Blog: Chris Brook-CarterFat attack

Chris Brook-Carter | 10 August 2004

Whose responsibility is obesity exactly? Or, in less politically correct terms, whose fault are fat people?

It is a question the food and drinks industries are having to face up to very quickly in a culture which looks to blame everyone and everything for society's woes except the individuals and individual choices, which are most responsible for them.

Though the issue is of course complex, the uphill battle the drinks and food industries face in order to avoid being made the patsy for our increasing waistlines was demonstrated in a story in the UK press this week.

A new 1,000 calorie kebab has been dubbed the most dangerous fast food in the UK's press.
Called "The Stonner" it is a pork sausage wrapped in doner kebab meat coated in batter and deep fried. It contains 46 grams of fat and is double the calories of a Big Mac.

It is being sold by Glasgow's Ruby Chip Shop, which has gone so far as to put a health warning on its new offering. A notice in the window reads: "Due to the severe health damage of this fine dish we can only supply one Stonner supper per customer per week."

Despite this, the product is apparently a fly away success, with customers queuing up to try it.

But it is the repsonse of the local health authorities which is telling. Michael Lean, professor of human nutrition at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, said: "This type of thing leads to poor health. It doesn't take a lot of common sense to see that it is a stupid thing to be producing."

Yet, no one is forcing Glasgow's populace to buy and eat these packaged heart attacks. For goodness sake, the owners are even putting a health warning on the product - hardly a text book piece of marketing - and people are still making a free choice to buy them.

Surely this is a "stupid thing to consume" rather than a "stupid thing to be producing".


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