Meddlesome nanny statists are now after your weekly (daily?) fill of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), if recent comments from a leading ‘health campaigner’ are to be believed.
Not satisfied with the recent attacks on cigarettes, alcohol, and even fruit juice, ‘anti-Big-Food’ campaigner Dr Gabrielle Jenkin, of the Otago University of Wellington in New Zealand revealed her disdain for one specific fast food chain in an interview with Stuff.co.nz.
Speaking on the subject of health and obesity last week, Jenkin commented: “We’ve got a really big problem and we can’t stop it. It’s not just ‘shock horror, people are a bit fatter’. There are real health consequences.”
And she may be right, but her solution, rather than independent education and awareness campaigns, seems to involve attempting to name and shame food outlets that she personally dislikes.
Complaining about reality TV shows featuring fat people, Jenkin said: “The message is ‘Get your big arse off the sofa’, rather than ‘Stop the KFC opening across the road’.”
She continued later, “New Zealand is appalling. You’re sniffing KFC wherever you go.”
Clearly Jenkin has a problem with the Colonel’s secret recipe. But one columnist shot back: “Much of the research is shonky [unreliable].”
Deborah Coddington continued: “I don’t wish to live in a country which treats addictive people like this all the time. It’s not as if fat people hurt anyone else. We know junk food is bad for us but sometimes we like to eat it anyway. If it kills us is that the business of well-meaning but fanatic academics? We already pay hefty taxes for the health system, just as they do.
“All food doesn’t have to be healthy. Why can’t we tuck into pies, pavlova, fizzy, lollies and icecream without counting sugar or fat? Tax them away? Might as well lose the will to live.”
Jenkin has been on the front lines of what she calls the battle against ‘Big Food’ for a while. She has called for bans on McDonald’s Happy Meals containing toys, and even takes issue with Coca-Cola’s “Open Happiness” campaign.
Food and Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich replied: “The idea of banning free toys and characters sometimes makes me think these people have forgotten the joys of childhood.
“Ultimately, controlling what children ate was a parental responsibility… Children don’t stroll in to McDonald’s on their own.”