Tuesday, October 14, 2008

No sugar, no Marmite, no tomato ketchup - no freedom?

News filters in today that a school in Wales has banned 11-18 year olds from having sugar in tea, because of the "risks to health". This follows other bans in Welsh schools on Marmite (too salty) and tomato ketchup (too processed).

I'm glad my daughter is not at school in the principality. Though we eat healthily as a family (even the Wii Fit thinks we are fit), Marmite, tomato ketchup, and yes, even a bit of sugar are definitely on our menu. We eat them in moderation, just like we have the odd glass of wine (not my daughter, obviously), rare steak, an occasional bar of chocolate and (whisper it gently) sticky toffee pudding and cream.

I'm well aware of the effects of diet on health. My father, a heavy smoker and eater of a fatty diet, died of a heart attack when I was 9 years old. I keep myself pretty fit. My wife was, for ten years, Education Director of the British Heart Foundation, She knows a healthy meal when she sees one.

But banning everything that may cause health problems is ludicrous. Schools should be educating children about healthy choices. Pass the Marmite.

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