Boffins at the University of Otago have tested the blood of 3000 randomly chosen people over the age of 15.
Seven per cent of them had diabetes. That’s over 200 people. A further 18 per cent had early signs of diabetes. That’s over 500 people. Together, they’re more than a quarter of the people tested. That’s an epidemic.
Meanwhile, across the ocean at the University of California, more boffins have been bent over the test tubes and the stats. As you’d expect, their study dwarfed the local one.
They analysed the incidence of diabetes in 175 countries. Effectively that means everywhere. And they found that if the amount of sugar in a national food supply goes up, so does the incidence of diabetes. …
As for education, every youth in the country has been bombarded with dietary advice from here to my Aunt Fanny. They’ve been told about five-plus-a-day, the evils of burgers, the wonder of veges, the joys of exercise and the way to radiant health. The result: the chubbiest generation in the history of our species.
So, if people cannot be taught to do themselves good, they will have to be forced. We need to set a date by which New Zealand shall be sugar-free: 2025 feels about right. Then we need to work towards it.
Bennett is being satirical, but I suspect there lobby groups will soon be pushing for this!
Money’s always a good place to start. There needs to be a tax on sugar, a tax that rises automatically and drastically at the start of every year. That’ll get them yelping.
Next comes plain packaging. We all know the sophistication of the marketing buggers, how they hook kids on to brands by association. Well, brands will be dead.
In the fizzy-drinks business, for example, there’ll be no more Pepsi or Coke or Fanta or Mountain Bloody Dew, with their pretty colours and their brand insignia. No, they’ll all just come in plain metal tubes labelled “Flavoured Sugar-laden Poison”.
Schools will become sugar-free zones. In the period before abolition, lollies will be hidden from view in dairies and sold only to over-18s. Anyone supplying sugar to minors will be liable to a fine or a term of imprisonment.
Parents eating icecream in front of their kids won’t just get a finger-wagging. They’ll have their kids taken into care. And it will all be enforced by us, the sugar cops.
Joe shouldn’t write the Green Party manifesto for them!