Keith Newbery: Diet experts are the ‘fat cats’ these days

FEARS are being expressed that Britain may be waddling its way towards an obesity crisis.

One thing is certain, doctors and ‘diet experts’ are becoming ever fatter cats as they come up with silly ideas to forestall this adipose armageddon.

Latest suggestions include a 20 per cent tax on sugar-laden soft drinks, and the banning of junk-food advertisements on television before the 9pm watershed.

So let me get this straight.

If we slap 10p on a can of cola and tuck the kids up in bed just as the opening credits for Ripper Street start to roll, we will have playing fields teeming with fit, skinny youngsters before we know it.

It would be remiss of me not to point out a couple of minor flaws in this laughably idealistic concept.

The big stores will immediately get round the cola tax by using soft drinks as loss leaders.

Plus, it is fanciful in the extreme to expect kids to forget all about the taste and easy availability of burgers just because they don’t happen to see them advertised on the box every night.

So why do the ‘experts’ continue to pussyfoot around the issue of the irresistible rise of the butterball generation in this country?

Why do they continue to come up with fatuous little schemes rather than get to grips with the root causes of obesity, which are ignorance and gluttony?

Why are they wary of using words like fat and indolent to describe people who are, well, fat and indolent?

We treat obesity as if it were some delicate disease visited upon innocent and helpless victims, rather than the inevitable consequence of weak-willed people who continue to indulge themselves and expect others to pick up the considerable bill.

They expect the state (ie you and me) to provide them with everything from king-sized beds to round-the-clock nursing.

In the meantime, they continue to stuff their faces and demand expensive gastric band operations on the NHS, instead of being subjected to a bit of straight talking about diets and self-control.

Indeed, home truths are the only things some obese people appear to find unpalatable.

It is easy to donate if you are megarich

SIR Richard Branson has come to the conclusion that ‘stuff’ – by which he means private islands and personal jets – does not mean anything.

So he has decided to donate half his fortune to charity – which means he will have only a couple of billion to get by on.

It would be churlish not to acknowledge his generosity in deciding to join the Giving Pledge campaign, which was originally set up by some other megarich billionaires worldwide.

But it would be equally unfair not to point out that it’s only those who have a lot of ‘stuff’ who can dismiss its importance.

The rest of us – while continuing to do our bit for charity by giving whatever we can afford – wouldn’t mind a bit more ‘stuff’ of our own.