy. Of course the reality is far more complex and trans fats are now thought to be much more harmful to health. Ironically the drive to eradicate trans fats has largely resulted in the substitution of palm oil, which has similar potential health risks to trans fats. If these “experts” had more self-awareness they might realise the whole approach is counter-productive. Faddish eating does not promote good health.

    Sugar, particularly those sugars naturally occurring in fruit and vegetables, is not harmful to health in the levels found in such ingredients. Of course some of these sauces and foods have added sugar, which is a little odd. I am however much more concerned with artificial sweeteners and artificial fats. The risks associated with sugars are well known, the health risks posed by artificial sweeteners are less clear.

  • Alisa

    “Nutritionists” are not, it turns out, actually experts – in both the US and UK the term is completely unregulated, requiring no qualifications whatsoever to use.

    Well, MDs are highly regulated and qualified by highly-regulated institutions, and yet they can talk as much, if not more, nonsense.

  • Snorri Godhi

    As others have hinted, the problem is not that sugar is harmless: trust me, it isn’t. The problem is that most governments have not yet repudiated their advice against saturated fat. It is difficult for people to avoid both sugar and saturated fat, and if they do manage that, they are bound to gorge on unrefined carbohydrates, which as pointed out above are almost as bad as refined sugar. (Which does not prevent me from taking a daily dose in the form of beer.)

    The Swedish government did the right thing for once and encouraged people to adopt low-carb diets. I wonder whether this goes against the interests of the ruling classes, though: one of the 2 most important benefits of cutting down on the carbs, for me, is better brain function, and the ruling class does not want us to think for ourselves. (This might also explain why low-carb diets are popular with libertarians.)
    The other major benefit is that i never feel hungry, though this might be the same thing: it’s difficult to think clearly when i feel hungry.

  • Rob Fisher (Surrey)

    If sugar and carbs are so bad, why am I so healthy? Or am I unknowingly walking around with a fatty liver or something? Or is my dosage actually ok?

  • Alisa

    Here is a radical idea: different foods may be good/bad for different people.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Alisa! Turn around, hands against the wall, you know the drill! Adam, frisk her!!

  • Rob Fisher (Surrey)

    Not sure I even believe that trans fats are particularly more harmful than anything else.

  • Julie near Chicago

    It’s been bugging me for a long time, whether those of us who were in grade school (grades 1-8) between Fall, 1949 and Spring, 1957 were taught the “7 Basic Food Groups” or the “5 Basic Food Groups.” I have just spent some time in the cyberstacks, and the first result I found was also the most helpful. It consists of a thesis (probably a Bachelor’s, given the length of 77 pp. and the notation that the author has a B.Sc.) by a Suzanne van der Meijden, from the Univ. of Utrecht, dated 2015. The point of the paper is to examine the various factions of the food industry’s effects on Dutch governmental food policy, but it contains information on both the Seven and the Five, with diagrams, and notes where the U.S. versions differed from the Dutch. Excerpt from the Abstract: Interesting….

    [Then I checked the Foot. It’s interesting but has red flags saying “unreliable” all over it, in my opinion. ‘Nuff said.]

    I’ve probably mentioned (surely not ranted!) it before, but when I was a kid meat and fish were definitely honored parts of a healthy diet, as were eggs (“nature’s perfect food,” though this slogan is probably invented by the egg producers — no no no you ninny, not the hens, the chicken farmers!), vegetables, and fruit. Going by the thesis, it would seem that the change from Seven to Five occurred, in the Netherlands at least, while I was in grade school. Maybe the change was made, at least in some U.S. grade-school texts, during my years there?

    The groups do include “butter or margarine” in one category. After Grandpa got rid of his five dairy cows, we had to switch to margarine (also known as “oleo”) due to Slim-Wallet Synrome. So from age 8 or 9 at most (and maybe from age 7) I grew up on oleo, except on the rare occasions when we ate out. I gave the stuff up and never looked back, because Butter Tastes Better, once I left home, but the exposure doesn’t seem to have killed me.

    We all ate all the meat we could get, not enough for those of us whose families suffered the SWS mentioned above, as well as potatoes and veg. But in those years, farm families tended to have big gardens (as a direct result of which I detest gardening to this day), so all kinds veg including such weirdies as okra and, in our case, ground cherries (very very small husk tomatoes) were available in abundance. Our mothers and grandmothers spent the best hours of their summers dealing with Canning….

    And I never believed that we should eschew (!) meat/fish/dairy/eggs/butter in favor of “carbs” (“Everybody Knew” that too much reliance on potatoes and bread and noodles, as opposed to a balanced diet, including healthy portions of Disfavored Foods, was the reason why so many poor people — especially the mammas — in the slums tended to be fat. They couldn’t afford the good stuff! Or so I thought when the anti-real-food fad hit).

    . . .

    From the Abstract:

    During the 1980s educators found that consumers were eager to take personal responsibility, and therefore were no longer interested in strict guidelines. Unfortunately, in the 1990s it became clear that consumers were unable to educate themselves, because scientists, government, media, food industry and educators were all conveying a different message. This has resulted in the authority crisis the Dutch find themselves in today, where they no longer know what to eat and whom to trust.

    [ !!! –J.]

    From the thesis, descriptions of the Seven and the Five:

    – – –
    pdf page 17:

    The National Wartime Food Guide, published by the USDA in 1943. The [seven] represented groups were:

    1. green and yellow vegetables;
    2. oranges, tomatoes and grapefruit;
    3. potatoes and other vegetables and fruits;
    4. milk and milk products;
    5. meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dried pies and beans;
    6. bread, flour, and cereals;
    7. butter and fortified margarine.

    The food guide did not dictate exactly how much of each group one should eat per day, only that to keep healthy “eat some food from each group… every day”.
    ….Mudry, J. 2009. Measured Meals: Nutrition in America. Albany: State University of New York Press. 65.

    – – –
    pdf page 19:

    [In the Netherlands,] the final design was realized on December 30th 1952. [This “Five Basic Groups” became known as “The Wheel of Five.]

    A pie chart [is shown,] consisting of five sections, each representing a particular food group. The groups were:

    1. milk and milk products;
    2. potatoes and vegetables and fruits;
    3. cheese and meat or fish or legumes or egg;
    4. butter or fortified margarine and for the young mothers to be cod-liver oil;
    5. brown bread or rye bread or grain products.

    The message to the public was that one needed something out of each group, each day and a product out of the dairy group at each meal.
    ….Bast, T. Van Schaarste naar Overvloed: 70 Jaar Voedselvoorlichting in Nederland. 2014. The Hague: Stichting Voedingscentrum Nederland Uitg, 2014. 30.

    […T]he precursor of the modern Wheel of Five closely resembled the American Basic Seven. There were, however, various interesting differences between this design and the Basic Seven, the most striking of which are listed below. [See source, pdf p.19.]

    – – – –

    . . .


    1. Ixquick search for exact string, including quotation marks:

    “seven food groups” 1952

    2. Ixquick result, headed

    Open Access version via Utrecht University Repository

    links directly to the pdf of the thesis, which is downloaded automatically, from the site

    http://dspace.library.uu.nl/bitstream/handle/1874/319544/Thesis Suzanne van der Meijden.pdf?sequence=2.

  • Julie near Chicago

    Alisa, the link was strictly an FYI in case anybody was interested in the Foot on the issue. :>)

  • Alisa,
    I second you on Cayleygraph. That was ace.

    But… Let me cite A-Level Chemistry and Biology…

    If you don’t have sugars you die.

    If you don’t have fats you die.

    If you don’t have salts you die.

    But hey! don’t believe the science-guy. I mean if the the glove doesn’t fit you must acquit!

    My wife is a vegan. he is very healthy (she runs half-marathons and such) but she is very careful about her diet. She has to be more careful than me. I subsist on burgers, Stella and pizza. I don’t run half-marathons but I can walk to Sayeed’s corner shop for a Coke and 20 Mayfair. I call that exercise.

    I also have a strong right wrist mainly from ales but also an element of self-pollution.

    I have done questionable things and I am glad (mainly because they were fun) but also because if you don’t question what is the point?

    About 15 years ago there was a snowstorm in Gateshead. I yanked my old sledge up Hill 60 and went at a running leap onto it face down. My friends thought me mental and I did (almost) crash into a fence and go through a greenhouse.

    What is life for without the risk of death?

    My mother has junked that sled. She also did that with my Northern Extremes boots. Not telling me, natch. But I reserve the right to try and spacker myself in interesting ways.

  • I missed an “S”. Clearly my wife is “She” not “He”. It might be “Liberty Hall” round this gaff but we do have standards. Well, Lizzy and I do. The cat is not quite on message here.

  • gongcult

    Sometimes I think we forgot about the major food groups that make life fun: alcohol, nicotine, fats, sugar, starches and caffeine (feel free to add some as this list may not be inclusive) This might be the result of some whacked out dietary Puritanism- like Mencken puts it” the sneaking suspicion that someone might be having fun” …

  • Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    the whole point is to have another ‘War’ that governments can use to expand their powers! With all those states letting marijuana be legally sold, the powers that bedazzle need another excuse to exist. They’ve found a new drug to wage war on, though I can’t recall any books about the War on poverty, or the War on Cannabis…. And when will they make movies about it?

  • Mr Ed

    Here’s a simple principle for nutrition humans, look at the teeth in a full structure of dentition. From that consider how your teeth vary (or would if you retained them) from those in a cow and those in a cat, and how they resemble those in a chimpanzee. Humans have teeth for an onmivorous diet, and we don’t have four stomachs, nor do we chew our cud or (there may be some exceptions who have particular preferences) engage in coprophagia.

    From that, we may gain an insight into what mix of food is likely to suit us, taking into account our digestive capabilities, personal circumstances and thanks to bridled capitalism and free-ish trade and our capabilities to preserve, cook, season and combine foods, and our insights into vitamins, our personal tastes.

  • Mr Ed

    And just after my last post, I saw this, ‘Being fat saved my life‘, says a Scottish lady crushed by a bus.

    Praise the Lord and pass the deep-friend Mars Bars!

  • Snorri Godhi

    the whole point is to have another ‘War’ that governments can use to expand their powers!

    Right on! if we are talking politics, then this is all what needs to be said. Actually, there is something else to say about politics: governments should do penance and repudiate the bad advice they gave, before giving new advice which is difficult to reconcile with the old.

    We are way past that stage in this thread, however: now we are talking about nutrition, not politics. For instance:

    If you don’t have sugars you die.

    AFAIK this is false: there are essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, but no essential carbohydrates. You are going to get some carbs if you eat any vegetables, anyway.

    Here is a radical idea: different foods may be good/bad for different people.

    This is certainly true, though not quite radical. In fact, there was an article on the BBC about a lab in Israel that aims at prescribing a personalized diet (for a fee, presumably) to anybody in the world who sends them a stool sample. Meanwhile, all we can do is self-experimentation.

    Apparently, the Duke of Wellington survived on a rice-based diet, and still had enough brainpower to beat Napoleon; but who knows? perhaps with a low-carb diet he could have beaten Napoleon without Blücher’s help.

    I myself remained slim for a long time on a diet relatively poor in meat, eggs, and butter: i started getting fat at a time when i was served 2 meat-based meals a day. But slim does not mean healthy: i was irritable, easily tired (mentally), and often hungry. I had also trouble putting on muscle, which led to shoulder injuries and eventually shoulder surgery. I thought i was just born that way, but i wasn’t.

  • The Duke of Wellington liked kedgeree, an Indian dish which is rice and fish. Maybe the fish gave him the brain power to beat Napoleon and the rice gave him the stamina. He was also rather indifferent to food. On one occasion, he ate an egg absent-mindedly at breakfast while musing plans, then remarked, “By the way, was your egg good, for mine was quite rotten?” A Spanish nobleman who travelled with him on a journey of many days across Europe said that during it he had often asked the Duke when they would set out next day and what would be for breakfast, and this experience meant he now felt great horror whenever he heard “les deus mots ‘daylight’ et ‘cold meat'”.

  • Snorri,
    Perhaps I should have been clearer. I wasn’t saying you need sugar in the form of sugar in sweets and such but at some point carbs become sugar in your system and they are the essential energy system of the body. Yes, obviuosly you can get these from carrots say.

    I had forgotten about the essential amino acids.

  • Paul Marks

    Do many people eat too much sugar?

    Yes we do – and we harm our health by doing so.

    Is this any business of the Sword of State?

    No it is not.

  • Andrew Duffin

    “Mars, owner of Dolmio…”

    Who knew?

    Every day’s an education!

  • AFT

    Surely suggesting that trans fats might be worse for you that the alternative – cis fats presumably – must count as hate speech, no?

  • Bruce

    We got the same “surge” in “sugar hate” here in Oz, a major sugar-producing country, at almost exactly the same time.



    UN conspiracy?

    All of the above?

    All of this “interconnectedness” has up-sides and downsides.

  • Nicholas (Excentrality!) Gray

    Our Transport Workers Union tried a variant of this- a ‘war’ against accidents. Truck drivers would have had to set minimum rates set by a tribunal, which would have ‘co-incidentally’ driven thousands of them out of business here in Australia. It was all done with the stated aim of ensuring the drivers’ safety, by ensuring they didn’t work long hours, etc. The previous Labor government set it up, and the current Liberal government has just repealed it, after extensive campaigning by truck-drivers, most of whom are self-employed.
    We will be having an election soon, and Labor keep talking about re-introducing something like it.

  • Mr Ed

    The Duke of Wellington liked kedgeree, an Indian dish which is rice and fish. Maybe the fish gave him the brain power to beat Napoleon and the rice gave him the stamina. He was also rather indifferent to food.

    And this was before the (perhaps apocryphal) incident of Lord Uxbrigde’s leg, one of the few limbs to merit its own page on Wikipedia, which might put anyone off food for a time.

    he was close to the Duke of Wellington when his leg was hit, and exclaimed, “By God, sir, I’ve lost my leg!”, to which Wellington replied “By God, sir, so you have!”

    That’s a war, sport.

    The good Earl (and later Marquess of Anglesey) has more:

    A further anecdote reports him saying “Who would not lose a leg for such a victory?” The saw used to amputate his leg is held by the National Army Museum.Uxbridge was offered an annual pension of £1,200 in compensation for the loss of his leg, which he refused.

    And the severed leg took on a ‘death of its own’, as it were, being buried with its own tombstone and inscription:

    Here lies the Leg of the illustrious and valiant Earl Uxbridge, Lieutenant-General of His Britannic Majesty, Commander in Chief of the English, Belgian and Dutch cavalry, wounded on the 18 June 1815 at the memorable battle of Waterloo, who, by his heroism, assisted in the triumph of the cause of mankind, gloriously decided by the resounding victory of the said day.

  • gongcult

    Another fun fact winemakers and brewers regularly use sugar to crank up the alcohol . Our brewery Marzbrewing.com adds beet sugar to crank up the Earl Of Ragnar to 12% Are we evil for that ?

  • Phil

    I fully take on board what many are saying here. I am completely fine with people consuming whatever they want. However there is a problem with overconsumption and inadequate diets. The majority of all ill health is lifestyle realted and we have socialised healthcare in the UK which means I have to pay for others peoples love of over consumption. Get rid of socialised healthcare, remove any state benefit awards for obesity or conditions that come as the result of lifestyle choices and set premiums according to regularly reviewed evidence based data and then I am completely down with people eating whatever they like and whenever they like. The issue for me isnt choice but government emptying my pocket to pay for other peoples decisions. Once I am free of that obligation I am all for choice. Knock yourselves out and wash that KFC down with a gallon of coke just dont make me pay for your insulin, rent or mobility scooter.