The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

Soapbox: From your tether unwind

Posted on January 23, 2016 by

Governments, of all political stripes and nations, are often accused of being control freaks bent on constructing and enforcing a “nanny state”, where citizens’ freedoms are arbitrarily curtailed under a pretence of it all being for their own good.

Things from banning smoking and routinely snooping on private emails to forbidding people from wearing certain types of hats or expressing unpopular opinions (or even popular ones simply deemed unacceptable by a self-selecting elite) are justified for all sorts of social and economic reasons.


But where, if anywhere, should the line be drawn?

From this writer’s perspective, there are clear distinctions between the two types of banning, fundamentally centred on whether the exercising of a given individual liberty can have a direct detrimental effect on others.

In the case of smoking, the evidence proving harm to non-smokers in the vicinity of the smoker is beyond any rational doubt. In the case of minimum pricing of alcohol, drink is a factor in a very large percentage of violent crime (we expounded on that theme last year in the first ever Soapbox column), and there’s at least an arguable case that making booze less accessible is a blunt but effective tool in reducing it.

And in the case of the Offensive Behaviour (Football) Act – which is “controversial” in the hive mind of the media commentariat but MASSIVELY supported by the general public – it’s not the expression of views in itself that’s being tackled, but the specific and historically unquestionable context of those views being deliberately used for the purpose of provoking serious public disorder.

(Normally described as the “shouting ‘FIRE!’ in a crowded theatre” scenario, where the phrase itself is not the issue, but the likely consequences. Very few people will argue for the right to shout “FIRE!” in a crowded theatre on free-speech grounds.)

The proposed “sugar tax” recently occupying the Scottish press falls very firmly into the “nanny state” category. Nobody ever died because somebody standing near them ate too many Wine Gums. Consumption of sweet treats is a vice which harms only the user, and ought to be none of anyone else’s business.

Yet pundits are lining up to back it, right across the political spectrum. Pat Kane in the National, Kenny Farquharson in the Times and Mike Small of Bella Caledonia in the Herald have all popped up in newspapers recently advocating sanctions against poor people who enjoy a can of Pepsi or a Twix, often using the “Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the children?” line that even The Simpsons couldn’t entirely discredit.

(Children have no independent access to money. If parents want to prevent them mainlining the sweet stuff they have the matter entirely within their control.)

The primary justification, though, is on health grounds. Sugar, it is said (and quite correctly so), is a factor in obesity, tooth decay and diabetes and reduces lifespan. To which my response is “Yeah, so what?”

Nobody with an IQ over 50 is in ignorance about what sugar does. As alert readers will be aware, my dental records are about to be published by the BMA in a four-volume set, and my dad (who it should be noted eats his vegetables and doesn’t have an especially sweet tooth) has diabetes, so I know the consequences.

But I’d rather enjoy my life and then die than endure a miserable existence on rice cakes, cauliflower and drinks stuffed with foul-tasting and highly questionable artificial chemical sweeteners just so that I can have an extra 10 years of frail old age, going in and out of hospital, dying by inches over a wretched eternity of years like I’ve seen happen to several relatives.

And what right has the state to interfere in that choice? Indeed, the state should be delighted – the greatest service that a citizen can ever perform, from a government’s perspective, is to die the day before they’re due to start collecting their pension. The older you get the more you cost taxpayers, whether it’s in healthcare, social care or perks like winter fuel payments and free bus travel.

(This is, I should emphasise, NOT a plea for the elderly to commit suicide to reduce the burden on society. We’re talking about an individual’s freedom here. If you’re 90 and you love your life and want every last day you can squeeze out of it, good luck to you. You’ve earned it.)

Patronising do-gooders have already ruined most soft drinks, even before they lump a hefty tax onto them. Under constant pressure from the “EVERYBODY MUST LIVE FOREVER” lobby, practically every variety you’ll find on the shelves of your local supermarket is now poisoned with aspartame or saccharin or acesulfame-K or stevia or some other ungodly, unnatural processed additive that makes once-delicious Tizer or Red Kola taste like the inside of a dirty oilcan.

(Pretty much only Coke, Pepsi, 7-Up and Irn-Bru are now immune from the Vile Sweetener Menace. It’s not enough that almost every other brand already has a diet version for those who want it – almost all of the normal ones, most recently Sprite and Lucozade, have also been befouled by mixing sweeteners in with the real thing. Good luck finding any sort of poison-free lemonade to put in your vodka.)

Of course, pretending to care about health suits the manufacturers just fine, because sweeteners are a lot cheaper than sugar. (Why do you think the cheapest and nastiest economy-brand lemonades are all-sweetener?) A sugar tax won’t hurt corporations.

The people who’ll suffer the most are those who enjoy a simple, inexpensive pleasure that hurts nobody else, at a time when brutal Tory austerity is squeezing almost every other joy out of their life. So please, simpering tree-huggers, sod off and keep your smug, filthy, quinoa-stained hands out of my Frosties.


Soapbox is a weekend column designed to provoke debate on non-party-political issues. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Wings Over Scotland, except when we write them ourselves, obviously.

If you’d like to contribute a Soapbox piece (ideally 800-1500 words), send it to us via our Contact page, INCLUDING THE WORD ‘SOAPBOX’ IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

Print Friendly

    1 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

    1. 23 01 16 13:43

      Soapbox: From your tether unwind | Speymouth

    332 to “Soapbox: From your tether unwind”

    1. Giesabrek says:

      But that’s the thing Stu, excessive consumption of alcohol, sugar, fat, etc can harm society as a whole by unnecessarily burdening the healthcare system. All those billions spent dealing with the effects of obesity could be spent on treating cancer, etc. This is especially relevant in a country where you don’t pay directly for your healthcare.

      Just like minimum alcohol pricing, sugar and fat taxes are blunt instruments in dealing with the healthcare problems they cause, but as you say regarding minimum alcohol pricing, perhaps a sugar tax could be effective, especially if used to subsidise healthy but currently more expensive healthy foods, such as fruit and vegetables.

    2. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “But that’s the thing Stu, excessive consumption of alcohol, sugar, fat, etc can harm society as a whole by unnecessarily burdening the healthcare system”

      No, fuck off. That’s the whole point I just laid out. Sugar will almost certainly kill me years early, saving the state an exponentially greater amount of money than the relative peanuts it might cost to give me a bit of insulin or a gastric band.

      (Some tried to apply the same argument to smoking, but the problem there is while it’s very likely true purely on the economic grounds, smoking seriously harms people other than the smoker, against their will, and is therefore indefensible.)

      I don’t avoid vegetables because they cost too much, I avoid them because they taste like shit compared to Fruit Pastilles and I don’t want to live another 20 years if it means I have to spend them all eating fucking turnips.

    3. Chas says:

      The counter argument is that obesity is at such a level that it puts a huge drain on the NHS. You can argue this is negated by people dying earlier but that’s a bit glib.

      If you want to avoid a sugar tax, do you instead advocate certain NHS treatments be removed and only available privately? A bit like the dental model where you can get fillings and extractions at a very subsidised rate but if you want your teeth whitened to remove stains caused by poor oral hygene you have to pay full price?

      All great in theory but where do you draw the line? BMI over 25? So 24.99 is ok but 25.01 isn’t?

      Education is the answer but it doesn’t work for everyone.

    4. Martin says:

      Agree about individual freedoms etc, but there’s more to sugar than the end product and I’m not sure our addiction to the stuff only hurts us. In this country maybe, but historically and currently the producers get a pretty bum deal.

      Minor side point of global picture nature though, otherwise I agree. I think of the children by suggesting their access in schools etc be cut. My 4 year old niece has limited sugar exposure and will likely retain good life choices but if you or I, as adults, want a yorkie why not?

    5. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “You can argue this is negated by people dying earlier but that’s a bit glib.”

      It’s not “glib”, it’s true. That’s the whole point. If people DIDN’T die earlier then sugar wouldn’t be bad in the first place, would it?

      “do you instead advocate certain NHS treatments be removed and only available privately?”

      Most non-basic dental treatments already ARE only available privately. These implants I’m getting at the moment – not due to sugar, but to a freak split in a tooth root below the gumline, incidentally – are costing more than my sodding car did.

      “Education is the answer but it doesn’t work for everyone.”

      Bollocks it is. Everyone over the age of four already knows that sugar is bad for your teeth and helps make you fat.

    6. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Have to agree that its another nanny state imposition. Whats more disconcerting is the insidious rise of the use of sweeteners, particularly Aspartame, which is addictive and seems to be mixed in with “ordinary” versions of drinks, not just the “sugar free” ones. The hisory of its introduction through the FDA would “raise eyebrows”.

      I would rather self limit the use of real sugar rather than have disguised sweeteners smuggled into things.

    7. handclapping says:

      And you’ll be the one who sues the airline for making you pay for the two seats you spread across. Come back the days when they weighed you and your luggage together before boarding!

    8. thomaspotter2014 says:

      Rev that’s the best reply I seen for ages

      Pissin masel laughin .


    9. Mick Calder says:

      Couldn’t agree more Rev. Gun control makes sense as the use of guns has a direct impact on
      the wellbeing of others. (Not that many Republicans in the US can see this)

      Whereas trying to make take-aways in Glasgow use healthier ingredients is a blunderbuss approach to make people eat healthier when their eating habits harm only themselves and which ruins a nice chippy for the rest of us.

      PS sorry, as my link to the news article probably won’t work- this technology stuff seems to be getting away from me.

    10. handclapping says:

      As a rough guide to the effects on the NHS you can get a bedpan for 60p, a bariatric one costs £32.

      And who pays for the fire brigade to take you out through a hole in the wall to get you to hospital in the first place?

    11. Marcia says:

      I think we would be wasting our time trying to get you to go to a health farm. 🙂

      I passed a health farm last week – all the cows doing press-ups.

      In seriousness the amount of sugar in small print in so called ‘fat free’ products should be made a bit more clearer, people could then choose to buy. Some people think fat free is sugar free when it ain’t.

    12. Awizgonny says:

      Absofuckinlutely, Rev. Same with salt. And for those who say we can add salt to.our own taste, I ask – how the hell can you add salt to bread? Salt neutralises that godawful sourness that all flour improvers have. It’s a chemical reaction, not a luxury, and happens in the baking process. And bakeries are beginning to reduce salt to the point where it’s a trial rather than a pleasure.
      If you can’t enjoy the simple pleasure of eating bread, what is the fucking point of being here?

    13. IvMoz says:

      What an ignorant & offensive rant, flying in the face of science. The ego has not not landed, it is carrying on unrestrained. You’ve jumped the shark mate.

    14. Fred says:

      Pass the “plain chocolate” Tunnock’s Teacakes, the healthier option!

    15. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “And you’ll be the one who sues the airline for making you pay for the two seats you spread across.”

      I’m 12 and a half stone, which is some way off Jeremy Kyle fat. I could stand to lose a few pounds but it’s not from stuffing my face with cakes, it’s from spending 16 hours a day in front of a computer writing this damn website for three years.

      Since the referendum I’ve eased off a little and managed to get out and exercise a bit more and lost about 9lb, but 2015’s piss-poor summer was no help. Nor was getting a long-term rotator-cuff injury that buggered both of my wet-weather back-ups (punchball and chin-up bar).

    16. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “What an ignorant & offensive rant, flying in the face of science”

      Precisely which science have I flown in the face of, champ?

    17. DerekM says:

      Aye im with you on that one Rev i would much rather smoke,drink and eat lots of sugar and fats and you can as long as you keep yourself fit,will they kill you probably but then whats new we all die of something.

      Yea all the live forever brigade can go fuck themselves as long as we are using radioactive products a wee bit sugar is the least of our worries and they should go and get some perspective on reality instead of being a bunch of dickheads.

    18. Clootie says:

      I support the Revs right to die young (younger)…I think that’s what he wants?
      I’m off to practise my chain saw juggling while BASE jumping.

    19. Col says:

      I make bread all the time at work, the yeast feeds off of the sugar and is key in making your dough rise. There is a fair amount of both salt and sugar in bread and it’s just one of those things we should be aware of when taking into account how we wish our diet to be.
      Roasted garlic and rosemary bread has to be my favourite, with a maldon sea salt crust of course. Yum yum

    20. handclapping says:

      Not getting at you personally Stu, just trying to show that obesity does cost others in the community.

      I enjoy your ‘Strollin with Stuey’ tweets.

    21. Simon says:

      A quiet corner, a few sticks of rhubarb and a sugar poke. Simpler times.

    22. Eric says:

      Stevia is a natural sweetener. It comes from the Stevia plant.

    23. IvMoz says:

      “Consumption of sweet treats is a vice which harms only the user, and ought to be none of anyone else’s business.”

      You can apply that to heroin. However usage of heroin does affect other people just as sugar does. Are you suggesting using heroin is harmless?

      Type 2 diabetes is a growing and serious problem. It can & does lead to problems with vision, kidney problems & heart disease. This then affects other family members.

      Being cavalier & flippant about sugar ingestion is not a good line to take.

    24. Kevin says:


    25. Shug Curtains says:

      Ooh! Rev Stu. You are awful: but I like you.

    26. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Stevia is a natural sweetener. It comes from the Stevia plant.”

      So is sugar. Stevia might be less dodgy than other chemical sweeteners (though it’s a heavily processed derivative), but it still tastes like crap.

    27. Murray McCallum says:

      A parent dying early due to bad diet, say too much fat and sugar, does impact the lives of their children.

      So it does harm more than the user.

      Food manufacturers come across as not really caring about the health of their customers. They successfully lobby to get the minimum impact on their product.

      Tighter regulated and clearer food packaging may be a better start before imposing, e.g. a sugar tax, or imposed limits on some ingredients.

    28. Ian Brotherhood says:

      If you have tears, prepare to shed them…

      Queen, ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ (from ‘Highlander’)

    29. Me Bungo Pony says:

      I agree with the Rev. If I want a “fizzy drink” free of horrendous sweeteners, its nobodies business but mine. It’s not harming others as is the case with smoking and sectarian violence.

      They banned the sale of sugary drinks in the hospital I work in. I only bought a can once or twice a fortnight as a treat if it was a bad day. However, because it was no longer freely available, I had to buy it in the supermarket where it is sold in 6s and 8s. With it now being in the house … well … you inevitably drank it. I went from 1 or 2 cans a fortnight to 1 or 2 cans a day because the anti-sugar brigade took away my freedom of access to a favoured treat. I’ve cut down drastically now but … unintended consequences and all that.

    30. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Not getting at you personally Stu, just trying to show that obesity does cost others in the community.”

      But that’s the whole point – overall, it doesn’t. Any cost of sugar-related illness is hugely outweighed by the fact that early death saves society a fortune.

      (And btw, I’m fine with charging folk for two seats if they occupy two seats. That’s a pretty unarguable case.)

    31. ClanDonald says:

      Ok, how about this argument:

      I’m a biscuit manufacturer who puts hydrogenated fat in my product because it extends shelf life and increases my profit. I use this ingredient despite knowing that it causes cholesterol problems leading to heart disease in the people who eat it.

      Should the government interfere and ban manufacturers from using this product or should people have the freedom to choose whether or not to consume it, even if many of them have never even heard of the dangers?

      And is this a clear example of someone’s actions (the biscuit maker) harming others or should it be seen as the consumer doesn’t harm anyone sitting next to them when they eat these products?

      It should be added that it’s easily possible to produce foodstuff without this ingredient, no-one is stopping anyone from eating cakes and biscuits that don’t contain it.

    32. Wee Folding Bike says:

      Awizgonny, the salt in bread is partly there to control the growth of the yeast so that the bread doesn’t rise too much then collapse.

    33. Jack Murphy says:

      OT. Apoligies if this has been posted earlier.
      ‘Making sense of media coverage as Scotland approaches election’

      “Dr John Robertson brings Part 2 in his series of analysis of TV news in the run-up to the Scottish Parliamentary Elections in May.

      This chapter covers January 15 – 21.”

    34. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “A parent dying early due to bad diet, say too much fat and sugar, does impact the lives of their children.”

      Och, that’s cobblers. Sugar-related early deaths still don’t generally kick in until most folk’s children are in their 40s or 50s. At which point you should already be aware that your parents might die.

    35. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Should the government interfere and ban manufacturers from using this product or should people have the freedom to choose whether or not to consume it, even if many of them have never even heard of the dangers?”

      The second one.

    36. John Jones says:

      Yeah and now they’re trying to put folic acid in our flour.
      Why should we tolerate this? Catering for less than 5% of the population, why should the other 95% have to eat more shit because some women are too lazy to take some pills when they’re either trying to get pregnant or are pregnant?

    37. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “You can apply that to heroin. However usage of heroin does affect other people just as sugar does. Are you suggesting using heroin is harmless?”

      No. And the only reason it affects other people is because it’s illegal. You could take eight thousand tons of heroin while sitting right next to me and it wouldn’t do me the slightest harm. (And in normal quantities it’s not in itself actually very harmful to you either.)

      “Type 2 diabetes is a growing and serious problem. It can & does lead to problems with vision, kidney problems & heart disease. This then affects other family members.”

      I openly acknowledged that sugar can be a factor in diabetes. I pointed out that my dad has it, so I know fine what it does. How have I “flown in the face of science”?

    38. Martin says:

      Sorry IvMoz, I’m a GP and strongly against the misery of drugs, but the reason heroin harms society is because it is illegal, and people inject it. We don’t get dodgy folk robbing us to buy sugar because it’s £1 in Asda, not £20 for a tiny impure sample from Stabby Steve.

    39. Me Bungo Pony says:

      John Jones; Folic acid caters for 100% of the popln as everyone is a foetus in the beginning. Also, it does no one any harm, does a lot of good and does not affect the taste. Nothing to worry about and not quite the same as banning something people like on the say-so of our “betters”.

    40. Capella says:

      Stevia is a natural product derived from the Stevia plant, and isn’t processed more than sugar itself. But it does not affect blood sugar levels and so can be used without causing diabetes. It only tastes nasty if you use too much as only tiny amounts are needed.

      The sugar industry ensured it was illegal for shops to sell Stevia in North America and the EU. Now I see it is added to Coke along with sugar.

      Otherwise I agree with the article. Though I do believe that it is carbohydrates rather than fat which causes health problems. Food manufacturers try to hide that. But if anyone wants to commit suicide by ice-cream (my favourite) then good luck!

    41. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Five-A-Day Fascists!

      ‘Sorry Jimmy, canny come for a pint…just checked my wee hingmy an it sez ah’ve only done eight-thousand-seven-hunner-an-twenty steps the day so ah’m away roon the park again…’

    42. Bob Mack says:

      I take your point Rev. Research has shown that these things are associated with poor health. However

      Science has also created a plethora of medications to deal with illness, and years down the line we find that the medications sometimes have done more harm than good.

      I could cite Thalidomide and Thioridazine as just two of the culprits ,but there are many many more.

      Remember the people that have died during drug trials that were approved for testing. The whole thing is actually a bit hit and miss.

    43. Murray McCallum says:

      I appreciate medical improvements, e.g. in diabetic care and heart disease, have enabled longer life expectancy.

      However, as well as reducing the life of the parent, it also impacts the quality of life the child has with their parent. Many people are having kids well into their 30s and 40s.

      I would prefer better food and packaging regulation. Taxes may become another government vested interest.

    44. Dr Jim says:

      You’re absolutely right Stu and I doubt whether the Scottish Gov will give this house room
      Already Catherine Calderwood our new medic in chief says she doubts it will happen

      There’s nothing wrong with sugar, before we had all these deadly “Fizzy drinks” a kids treat in Glasgow would be pieces on sugar, home made tablet, and every cheap load of crap you could lay your hands on and the only thing that happened was overconsumption made your teeth fall out but here’s the thing very few people were fat (Why?)

      Because they ran or walked it off unlike the lazy fat basket kids of today who can only walk to the “Switty Shop”
      Folk don’t move anymore
      When I was a kid public transport, the bus (which by the way is killing more of us with diesel fumes than sugar)
      was one an hour, and I lived in Glasgow
      If it was less than three miles I had to walk or run coz my Mammy was not going to give me bus fare for that distance

      Hummingbirds wings flutter at about a million miles a minute and they live on sugar they’ve still got their beaks and they do just fine

      If you’re unhealthy to start with chances are you might get diabetes but if you’re healthy you probably won’t, all these flaming do-gooders need to shut their Gubs before the next Ban applies to them (BIG NOSES)(GINGER HAIR)(BANDY LEGS) It could be you (pointy finger)

    45. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Me Bungo Pony –

      ‘…everyone is a foetus in the beginning.’


      Can’t really argue with that.

    46. Karmanaut says:

      Wouldn’t it be better if veg was much cheaper? Then we’d all be healthier. If sugar was taxed, could the money raised be used to subsidise veg somehow? Vouchers off yer spouts or something?

    47. Ian says:

      I prefer to get my information on issues like sugar from scientists who aren’t paid by the food industry and whose work is peer reviewed. Not from general opinions. No idea why you chose to rant about this.

      The food industry promoted margarine as being a healthy alternative only for it to be exposed years later as being far from healthy. Likewise with artificial sweeteners. The idea that people generally know sugar is bad for them is laughable. The effect it has on the brain is pretty complicated and far beyond the how may calories a spoonful has. So what’s next for your opinion – genetically modified foods?

      What’s needed are the best scientific views to determine recommendations as best they can according to current research. Laissez faire doesn’t work when it comes to food. The food industry is way too devious and greedy for that to be a good idea. It’s a complex issue. It was the war on fat that largely led to the huge increase in added sugar in foods. Remove the fat and food often tastes crap. Add sugar and that makes it palatable again. Complex.

      Stick to politics.

    48. frogesque says:


      Keep taking the tablet.

      Only the best Scottish butter, cream and sugar go in mine!

      On the aspartame note, it’s foul stuff and leaves me with a metallic taste in the mouth for about 12 hours or so. Really really nasty.

    49. Awizgonny says:

      @ Wee Folding Bike

      “.. the salt in bread is partly there to control the growth of the yeast so that the bread doesn’t rise too much then collapse.”

      It’s also there to stop the bread tasting like shit.

      Dinner AND a show 🙂

    50. Stephen Sinclair says:

      Why not have an alarm fitted to every fizzy drink can? When you lift it off the shelf a loud speaker attached to the bottom blares out “YOU FAT B*****D. PUT ME DOWN!”. The deeply embarrassed shopper will then put it quietly back where it came from. Within the year he/she will be a svelte, productive, happy smiling citizen. Problem solved. You’re welcome everybody.

    51. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Wouldn’t it be better if veg was much cheaper? Then we’d all be healthier.”

      I wouldn’t be.

    52. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Stick to politics.”

      That phrase is a banning offence. You get one warning, if I’m in a good mood, which I am at the moment because I just had a Freddo.

    53. Diane says:

      Stuart,I have to disagree with you on this one. No-body is going to stop you or anyone else from eating as much of the sweet stuff as you like by putting a tax on it -you just have to pay a bit more for your Irn Bru and Coke. Sugar is an energy source that contains no essential nutrients so taxing it is not going to harm anyone or make them malnourished.

      The problem with sugar is that excessive consumption does create all sorts of health problems and here in Scotland we have a very big problem with over consumption of the white stuff along with a normalisation of that consumption. Our sugar habits are out of control. In 2014, 65% of adults aged 16 and over were overweight, including 28% who were obese.Type 2 diabetes rates are spiralling out of control and being diagnosed at a younger age more often. Type 2 diabetes raises your risk of all sorts of other health problems that are not much fun such as heart disease, blindness, kidney failure and amputations and even cancer and if not curtailed is going to overwhelm our NHS and cause misery and distress to millions of people.

      I don’t think that a sugar tax is going to make a huge difference but it will mark and change of direction from the current free for all green light eat all the sugar you want attitude in our society. It highlights the issue and acknowledges that over consumption of sugar is a problem. It may make people begin to think about it and look at their own consumption levels. In turn this may make food manufacturers begin to reduce the amount of sugar in their products. Sugar is added to everything these days and most of us have no idea how much of it we are consuming hidden in processed foods from baked beans to bread to breakfast cereals and even foods labelled and marketed as ‘natural and healthy’. The food manufacturers love to add it in because it’s addictive and so we buy more of it, great for their profits but not great for our health or our health service.

      Keeping our sugar consumption to safe levels doesn’t mean living a miserable life. It’s not that difficult to adjust and to enjoy eating real whole foods without added sugar. You can still enjoy a wee treat now and then for special occasions. Sugar should be seen that way – enjoyed as a treat in small portions occasionally not eaten every day an seen as a staple necessity.

    54. ClanDonald says:

      Personally I’d keep the sugar but I’d ban the hydrogenated fat, it only benefits the manufacturer but causes great harm to the consumer.

      Should we accept all new products that the food industry brings along just because of the principle of consumer choice? Should we let them introduce any kind of synthetic additive, whether toxic to us or not, just because we think it’s the consumers responsibility to research each product then reject it or not?

      What if the food industry introduced a product tomorrow that gave everyone kidney failure or increased autism in society by 500%?

      Where do you draw the line? Heart disease and diabetes causing food is OK but if they cause cancer and birth defects they’re not OK?

      And how do you make sure the consumer gets the right information so that the’re able to make an informed decision? Half the mums I know think sweeteners are a better choice for their kids than sugar, are they right?

      Also why are cosmetics subject to intensive testing on health grounds but food isn’t? should customers demand the right to use untested and harmful cosmetics because of freedom of choice principles?

      Quite simply we cannot trust the big food manufacturers, they’ll happily poison us all if there’s a few bucks in it for them, they need to be regulated.

    55. Famou15 says:

      Good debate and only one ad hominem culprit (IvMoz)

      Stimulated as I am by the Splenda in my tea my only comment would be that manufacturers of food should print contents at a font size my sugar diminished vision could read.

      Seconds out! Round two!

    56. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Stuart,I have to disagree with you on this one. No-body is going to stop you or anyone else from eating as much of the sweet stuff as you like by putting a tax on it -you just have to pay a bit more for your Irn Bru and Coke.”

      Me? Probably not. People already barely making ends meet for whom every penny counts? Different matter.

    57. HandandShrimp says:

      I simply don’t like the taste of sweeteners so I avoid the low calorie versions of drinks. I don’t want to die of a sugar overdose so I don’t drink a lot of soft drinks. However if I do drink a soft drink it is the full fat version. Would I pay more? I suppose so. Would it change my overall consumption? Probably not as it is very low already.

      Governments use tax to control things (as well as raise funds for the exchequer) They put tax on petrol to make us think twice about burning fuel unnecessarily and they put tax on alcohol to prevent us from going too mental on the electric soup.

      I suppose there is an argument for putting a tax on sugar if they want people to reconsider the options for snacks. However, it does raise questions regarding the state being overly controlling even if the intent is well meaning.

      I do have a libertarian streak in that I would decriminalise those things that are a matter of personal choice that do not infringe om the personal freedom and rights of others. That doesn’t mean I would advocate drug use or all the rest but has struck me that we overuse law and the criminal justice system. To poor effect overall.

      I am sure Judge Dredd might notally agree though 🙂

    58. Robert Whyte says:

      Big companies have made a fortune selling sugars sweets, this can kill you. Big companies have made a fortune selling cigs this can kill you. Obesity is the second leading cause of death. Slagging off someone that smokes is all right but calling someone fat is not ok????

    59. Karmanaut says:

      Never had a sweet tooth myself. I still haven’t got over the Greggs decision to stop selling macaroni pies. I know that’s a different point. And yet somehow this talk has stirred up the pain all over again.

    60. heedtracker says:

      I think there’s just way too much food around these days. These rioters at Hampden in the youtube vid probably only had Fanny Cradock on telly, explaining how to make an omelet. Now food’s pushed at us freakin everywhere, YOU must scoff more! and it must be the greatest scoff ever! etc

      For the record, despite billions spent on anti smoking campaigns, most highly taxed fags in the world by, there are the exact same numbers of smokers in the UK as there was 40 years ago and exact same numbers of smokers die from smoking related diseases today too.

      The biggest creep out UKOK wise, is how public sports facilities have been destroyed by red and blue tory Fly over the EU or the US at night and its shocking the amount flood lit sports grounds there are everywhere, compared to Scotland. Snatcher Thatcher kicked off the great sell off of schools sports grounds to developers, Slabour owned Aberdeen couldn’t even run a decent public swimming pool for a decade, cycling is lethal in towns and on it UKOK goes.

    61. HandandShrimp says:

      It has been said that a diet purely of green leaves might result in longer life expectancy.

      Others have said that it would just feel that way.

    62. Capella says:

      Also, I think is is the High Fructose Corn Syrup used in soft drinks, rather than sugar, which is the greater health risk. It is produced in great quantities in Illinois.

    63. David Wallace says:

      As an ardent smoker and consumer of sweet things I am personally incensed by the “holier than thou” hypocrisy of government. While quite content to tax – and make social pariahs of us – they do nothing whatsoever to tackle the companies who have got us addicted in the first place. Or those who support the Palm Oil chain and foul factory Dairy industry practices – worth looking at if you really care.

      As with any taxation scheme, it will not have any impact of the obscenely rich – who will either find a dodge around the tax or simply – in case of smoking – pay the fines.

      To tackle this subject those of you who don’t smoke or enjoy sweet things really need to understand the nature of addiction. We KNOW is is irrational and defies logic – yet we still do it because we enjoy it immensely. Trying to reason with us is where you lose the argument before you even get started. Whether our habit is bad or harmful is not really in dispute – if governments have the right to impose arbitrary bans and consumption fines is.

      Jean Calment smoked from the age of 21 until she gave up at the age of 117. She also claimed to consume 2.2 kg of Chocolate a week. She died aged 122! I’d say she had fabulous DNA, but whose says myself and the Rev don’t too?

    64. Grim says:

      You are completely right about the artificial sweeteners but you are arguing a straw man by conflating a tax with banning. Fags are both taxed and banned (in some places) while alcohol is taxed and restricted. It’s accepted that dangerous substances should be subject to sin-taxes and restrictions on use.
      It remains for the advocates of a tax to prove that not only is sugar dangerous to health but also habit forming.

      The evidence so far is that sugar is addictive and so qualifies for sin-taxes.

      As for illegal drugs, they should be legal buy restricted and taxed.

      On a personal note, try fasting. As you already know, fasting is easy. The 5:2 would let you continue your sweets cravings without risking diabetes.

    65. scribblerdubious says:

      I tend to go with what those at the front line of the health-service recommend. I personally don’t really care about other people’s diets but if nurses and doctors are saying “this needs done – we’re sick of sugar addicts taking up beds and machinery that could be used for S&M accidents” then I’m willing to go with it.

      It would be different if the overall societal context was different. Mexico has the fastest growing obesity problem in the Americas and a bottle of coke is frequently less expensive than a bottle of water. In a city like Mexico City, where you CAN’T drink the tap water, the decisions the poor are making, re liquids to consume, therefore have different motivations and different outcomes.

      But…that’s not a problem we really have to that extent. Except maybe in Woodlands – the water there is truly unacceptable.

    66. Peter A Bell says:

      I’m still trying to get my head around the argument that the costs of treating sugar-related conditions in order to prevent early death are somehow offset by the savings achieved by the early death that the treatments prevent.


    67. Terry says:

      It used to be said that fat was a feminist issue. Now fat is a class issue. And that’s not fair and not right. The poor and the fat die earlier but also have years of chronic ill health before that that costs them and society. And leads to worse mental health. But never mind. Cos sugar based food and drink producers are making a huge profit out of the working class. We can never tax these producers like Mexico has. Let’s hear it for capitalism eh? Read Pure, White and Deadly.

    68. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I’m still trying to get my head around the argument that the costs of treating sugar-related conditions in order to prevent early death are somehow offset by the savings achieved by the early death that the treatments prevent.”

      The answer is that they don’t prevent it, of course. They just, at best, slow it down and make it less early than it might otherwise have been.

    69. louis.b.argyll says:

      Great posts this month Rev C.

      For ‘the hive mind’..

      (of commentators, esp` sports related)

      .. read..

      ‘knowingly suppressed intelligence’

      Their closed, output only, minds and avoidance of tricky issues breed ‘conservatism’..

      Whether they like it or not.

    70. Marie Clark says:

      I agree with Stu.

      It’s nobody else’s business what I eat or drink. I’ve got to 67 years old now, I’m healthy and get plenty of exercise. I have a biscuit, a sweetie or cake when and if I feel like it, which I have to admit is not very often. For me it’s just a wee treat now and again. But, you see, that’s my choice. Mine, not yours, or government or some industry scientist. I decide as is my right.

      Why should the rest of us have to be told what to do because of lack of willpower or self discipline in others. Most folk have the answers in their own hands, litterly, because they are the ones stuffing food or whatever down their throats.Sitting about watching telly or playing computer games, and little or no exercise. A wee walk every day would help.

      I lost both my parents over forty years ago to heart disease. Not because of life choices, it wasn’t, but just, cause these things happen sometimes.

      I might live a wheen o years yet, or I might not. But it will be a blooming boring time without some o life’s wee pleasures tae enjoy.

      Onyways, I hope I’m hingin oan tae independence gets here.

    71. DerekM says:

      Its all a big con anyway just another way to fleece the masses,the sugar and pharmaceutical companies are at war,sugar is losing and is being made the fall guy and to make matters worse they are getting pelters from the health freaks who seem to not understand the choice here sugar or some thing a pharmaceutical company created in a lab that we have no idea of what the long term exposure to is but is okay because they say it is and have scientist on the payroll to tell us all how safe it is.

      I will have my sugar please as i am not convinced plus that other stuff tastes awful even sugar cant get rid of the bad taste.

    72. Scaredy cat says:

      What I want to know is will this be a sucrose/glucose tax or will fructose and lactose also be included.
      Fruit is packed full of fructose and it rots your teeth as much as sucrose. That’s gonna put up the price of my 5 a day. From the tooth decay point of view, the diet drinks are just as bad because of the acidity. This is sugar discrimination!

    73. geeo says:

      For me the word people have focussed on here has been “sugar”, rather than ‘TAX’.

      On a day when google made a ‘sweetheart’ deal with Osbourn to pay a nominal tax on their £uk BILLIONS, (how awfully gracious and kind of them) joe public are hit with yet another insidious tax they can barely afford !

      The media will focus on the sugar tax of course….?

    74. tom says:

      I’m afraid that for the three (smoking, drinking, and sugar intake) education is the answer. If they don’t get the message then it’s not being explained well enough. Low self regard plays it’s part also. I and many like me relax with a drink but we don’t go around ruining other peoples day. I shouldn’t be financially punished when some numbnut with more nostrils than braincells think it’s fine to get blootered and insult/injure whoever comes their way

    75. Almannysbunnet says:

      It’s not that long ago that it wasn’t “normal” to be fat. There have been all sort of theories about too much computer games not enough exercise etc. When you see people walking about with their body fat moving about like it has a life of its own, like they are carrying a waterbed around their waist, then something is seriously wrong. Capella hit the nail on the head. The culprit is High Fructose Corn Syrup. It has gradually replaced sugar in our food over the last twenty years. It costs 1 tenth the price of sugar. It’s in everything. It’s not a natural product and the body can’t break it down. If you haven’t seen the series “The Men Who Made us Fat” then I recommend you watch it.

      I’ve no problem with someone having the right to eat as much chocolate, ice-cream and syrup sandwiches as they like but food manufacturers need to keep the crap out of the so called healthy foods. There is a lawsuit going through the US courts at the moment to sue food manufactures that have been adding Corn Syrup to food knowing that it is not only harmful but addictive. It has scared the shit out of them as they are facing the same penalties as the tobacco industry did when it was caught adding nicotine to cigarettes. I can’t remember which one but either Coke or Pepsi have already started removing Corn Syrup and going back to sugar in their drinks. It is no coincidence that obesity started rising as corn syrup was introduced into the food chain.
      They tried the sugar tax in Denmark and removed it after a year. It didn’t work.

    76. Cherry says:

      Rev I’m with you on the sugar! I’ve stopped smoking for seven years now, don’t drink as my lemonade tastes awful and irn bru sets off heartburn….so my one and only vice is a suckie sweetie…who am I harming. Not a conspiracy theorist but look at this in relation to aspartame and fluoride.

      Scares the s**t outta me if true!

    77. brewsed says:

      In 1960 there were 6,970 road deaths and 341,000 road injuries at which time you could (almost) drive as fast as you liked, while drunk, without a seatbelt, or airbag – and had the mobile phone been invented, probably text while driving. But the nanny state has implemented speed restrictions, drink driving laws, seatbelt laws and crash safety design measures such as airbags and the number of deaths is now at an all-time low – 1,713 in 2013 with 181,957 injuries (from Wikipedia). And that number of deaths and injuries is too many.

      We could have the same, or even better, nanny state argument about alcohol. Up until recently alcohol consumption guidelines seemed to be based on guesswork but now the nanny state seems to have some valid research results and wants to thoroughly spoil (alter / ameliorate) my lifestyle. I could have a rant about this. I could (and I may) continue to occasional have a binge.

      I suspect, like sugar advice, this is nudge politics and in some indeterminate point in the future we will look back and ask ourselves, “did we really do that?” Having rant about wanting societal permission to kill oneself early via obesity, tooth rot and diabetes, or via cirrhosis, dementia etc. is, well, perhaps a tad silly. But it fills in an otherwise quiet afternoon.

    78. HabibAllah Barri says:

      Austerity is the answer. The Westminster Government should make us poor with austerity. I’m a pensioner on a very low income. I eat mainly vegetables, fruit, pulse, and offal, with some grains as staples.

      I love raw broccoli, raw cauliflower, raw carrots, raw cucumber, raw cabbage, raw kale, raw lettuce, raw tomatos etc.. They all taste great in soup with a Scottish “pinch” of lovely salt. All colours of lentils, split peas, beans, and quinoa, served on brown basmati rice, or kasha, or wheat berries, or skirlie, or barley. Chicken liver, chicken hearts, lambs liver, pork liver, lambs kidneys and pork kidneys all taste great fried with onions, garlic, and a wee drop of some spice such as cumin, or coriander, etc.. Calves brains used to be a special treat, but with the threat of mad cow disease, I desist. These are the dishes weans should be given when their taste buds are developing, and for school dinners, and they are much cheaper than chops and mince.

      I splurged for Christmas and bought a beef roast, and a bottle of Teachers, the plonk of whiskey. One must celebrate the birth of our Saviour!

      I don’t normally have sugar in the house, but on a special occasion I buy some for a treat. I made a pavlova for guests this week. Loaded with sugar and a mountain of whipped cream; no nutritional value, but rendered nutritious by a topping of sliced kiwis. Delicious! (The main course was yellow split pea soup, with potatoes, kale, tomatoes, carrots, red beetroot, and barley).

      Westminster has the answer. More austerity! Make everybody too poor to buy sugar for every day use. That’s the key to healthy eating and drinking.

    79. mogabee says:

      I’ve deliberately avoided reading all the comments to protect myself from the “hive mind”!

      I 100% agree with you Stu. Avoiding the artificial sugar crap is getting exceedingly difficult as you say. Incredible how few drinks now contain sugar, though I have found one recently which is delicious and NO additives but the price is ridiculous, though my family aren’t big drinkers of juice so it’s ok.

      I’ve always bought drinks without aspartame etc as the kiddie-on sugar tastes foul and my lot hate it.

      I’ve no wish to follow the madness of those advocating this proposed “sugar tax”.

    80. Josephine Mackenzie says:

      In truth, a sugar tax per se is not the answer to anything. Sugar is not in itself the problem. The problem is high fructose/glucose corn syrup, a filthy chemical compound which has REPLACED sugar in many food products because it is cheaper than real sugar. That’s why nothing tastes the way it used to when we were kids. Sugar is not made from corn, sugar is a plant, that’s what it’s made of, sugarcane (or possibly beet). The reason there are huge quantities of this vile product is because the US subsidises it & pays farmers to grow it instead of other, more useful & planet-friendly crops. Hopefully, since at present GMO crops & ingredients are banned in most of the EU, we in Europe are not exposed to the kinds of quantities that Americans are, but really, HFCS, made from GMO corn–& Americans wonder why they’re fat & stupid? So, sugar tax, nonsense. Multi-nationals using cheaper, chemical substances should be the target if it is a matter of health.

    81. yesindyref2 says:

      Yay, yippee Rev, you tell the bleeding heart do-gooders, interfering with my right to enjoy the rare can of coke when I can afford it at £3.95 for 18 from Farmfoods (which the SG is trying to stop – multioffers), after slogging my guts out for days solid getting an order out for customers with only cups of tea with one level spoon of genuine sugar and loads of green milk.

      The b?)$(*ds should get a life, and leave me in peace.

      My main complaint is that they no longer use the coca plant.

    82. CameronB Brodie says:

      Generally, I favour freedom of choice. However, why should food manufacturers be allowed to increase profits by using ingredients known to be harmful to health (e.g. hydrogenated fats), without paying some form of compensation to society?

      Funnily enough, “brands” emerged in the late Victorian era, as a means of broadcasting the quality of the product. It was not uncommon at the time, for unscrupulous manufacturers to bulk their products out with any old shit that came to hand. Edible or otherwise. Looking at some of today’s ready-meals, I don’t think we have really advanced that far from the ‘good old days’.

    83. Platinum says:

      I eat a whole-foods plant-based diet, fruit & veg, beans, rice, potatoes and whole grains. I’ve lost half a stone since the new year without counting calories. I’m not perfect 100% but it’s what I aim for, because the science shows that it is the healthiest diet, and that excess weight is controlled by eating a diet low in calorie density.

      My diet used to consist mostly of cheesy wotsits, doritos and chocolate, until one day I realised that the taste I had in my head during cravings was better than the taste of actually eating the greasy, chemical junk. So I quit eating it. Like when you dive into a pool, it’s cold to start, but you soon get used to it and you really do get used to the taste of vegetables. Carrots taste incredibly sweet to me now.

      Having said all that, I don’t want to see a sugar tax. We’d be much better off as a society by having a meat and dairy tax, since that’s what causes most of our killer diseases like heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.

    84. yesindyref2 says:

      Ah here we go, from the Herald 19th January this year:

      RETAILERS have urged caution after it emerged that SNP ministers are considering moves to ban supermarket promotions on sugar-laden food and drinks.

      Maureen Watt, the public health minister, said that the Scottish Government was encouraging retailers to “shift the balance” of their special offers to healthier products but admitted she was looking into what further action could be taken to reduce obesity rates, including around the issue of multi-buy promotions.

      It follows concern that large retailers were undermining attempts to reduce consumption of sugary foods and soft drinks by offering a large number of tempting promotions on products which are linked to high obesity rates.

      However, any steps towards replicating the SNP’s ban on multi-buy alcoholic drink promotions to encompass sugary food would be likely to be resisted by supermarkets and may face a legal challenge.

      I find in favour of the supermarkets taking legal action. Go for it!

      As Rev says in a reply, this hits people counting the pennies, not the fancy-arses who are rolling in money and think they can control my life, get your ******* hands off.

    85. heedtracker says:

      UKOK headline news, its snowing in America, the land of rampant obesity.

      Obesity there, is a giant class divide. If you’re poor in the US, you’re more likely to get really fat. If you’re a Scottish health legislator, making sugar expensive is one of the few options available.

      Making more Scots middle class might help too. Why does poverty cause obscenity, must be one of the great issues of our time.

    86. Alun009 says:

      “Everyone over the age of four already knows that sugar is bad for your teeth and helps make you fat.”

      Many do, but for sake of argument let’s say that all do. Trouble is, knowing something doesn’t mean you will remember it and think about it at the right time. I get tempted by chocolate too often. I know it’s bad for me, and I’m overweight. I can’t blame anybody else for my decisions, but I would be glad of a reminder when I reach for a Dairy Milk that the decision I’m currently making is one that at a later time I might regret.

      You see similar behaviour in addicts, when they are at times desperate to stop themselves from being in reach of temptation because at that moment they are too weak despite their knowledge that the drug they are reaching for may be (cut with something that will be) harmful. Having a reminder at the point of decision is something that is useful for such people whose willpower fluctuates. Health warnings on fag packets may be a big reason why I never got into smoking. Plus the fact they are pretty bloody expensive.

      I get your arguments against a sugar tax, but the extra few pennies you pay for a bottle of Coke compared to a bottle of water might just prove a timely reminder, without taking away your freedom to choose. Banning smoking in enclosed public spaces is an unalloyed good for those who choose not to smoke, but also for those who do choose to smoke. Similarly, high tobacco prices and health warnings do help those who smoke but half want to stop.

      And this is what’s missing from your polemic. Yes, people should be allowed the freedom to make their own mistakes. But there is a class of people you will drag with you to yours and their doom by resisting the implementation of nudges that would benefit them.
      The world isn’t divided into those who know and care and make “good” choices and those who know and don’t care and make “free” choices. There are many of us in between who know and care and make bad choices. Like you, I don’t want my freedom curtailed. But unlike you I’m not absolutist about it, and I don’t imagine a few extra pence on something I consume but I know I should reduce is an intolerable seizure of all my liberty.

      The expected response here is “why should I pay for YOUR weakness?”, and it’s a powerful one, but one that gets used by ultra-libertarians to try to build a moral case against welfare, so that form of argument needs to be handled carefully. I could only follow you part the way down that road, and I’m sure most people wouldn’t want to go all the way down it to the Anarchist conclusion. So a balance must be struck, one that starts to involve assessing the benefits that freedom brings you. Does your freedom to pay the normal rate of tax on sugary stuff really provide you with much benefit? Is your inability to tolerate reduced-sugar alternatives unusual or commonplace? I think this is an analogue issue where the issue could be decided by degrees of opinion. It doesn’t seem to me to be the binary issue of freedom vs nannying that you portray.

      But in any case I’m sensitive to the idea that nannying is a restriction on freedom and I thank you for getting me to think more about the issue.

    87. Johnny says:

      I am against the idea of a ‘sugar tax’, because it wasn’t the consumer that put that much sugar in the drinks in the first place.

      Would I agree it might be better if things didn’t have quite as much sugar in them? Yes, but the way is to lower the regulated allowed limited in instalments, do regular testing to check makers are complying and then proceed to outright bans on the selling of those makers that do not. After all, things with too many e numbers etc were pulled.

      If there is currently some law in the way of the above, abolish it.

    88. Flower of Scotland says:

      Have you ever seen the size of meal portions in the USA and now here?

      We really eat too much food. Watch people snacking all the time in between meals.

      Encouraging a reduction in food consumption and starting with portion size would go a long way to solving our obesity problems.

    89. schrodingers cat says:

      sugar fascist

      you have never tasted my brussel sprout ice cream and lentil nibblets

      I think that a “fat bastard” tax is a great idea, westminster could raise loads of money for worth while things such as cleaning up litter for the queen

    90. galamcennalath says:

      Apparently around a quarter of people find saccharin bitter rather than sweet. The same is true of the more modern artificial sweeteners, but to a lesser degree.

      I find them bitter and metallic, clearly so does Stu.

      The really interesting thing, I once read, is that people with this taste sensitivity also eat less than average vegetables!

      Fruit, I like. Veggies, I really force myself!

      I’ve been hunting for links, but can’t find any for the veg connection.

    91. schrodingers cat says:

      loads of fat bubble butt people roaming about the town reduce the value of the houses

      worse than fracking

    92. shiregirl says:

      If I decide I want a Mars Bar then I will have one. If it is 60p or 95p, I will still buy one if I want it.

      I am often far too busy to have lunch so will run to the vending machine where I work to grab a bar of chocolate. Do I think of my children before eating it? nope. Do I think of the health consequences of that Mars bar on my sugar levels, LDL’s or blood vessels? nope.

      It’s my choice and at 1400 on a busy day, starvin’ hungry, I couldn’t give hoot about anything else. If the prices go up then people will still buy sweeties and pop. They will have less money available for fruit and veg and the health situation will deteriorate.

      And by the way, you had fat people decades ago too. But now we can’t call them fat and we call them bariatric instead as we don’t want to hurt their feelings or lose our jobs. And many people had bad teeth too. This is nothing new. People have a choice. Eat less sugar and keep your teeth/live longer or eat what you want and have falsies at 40 and die early.

      Really wish the sanctimonious would shut their mouths and leave people to make their own choices. Putting prices up isn’t the answer.

      What will this sugar tax money go towards?

    93. Lollysmum says:

      I would disagree that diabetes is caused by too much sugar.
      Type 1 diabetes-you are born with a pancreas that is unable to manufacture insulin & you will be reliant on insulin injections for life.
      Type 2 diabetes can be triggered by use of the steroid prednisolone-prescribed for me for a skin condition. The information leaflet makes no mention of the fact that its known to trigger diabetes. Had I known about that possible effect I would never have taken it.

      Sugar itself is not the cause of diabetes though-it is a combination of factors including as Stu pointed out not taking enough excercise. Yet sweeteners like aspartame have serious side effects for some people. Constant headaches seem to be the most common one-I don’t touch any drink with that in it-if it causes a headache it is not doing me any good whatever the adverts may say.

      If I have a hypo (thankfully now few & far between) I drink a couple of fluid ounces of full fat coke-as recommended by our diabetes centre. Fastest remedy there is & even beats glucose tablets 🙂

      I control my diabetes by diet & just two tablets a day so I can live with that but I do agree that in my case exercise probably was also a contributory factor as I don’t have a sweet tooth & never have. Eleven years of 4 hours on trains commuting in & out of London then sitting at a desk all day every day is not the most inviting way to keep fit.

      Retirement beckons end of July then I’m moving to Scotland to rekindle my long remembered passion for hill walking.
      Can’t wait. Affric, Cannich, Strath Glass, The Great Glen here I come 🙂

      Oh forgot to add-I still have the skin condition I was being treated for originally in 2010. The steroids didn’t even work on that 🙁 Life can be such a lottery sometimes. Now I just don’t trust any medic-I do my own research into drugs I’m offered & if I don’t like what I see then its no thanks I’ll manage without. Getting diabetes by a roundabout route taught me that most valuable lesson.

    94. Marco McGinty says:

      For all of those complaining that holes need to made in walls, so that the fire brigade can get the person out of the house, put onto a specially-made reinforced trolley or chair, to be put into a special ambulance, to be taken to hospital, where numerous specialists will have to treat that individual – just think of all that job creation!

      Fat people create jobs!

      I would look forward to the day when fat people take to the streets with such placards, but they probably can’t walk, or are too lazy to do so!

    95. Papadox says:

      If it wasn’t for sugar Greenock would still be a pleasant wee fishin village. Don’t know if that’s a plus or a negative. Maybe some of our many experts could enlighten us.

    96. yesindyref2 says:

      @shiregirl: “They will have less money available for fruit and veg and the health situation will deteriorate.”

      Indeed. The people who make these laws don’t have to worry about any sort of budget. “five a day”, but fruit and veg don’t last, to buy in a supermarket at a cheap price is often by big packs where half gets wasted.

      I wish these nanny state legislators and pundits would be put on some incredibly low weekly or month budget for 3 months for everything including accomodation, before being allowed to legislate against us, and I do mean against us.

      “Nanny state” definition: – the ability of the rich to control the lives of the poor for the benefit of the already rich

    97. schrodingers cat says:

      all those smelly cars belching out noxious, and scientifically proven, harmful fumes, far worse than cigarettes, which damage the health

      they should be banned in areas where there are predestrians

      while I at it, I am allergic to perfume and peanuts too,
      if smoking can be banned, they should be too….

      mine field huh?

    98. Valerie says:

      Why is there sugar in stock cubes, beans etc., because it’s highly addictive. Anyone trying to lower their intake knows it’s hard to cut back.

      The diseases linked to sugar, from an early age, are myriad.

      This article only skims the surface. USA and UK are in the grip of an epidemic – self inflicted, as well as inflicted on children. Dental hospitals are overrun with kids having baby and adult teeth pulled, due to sugar. It’s in everything.

      Regards cancer, it thrives in an acidic environment, sugar is an acid. The aim in your diet should be to aim for an alkalinity.

      Remember, if you run out of Domestos, coca cola makes a fantastic lavvy cleaner, and shines your coppers lovely.

      Choose your weapons, as you slide into the senility caused by that sugar that’s been eating your brain for years.

      I support a sugar tax for the same reason I thought Jamie Oliver a hero for exposing Turkey twizzlers being fed to innocent kids.

    99. ahundredthidiot says:

      Rev touchy on this none isn’t he?

      I think it’s more a tax every bloody thing, regardless of how ridiculous, to see how far we, the government, can push our luck.

      Like that IQ test designed to see how quickly you chuck it, because it goes on forever if you don’t.

      Eat a turnip Stu and chill out

    100. yesindyref2 says:

      Cars and all exhaust-emitting vehicles should be banned from the countryside too – why should coos and sheep suffer? And what about road-kill – they have rights too !!!

      And don’t get me started on pedestrians and joggers …

    101. Joe says:

      I have to say I’m enjoying catching up with old 2000ad’s I haven’t read in years. If there could be some way you could tie Otto Sump’s smart pills in with SLab that would amuse me no end, or possibly the block war with the immortal line “Hey Jonesy, they got your wife!” with something that would be dandy as well.

    102. Dr Jim says:

      Somebody stop the madness

    103. Lollysmum says:

      Shiregirl-I’m with you. A sugar tax will do nothing to deter.Its just government’s trying to find ways ti invent new taxes especially now petrol tax receipts have gone down & more than 2 million UK people have abandoned tobacco for vaping-no tax. Best thing I ever did.

    104. Puzzled Puss says:

      Faced with the threat of horrible-tasting food additives, our only way out is to hone our culinary skills. Home-made lemonade is much nicer than anything you can buy in the shops, and the same goes for home-made bread.

    105. De Valera says:

      Well said, I would always go for pastilles over veg! The only caution I would add is please look after yourself and keep this site going until independence.

    106. Jackie Baillie says:

      I like sugar mmmm!

      The Rev is right and the Scottish Government has gone too far

    107. Doug Daniel says:

      Well, I used to love a bottle of pink lemonade Lucozade. But since they’ve changed the sugar for sweeteners, I’ve gone completely off it. As I was trying to stop drinking Lucozade anyway, this has actually been a bit handy…

    108. Grouse Beater says:

      Tried comparing an old Mini with the new Mini?

      BMW’s designers of the new made the seats wider and bigger to accommodate the fast expanding arses of the masses. Almost all cars have had to widen girth.

      That person with the fat arse and huge dewlaps under his arms is the same bastard who sits next to me on the bus, and on a plane pinning my arms together so that I cannot get food to my mouth, read a book, or past him to the exit or toilet.

      In the past, the sight of an odd fat person was excused as ‘his glands are not functioning properly.’

      If I could grossly obese in the ocean I would, only the resultant tsunami might wipe out an entire coastline of communities.

    109. Valerie says:

      I’m not so sure everyone knows about the dangers of sugar, or what it is made up of. Remember, just as folk believe what’s in the newspaper, they don’t do their homework on food.

      I’m pleased the SG have an obesity strategy, it shows they are forward thinking.

      …Dr. David Reuben, author of Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Nutrition says, “…white refined sugar-is not a food. It is a pure chemical extracted from plant sources, purer in fact than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways. Its true name is sucrose and its chemical formula is C12H22O11.

      It has 12 carbon atoms, 22 hydrogen atoms, 11 oxygen atoms, and absolutely nothing else to offer.” …The chemical formula for cocaine is C17H21NO4. Sugar’s formula again is C12H22O11. For all practical purposes, the difference is that sugar is missing the “N”, or nitrogen atom. …Refining means to make “pure” by a process of extraction or separation. Sugars are refined by taking a natural food, which contains a high percentage of sugar, and then removing all elements of that food until only the sugar remains. …While sugar is commonly made from sugar cane or sugar beets.

    110. Grouse Beater says:

      Missing word in last sentence is ‘drop.’

      I like sugar in things that should be sweet, not my beans, tomato sauce, soups, bacon bits, peanuts, ad infinitum.

    111. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “If the prices go up then people will still buy sweeties and pop. They will have less money available for fruit and veg and the health situation will deteriorate.”

      This is a good point. Also, I actually love fruit, but it’s such a pain in the arse – it’s fiddly, messy, goes off quickly, and it’s got nearly as much bloody sugar in it as a packet of Smarties anyway.

      I was genuinely shocked a few weeks ago when I looked closely at the labels on some pure fruit juices – not “fruit juice drinks” with added sugar and stuff, this was plain 100% juice – and found they had at LEAST as much sugar per litre in them as Coca-Cola. (And they’re about as acidic as well.)

    112. schrodingers cat says:

      why should coos and sheep suffer?

      cos they don’t have clever lawyers and bloggers arguing their case.

      where do you draw the line? Ethel the Aardvark goes quantity surveying?

    113. Alan Crerar says:

      Storm in a teacup, this. Has left me stirred though, the argument has crystalised round sweeteners for big business. Must rush, that’s my Taxi.

      Good fun discussion for a Saturday though.

    114. schrodingers cat says:

      white refined sugar-is not a food. It is a pure chemical extracted from plant sources, purer in fact than cocaine, which it resembles in many ways

      I think I follow you as I once saw a lassie in a cheech and chong film snorting a huge line of Vim

    115. Valerie says:

      Just in response to your comment about fruit Rev.

      You are right, SOME fruits have high levels of fructose, but the difference is, that type of fruit sugar is metabolized differently.

      If you want to control your sugar intake, best to stick to berries, they have the lowest sugar to affect yourblood sugars.

      I use a Nutri Ninja to make smoothies, because fruit goes off quickly, and I’m poor at eating fruit.

      As we get older, it’s the yoyo effect of our blood sugars which inflames and causes damage.

    116. ewen says:

      @John jones. I wish they’d put folic acid in bread in the sixties. Maybe then I wouldn’t have had this bloody spina bifida occulta and the constant back pain.

      As for sugar. I know my urn bru etc has it and it is my choice to take it. What I object to is the amount of sugar in processed food used as a cheap preservative. Just as well I make my own sauces etc.

    117. yesindyref2 says:

      Time, I think, for the coos and sheep to strike back. I suggest someone starts a blog called “animal rights”. I wonder if they like a can of coke and a Mars bar?

      I’d also rig up shopping trolleys with a van de graaf generator run off the wheels, with an actuator that gives the trolley-wheeler a 100,000 volt shock if they go under an average speed of 2 mph around the supermarket.

      It’s very annoying having to navigate around these very very slow shopper types, as I’m rushing in on the odd occasion I can afford an 18 pack of coke for £3.95 and a 4 pack of Mars bars for £1.


      Sugar itself is pH neutral, it’s when it’s broken down by the body it creates acid. Carbonic acid on the other hand is a weak acid, CO2 dissolved in H2O. The air we breathe contains CO2 and H2O, and we create CO2 ourselves. So I guess we should stop breathing to maintain a neutral pH. Though we’d be unable to digest food due to the absence of acid. Oh dear.

    118. TheMac1040 says:

      You see, if I have a fear about an independent Scotland then this is the fear – the soft tyranny of a left leaning nanny state.

      And as for some Doctor who compares sugar to cocaine siting the faux “evidence” of a similarity in the chemical formula….utter misleading nonsense! We all have over 90% of our DNA (which is nothing more than a chemical compound) in common with chimps. Does that mean we are the same as a chimp? Of course not.

      I do actually have some sympathy with those who want to tackle obesity but to start making stupid statements about how sugar is just like cocaine makes the whole debate silly. It isn’t cocaine.

      The health argument is almost as faux as the “what about the children” line…lots of things cause health problems. Lots of things cause health problems that cost money to treat. You may as well argue that people eating sugar is good because it keeps lots of doctors and nurses in jobs. Its not a reason to tax it or not to tax it.

      I’m always suspicious of the self proclaimed “health chiefs”. Why can’t they accept that problem with living is that it kills you in the end?

    119. galamcennalath says:

      Hidden sugar, among other things, is a problem. Then it isn’t necessarily about choice.

      If the ingredients, particularly key ones like salt, sugar and fat were printed on everything CLEARLY in a BIG crisp font rather than hidden in small print, then it would always be the consumer’s decision.

      In fact, perhaps the key ingredients should be the same size as the largest text used.

      The food industry and compliant supermarkets are ‘at it’.

      One example. The cartons of Fruit Juice and Juice Drink are mixed on the shelves. One is juice, one is often mainly sugar and water. How many thousands of times a day to people lift Juice Drink believing it to be actually juice?

    120. CameronB Brodie says:

      I know we have a lot of GPs reading this and I don’t mean to offend but I thought I might share my experience.

      A couple of years ago, my GP suggested I was approaching obesity (at a shade over eleven stone). Now, given that I was in my mid-forties and only a stone heavier than when I was a rather athletic 16 year old, I had to scoff and change GP. I have not changed my dietary habits since and am the same weight today, so I think I was correct.

    121. Chitterinlicht says:

      Its a tricky one this.

      as an x smokers i defend smokers right to the max as their tax paid on fags basically pays for the NHS and all the smokers related disease treatment they might have

      i once suggested to a gym freak that we should tax personal fitness given number of very expensive a and e visits people doing sport make. He went mental at me.

      sugar or cheap carbs are probably the worst ‘everyday’ food that you can shove down your throat in any great quantity and it is costing the NHS a fortune but unlike smokers they are not paying for this as there is no sugar tax.

      i personally think you have to be bloody stupid to eat loads of this type of food but each to their own.

      I am also not sure a sugar tax would actually “fix” issue and would largely be a disproprtionate tax on poor. Education is best route and if you are still stupid to do eat too much sugar well at least you know the damage and risks.

      glad its being debated though

    122. Simon Chadwick says:

      I agree with this rant.

      The issue is not whether sugar is healthy or unhealthy, the issue is taxing it.

      There are far worse things than sugar, e.g. HFCS, rapeseed oil, dwarf wheat, intensively farmed meat and fish… Who decides what is good or bad? Are eggs to be taxed or subsidised?

      I would support restrictions or controls on labelling and advertising, especially on labelling. People can choose what they buy.

      People know the healthiest diet is home cooking from fresh natural traditional ingredients. Perhaps we could address the reasons why people don’t have the time or money to cook all their meals at home from fresh produce. i.e. the economy.

    123. Valerie says:


      Not getting that analogy at all.

      Man has evolved and adapted over thousands of years to breathe the atmosphere of this planet, which is also being polluted to the detriment of our health now.

      How does breathing air compare to inflicting a man made substance?

    124. yesindyref2 says:

      @Chitternicht: “Education is best route”

      Ah well, you bring me to my hobby-horse (well, one of them). You can make an appointment to see a GP. You can make an appointment to see a nurse. But the only way people get to see a dietician is if a GP says people need one.

      I think every GP practice should have a dietician, or part-time access to one for a small practice, and patients should be able to make an appointment in the usual way, in fact they should be encouraged to have one a year at least.

      Relatively healthy eating isn’t hard, even for those with a purely take-away lifestyle. Education and proper product labelling, and some improvement in pre-cooked meals, would go a long way to improving the nation’s health.

    125. mealer says:

      brilliantly written and highly amusing article,as is your comment at 12.32.I don’t agree with it all,but very entertaining none the less.

    126. Simon says:

      I totally respect the right of someone to enjoy some sugar but from what I’ve read society’s sugar intake is out if control. I don’t know what the best solution is.

      What about the effect on learning rates, attention span, behavior in schools observed when a healthier, low sugar diet is tried in the school dinners. If I recall right it’s pretty startling the change.

      I would argue that this has an effect beyond the individual. If your learning environment is full of kids whose abilities and moods are banjaxed by bad diet wouldn’t it be sensible to moderate the sugar intake? Especially those at the bottom of society who stand to gain the most from a better learning environment, often where teachers are battling behavioral problems before any teaching even takes place. It’s not just the more obvious, physical health related issues.

      Ps I’m a sugar junkie like everyone else, no high horse here.

    127. CameronB Brodie says:

      P.S. My current GP has never once indicated concern over my alleged impending obesity.

    128. velofello says:

      Geez Rev: I don’t drink fizzles, I’m a veggie, non smoker, no sugar in my tea or coffee, but I’m a bad guy because I didn’t die before my state pension kicked in!

      Oh, I get it, the Establishment want the population to eat and drink sugary stuff, and meanwhile the NHS, in Englandshire, is sold off to private enterprise.Then an unhealthy public suffering all kind of sugary induced ailments have to spend their money on private health care, or, die off before they reach the age to collect the state pension.

      Well better way to go than living in the Middle East and being bombed, I suppose.

    129. Dr Jim says:

      I want to ban people who want to ban stuff
      They’ve got too much time on their hands thinking up stuff

      They need to get out the house more, see people, smell them, yeah, ban smelly people who come out the house, put them back in and then we’ll be free to sit on smell free buses and choke on the diesel fumes in peace

      (I don’t go on buses personally) smelly people

      sometimes my family don’t like me (I’m sharing now)

    130. ronnie anderson says:

      Once upon a time Gov said ah big spoonful of Cod Liver Oil was good for us Wains, that an Orange Juice.

      I have no wish to revisit the days of my childhood. An ah dont mean he Alexander Bros song.

      Food for thought Rev, good gon.

    131. Vestas says:

      There’s science and then there’s propaganda.

      Unfortunately govt health guidelines/taxation are not based on science – if they were then they might take some notice of the Royal Statistical Society who have written to them relating to the recent “Booze is bad in any quantity” propaganda from the govt. is a decent starting point for those interested but here’s a snippet :

      “Professors Peter Diggle and Sir David Spiegelhalter – the current and next presidents of the Royal Statistical Society – say the report was unbalanced (a nice way of not saying “biased”) and that the bureaucrat’s claims don’t reflect the evidence available to the government’s working group on safe alcohol levels.”

      As I’ve grown up, butter was bad, marge was good, then vice-versa (several times).

      Mono-unsaturates were good, now they’re bad (but not always). Polyunsaturates are good but cause cancer in some cases (overheating oil for eg). Sugar good/sweeteners (some) bad then vice-versa.

      You can carry that on through just about every sort of meat/fish imaginable – they’ve all been condemned by various studies. It’s my belief that one of the “scare studies” on oily fish & pollution actually caused an increase in MS in Scotland.

      Likewise the drive to “low-fat” foods is probably the direct cause of increased salt/sugars in those (pre-prepared) foods as people simply won’t eat tasteless food. Again a reasonable level of fat in conjunction with lower salt/sugars is STATISTICALLY safer but that doesn’t keep people in research/quango jobs now does it?

      The (majority of) studies in UK institutions are of course funded to produce a desired result rather than produce any sort of new knowledge. It is important to remember that in many areas of UK “research” you either get the desired result for your sponsor or you don’t get any funding again.

      My personal opinion is that current levels of obesity are caused by lack of physical activity and better climate control (aircon/heating) within housing rather than calorific intake. Increased intake of salt/sugar is more that likely due to the “low-fat” drive, which again is (IMHO) ideologically driven rather than scientifically driven.

    132. David S. Briggs says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      23 January, 2016 at 1:25 pm
      “Stevia is a natural sweetener. It comes from the Stevia plant.”

      So is sugar. Stevia might be less dodgy than other chemical sweeteners (though it’s a heavily processed derivative), but it still tastes like crap.

      No it doesn’t.

      I can be as dogmatic as you laddie.

      I have type 2 diabetes and stevia is the bees knees.

    133. Morag says:

      … the relative peanuts it might cost to give me a bit of insulin or a gastric band.

      Jeez, Stu, while I actually agree with your basic premise here, get a sense of proportion.

      Be a bit overweight if you want to be, it’s not the end of the world. But you have to know that managing type 2 diabetes is a lot more than “giving you a bit of insulin”. It’s a serious life-changing illness (as well as life-shortening) I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Having two cousins with it was part of the reason behind my recent loss of 2.5 stones (and counting). And that’s not even mentioning the many millions it costs the NHS every year to treat these patients.

      And any sort of abdominal surgery, including (perhaps especially) bariatric surgery, even a “gastric band” is risky. My friend (a GP) was just telling me about a patient of hers who went in for that surgery and never woke up again. Even when it’s successful, again it’s life-changing. You’re never able to enjoy food normally as you did before. It’s often the lesser of two evils, but it’s still an evil.

      So, be a bit overweight. Lots of people are. Just don’t down-play potential life-changing consequences as if they were minor annoyances like having dental implants.

    134. yesindyref2 says:

      The problem I have is all this extreme junk-writing; @Vestas says it all for me. It’s people wanting their 15 minutes of fame, their names on breakfast TV, to be broadcast to people who’d be better taking a brisk hour’s walk down to the shops and buying – whatever they want – in moderation.

      Well, Dr Piper’s tip for those with IBS / acid reflux, is to try ground black pepper on all meals – works for me, no longer suffer from it. Might not work for others of course, people with a different metabolism / lifestyle.

      The other thing that works for me is to ahve a packet of crispbread and when I get the urge for a nibble, just eat a bit of “cardboard” as my wife and kids call it, instead of a bar of chocolate.

      I also agree with @Dr Jim – I want to start a “ban the banners” society, any prospective members? Ban them all, that’s what I say! Ot tax them out of existence with another nanny state stealth tax, just like Labour did.

    135. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “You see, if I have a fear about an independent Scotland then this is the fear – the soft tyranny of a left leaning nanny state.”

      Cameron is considering a sugar tax in the UK too.

    136. handclapping says:

      Oooft, that’s you off the Christmas card list.

    137. Jenni says:

      Just to add my tuppence – totally agree with Stu’s principle that we as consumers should be free to choose whether or not we consume sugar.

      I think where the problem comes in, and I believe this is a contributory factor in the rise of diabetes, is that we mostly all eat vastly more processed food, and do vastly less labour than we did a few generations ago. We do need to compensate for the lower activity levels somehow and not everyone is up for the gym – myself for one.

      If manufacturer’s were as clear about sugar contents as they are about fat – and indeed about synthetic substitutes – like the toxic Aspartame – then we could make better informed choices.

      I’ve just scrutinised my Irn-Bru can to check there are no sweeteners and thankfully I seem to be safe but I’m horrified to hear manufacturers are throwing the stuff into even supposedly ‘full sugar’ versions.

      I work for a diabetes charity and the best advice we hear is to eat everything in moderation, a balanced diet, active lifestyle and try to keep processed foods to a minimum.

      If the sugar tax encourages more responsible behaviour in food manufacturers – and isn’t just passed onto the customer wholesale – then I’m for it. If is just a way for the government to make money by charging sugar consumers extra, then they can sod off.

    138. Morag says:

      I actually agree with the article in a lot of ways. I don’t like artificial sweeteners either, though I have been using drinks sweetened with them as part of a calorie-restricted diet (I obviously don’t dislike them as much as Stu). But that’s not really where I’m coming from.

      Sugar is a perfectly normal and harmless form of carbohydrate, taken in moderation. You don’t even need to give it up as part of a calorie-controlled diet – I’ve been eating just 6000 calories a week while still taken two spoonfuls of the stuff in my tea and coffee. (I’ve just cut down on the number of cups I drink.) It’s also an essential ingredient in many perfectly normal and harmless recipes – again for foods that should be taken in moderation.

      How does hiking the price of something as basic as sugar promote people to moderate their consumption? What it tends to do, I suspect, is price it right out of the reach of people on limited incomes, while leaving the moderately well-off unaffected.

      It’s an impossibly blunt tool to deal with a basic foodstuff like sugar. It might work with alcohol which isn’t nearly so all-pervasive in our normal daily diet and is arguably more of a luxury item. But not with sugar.

      There needs to be some more specific way of incentivising people to reduce or keep their weight within what is reasonable for their height. I don’t know what that might be, but it’s the way to go. Penalise people according to their actual weight, not according to how poor they are (which a flat-rate tax inevitably does).

      Given how many people like to fly abroad for a break, maybe they should indeed start charging air fares according to the total weight of passenger and baggage. That might concentrate a few minds!

    139. Paula Rose says:

      The nurseries round here have excellent education regards nutrition – this is now happening in the Primary schools and will continue with the new curriculum in Secondary.

    140. Vestas says:

      I had meant to put this into the last post but it was turning into a wall of text 🙁

      A study* on the effects of heat on metabolism while performing a set series of daily tasks showed that the average 19-29 year old male will burn 6% more calories at 16C than 22C.

      I dunno about some of you but the first two houses I lived in as a child (one in “affluent” Newton Mearns) had no central heating. Newton Mearns one got GCH in the mid 70s. Ice on the inside of windows was not uncommon prior to that and I remember chipping ice off the inside of windows on a top tenement flat on Albert Drive (Pollokshields) as a student in 1987.

      Pretty certain that ice on the inside of windows isn’t acceptable these days….

      Oh and of course there were many more “physical” jobs back then – many of which are now located in China and/or automated now.


    141. ArtyHetty says:

      Well well, it’s obviously a bone (!) of contention this whole sugar thing. I love chocolate, and biscuits and crisps and stuff, as well as good home cooked, by me, healthy food.

      It’s usually the well off telling the poor what to do. If we have a sugar tax we definitely need a fat tax. Most people are sensible and enjoy what they like without going overboard.

      I think the French have the right idea, eat and drink, be merry and if it means not reaching the decrepit stage then so what. My friend who lives on his own in a 3 bedroom house often says, when I am enjoying a pint or 3, ‘everything in moderation’. I told him that it’s very easy for the well off to tell the poor that!

      My only complaint is that the chain shops do have tons and tons of sweet stuff right at the counter, and the shelves are choca block (:-)) with all manner of very unhealthy crap.

      Education, about health in general is key, but of course it’s quite often much cheaper to buy less healthy stuff than quinoa and brown bread. Exercise, walking, fewer cars and we would all be healthier.

      Must pop out, for that nice bottle, or two of lovely Scottish beer.

    142. Morag says:

      … why should the other 95% have to eat more shit because some women are too lazy to take some pills when they’re either trying to get pregnant or are pregnant?

      Folic acid isn’t “shit”, it’s a vitamin that’s generally mildly beneficial to everyone. Nobody would be suggesting putting it in bread otherwise.

      And it’s not about “being too lazy”. It’s about a large perecentage of pregnancies being unplanned and often not even known about until after the point where the folic acid supplements were needed.

      Advising women to take supplements simply hasn’t worked, mainly for that precise reason. That’s why the bread idea is being discussed.

      Why should thousands of people be condemned to life in a wheelchair or worse just because you don’t know the first thing about vitamin metabolism and think a vitamin is “shit”?

    143. Valerie says:

      Pretty much all the programmes, and reading I’ve done suggests 6 teaspoons of refined sugar is a daily guideline, taken across the day, to try and keep your blood sugar stable.

      The problem IS no or poor labelling, and a lack of uniformity, so no one actually knows the amount they are consuming.
      This suits corporations ofcourse because you are either addicted to the taste, or you think it’s healthy.

      A can of coke is 11 teaspoons.

      I’m 56, and had to revise my diet due to sky high blood pressure, which my GP could not understand. I was knackered, and my joints were excruciating. I’m normal weight, don’t drink, don’t smoke.

      Blood tests finally showed sensitivity to wheat. I’ve cut out wheat, and worked on cutting sugar. It all means doing it the old fashioned way – cooking fresh ingredients!!!

      Don’t think I’m going to stroke out now, before we get our Independence, health much improved.

      My point is, as we age, the damage is cumulative. I’ve done a lot of reading on the subject.

      I always feel sad when I see young women every day, half my age, grossly overweight, barely able to walk.

      Something’s clearly not working.

    144. Onwards says:

      De Valera says:
      23 January, 2016 at 4:54 pm
      Well said, I would always go for pastilles over veg! The only caution I would add is please look after yourself and keep this site going until independence.

      There’s a thought. This site is too important to the indy cause to fall by the wayside if the Rev is found face down in a sweet and sour chicken. Hopefully someone trusted has the admin passwords 🙂

    145. Vestas says:


      The same argument exists for vitamin D and MS above/below a certain latitude – and in the case of Scotland (MS capital of the world) should be done immediately IMHO.

      The problem is that theres no (published) long-term studies in the case of folic acid but its an emotive issue (spina bifida et al) so people’s instincts say “do it”. Nobody knows what the effect will be to the general population in 50 years as its a deficiency which seems specific to pregnant women.

      Vitamin D deficiency on the other hand is pretty much conclusively linked to the incidence of MS and Scotland (as we abandonded oily fish) became the world capital of MS. Nice & easy solution is to put vitamin D in bread in winter.

      I accept that it appears folic acid is safe but there isn’t sufficient evidence (yet) to support assertions that its safe for everyone on a long-term basis.

    146. Dcanmore says:

      I agree with Stuart, a sugar tax is ridiculous. If people can’t restrain themselves from ingesting too much sugar to the point where they are losing teeth and/or becoming obese and eventually having diabetes, then they are fecking idiots. If parents can’t restrain themselves shoving sugery food into the mouths of their children then they are fecking stupid too.

      What needs to happen is to price sugar properly so workers in sugar producing countries are getting a fair price for it and not kept in poverty by corporate wholesellers. That argument goes with milk producers in this country too. I’ll happily pay a bit more for sugar and milk produce but only if the profit is contained at source ala Fairtrade.

    147. Onwards says:

      Not sure about a sugar tax. Logically an unsaturated fat tax and a salt tax would follow.

      But a whisky bottling tax would be helpful in keeping more revenue in this country.

    148. steveasaneilean says:

      Folic acid is more than just a “mildly beneficial” vitamin – it’s an essential component of the human diet.

      It is involved in the making and repairing of DNA. Without enough of it you can become significantly anaemic.

      Adding it to flour is utterly harmless and will not alter the taste or texture. Yet if we had done this in 1998 like they were doing in the USA then the evidence suggests thousands of cases of babies born with neural tube defects such as spina bifida would have been born instead without such horrendous problems.

      I’m staying out of the sugar stuff because to do it justice would take me another thousand words. But I would urge anyone interested to read Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes.

      Suffice to say I think sugar is pretty evil stuff!

    149. FairFerfochen says:

      Anyone remember Jam?
      For some reason the food industry not so long ago who tried to force jam makers to replace sugars in jam with “alternatives”.
      It was a Scottish firm who objected to this (Baxters I think, i know, I know) who kicked up a hue and cry about it. Most jams contain fake sugers now.
      Bad news for jammies ivraywhere 🙁
      Check it out next time you visit the supermarket.

    150. mealer says:

      Onwards 7.03
      Aye.We really need to think about checking Stu into a health farm until such times as we win our independence.It would be a small sacrifice for him to make in the struggle for our freedom.I’m sure Ghandi would have taken such privations in his stride.

    151. steveasaneilean says:

      Sorry Vestas – vitamin D/MS theory has been comprehensively debunked in recent medical and scientific literature.

      We are probably all a bit short of vitamin D during the winter in Scotland (from mid September through to mid April) but there is no evidence that this causes us significant harm.

      However I still take 10 micrograms a day during the winter.

    152. Iain says:

      I was looking at a u tube clip about “stout people” and got side tracked into watching various videos about Stanley Kubrick faking the moon landings. All I can say is very convincing, considering my far from sober state at the moment. Needs more investigation when I’m sober. Still vote SNP,SNP it’s the best option.

    153. Chitterinlicht says:

      is right about Gary Taubes. That book changed my views on a lot of stuff about food and would recommend it to anyone.

      Project Fear is a wee fart compared to power influence that big agro and the food industry have.

      If you want to read about sugar i recommend this article by by Mr Taubes

    154. Vestas says:


      I’d appreciate some links to support that theory as recent Scandinavian/US/Canadian studies have shown that Vitamin D/Omega 3 fatty acids are directly linked to the incidence of MS.

    155. Croompenstein says:

      Nice wan Stu noo Kezia is going to spend all this sugar tax on every fucking thing she won’t need APD noo FFS 🙁

    156. Robert Peffers says:

      It is not like you, Rev Stu, to not think things through properly but you have failed to do so on this occasion.

      It isn’t the sugar in the fizzy drinks, boiling and candy bars that is the problem but the, “passive”, cheap hidden sugars the manufacturers of packaged foods use to bulk out their products.

      Try reading the labels of popular foodstuffs:-

      Here’s the list from the first pack I took at random from the freezer:

      listed as per portion.

      Fat – 15.0g. of which saturates 6.5g
      carbohydrate – 14g. of which sugars – 5.5g.
      fibre – 3.9g
      Protein – 11.1g
      Salt – 2.9g.

      Now that was a random choice. I’m certain I could find worse examples in my fridge or freezer.

      Believe it or not it was an innocent looking pack of frozen Stovies.

      I normally cook my own stuff, but as I’m disabled, I maintain a stock of frozen meals for the days I’m struggling to manage cooking or for when I can’t manage out to the shops.

      There it is sugars 5.5g. in a single serving of stovies.

      Here, and I quote, is a bit from an English NHS website:-

      “Sugar is consumed not just in the form of table sugar, but in high-sugar foods such as cakes, biscuits and fizzy drinks. It can also be found in foods you might assume are sugar-free, such as tinned chilli and ready-meal noodles, so it is always a good idea to check the label.

      Rather like passive smoking – in fact.

    157. heedtracker says:

      If parents can’t restrain themselves shoving sugery food into the mouths of their children then they are fecking stupid too.

      All of that sounds fun but its child abuse. Children need dental care as much if not more than most. Think of obesity as cost, cost and waste of NHS resources, or what could money currently spent on illness caused by poor diet actually be used for?

      When it comes to sweets and teeth, a dentist bloke on the radio said lately, think of each of your teeth costing £2000, per tooth.

      If you have all your teeth, that’s a lot of money to lose, £64,000 per mouth full of teeth.

    158. Iain says:

      That’s a great idea checking Stu into a health farm, if only to preserve the great journalism that this site is world famous for. Sorry Stu your health is too important to an aspiring nation to be left in your own hands. Our freedom is an important matter, and we need you to defeat the daily assaults of the bum and the dying rants of slab. So in the interests of the whole of Scotland look after yourself.

    159. Almannysbunnet says:

      For those wondering about how much sugar there is in stuff try the sugar app from the NHS. It shows the equivalent amount of sugar cubes there is in foods. Just point your smart device at the bar code and hey presto. Free app for both google and apple.
      It catches most though not all foods with more being added all the time. You might be shocked at how much there is in your favourite “healthy” food.

    160. Marco McGinty says:

      I agree with our host, that a sugar tax is ridiculous, and I also agree that artificial sweeteners taste foul.

      On that note, when Diet Pepsi was first made available in this country, I made the switch to the diet drink, which I preferred at the time, but I am convinced that a few years later the recipe was changed, and we ended up with the foul-tasting product we now have.

      Another commenter mentioned that if people are faced with an increase in costs, many will still buy the sugary products in place of more healthier foods. Then if the tax rises to an extent that it places any given product beyond the reach of those on low incomes, then I’m quite sure the country would see a rise in shoplifting incidents (which would also impact on all of us).

      Again, another commenter suggested a gradual reduction and phase, which would have to be done over many years or decades, so that people become accustomed to the taste of artificial sweeteners or other derivatives.

      That would seem to be the most sensible solution.

    161. ian m says:

      Diet drinks should be banned
      They are worse for you than regular drinks
      The chemicals in the diet drink do more harm to your body than the extra 140 calories in a regular drink.
      This is a slippery slope with a lack of information on the governments part

    162. yesindyref2 says:

      The big problem with any of these “guidelines” or theories is that we’re all very different from each other.

      I, for instance, am allergic to too much antioxidant, I discovered this from working in Germany where the food was purer than here, not stuffed with E numbers, and I never suffered the allergy – until I came home for weekends and had a fry up with lard with antioxidant in it. I changed to a pure lard one, no more problems, and avoid antioxidants (except naturally occurring in tea-bags) like the plague.

      And yet “everyone” is recommended to take much more antioxidants. No thanks.

      My daily intake of sugar from mugs of tea alone is 12 spoons, yet because of the amount of work I’m doing, I’m losing weight, becoming trimmer. When I’m working solid for 6 hours or more in one of two shifts in a day, I not only “need” a cup or two of tea, I “need” a bar of chocolate or a few choccy biscuits, just to give me an energy boost.

      A bar of Kendal mint cake contains, what, 30 spoons of sugar? But walk out 20 miles along and 3,000 feet up and down (plus intermediate ridges) in the rain, you can easily get through one of them – and a can of coke with its disgusting 11 teaspoons.

      So much for guidelines, they’re worth the expertise they’re written on, i.e., nothing.

    163. Ananurhing says:

      I seem to remember a story about growth hormones used for cattle which promoted growth to the rump of the animal. This was used widely in the States, but was illegal in the UK until Tony Blair approved it’s use here on behalf of his pals at Monsanto.

      This seemed to coincide with the rapid rise in obesity in this country. Working on the premise that you is what you eats…… Anyone know more about this?

    164. Valerie says:


      Agree with all your posts, and that link I posted at 6.14 is sobering stuff on teeth.

      Have to say I’m a bit appalled that people don’t understand the link between poor areas and poor health. I mean poor health as anything from smoking, drugs, alcohol to obesity.

      Is it just fecking stupid people that get addicted? Ergo their stupidity is deserved, and let them, and their kids rot?

      I hope you don’t work in social services, Dcanmore.

      You make a good point about Fair Trade, though, given sugar cane was pretty much responsible for slave trade.

    165. Golfnut says:

      Sugar good, sugar bad, truth is it might be or it might not be, as with all foods it depends on your personal consumption.
      What I do know, is that every time something like this rears its head, our only certainty is that the price will go up and stay up, that vested interests will profit from it. That the vested interest may even have paid for the research, and actively lobbied for the Gov to do something.

      Cynical, absolutely, but then how often have we gone through this, butter, eggs and whole raft of other foods at one time good and then bad.

      There are any number of reasons why people may be overweight, I lost an unintended stone and half in weight by simply cutting out bread and potatoes because they caused a little bloating. I increased my meat intake and added a sweet to dinner, icecream, meringue, fruit and sauce. My wife now hates me.

      Seriously though, my first question is now always, who stands to make money from this, our sugar intake has increased only because we are now provided with so many ready meals and processed food.

    166. Robert Peffers says:

      Just to put things into perspective I don’t blame the intake of sugars for the increase in numbers of obese kids in the UK. I blame the lack of exercise.

      As a kid on non-school days we had breakfast and headed out the door and didn’t come home driven by hunger. We then ate and headed out again.

      This was only ended when the adults dragged us in at bedtime. In the cities there was the tradition of kids yelling up to the tenement windows, “Gies a peice maw”, and the mother would throw the Piece down to the kid.

      Thing is, “Ye canna throw pieses frae a twinty story flat”.

      It was rare to see a fat kid in those days.

    167. steveasaneilean says:

      Hi Vestas – I don’t want to sidetrack this post by Stu – but I hope he will tolerate a few more lines on vitamin D.

      I am old enough to remember when vitamin B deficiency was cited as the definite cause of MS.

      Now vitamin D deficiency has been given that crown.

      But, whilst there are observational studies and a plausible theory, the evidence just isn’t strong enough.

      There was a good editorial about it all in the BMJ a year ago – January 29th 2015:

      Should vitamin D supplements be recommended to prevent chronic diseases?BMJ 2015; 350 doi: 29 January 2015)Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h321

      In addition, for an alternative theory, Google TED talk by Dr Richard Welled about research done right here in Scotland.


    168. Valerie says:


      Nothing like going full out drama queen. Just because you don’t need or respect a guideline, doesn’t mean it’s useless!

    169. Jon D says:

      Stu is quite correct about this…

      Mass medication is the most insidious form of state control.

      This much, from the SNP, we know: folic acid in our daily bread, fluoride in our tap water.

      Then, unannounced, we will have mind altering drugs in our cereal that control voting intention.

      And don’t get me started on chemtrails…

      SNP BAD


    170. yesindyref2 says:

      As if on cue, from the Herald:

      Sugar levels are set to be reduced by food and drink giants as they vow to cut the nation’s calorie consumption.

      And on top of shrinking the size of popular products to bring them in line with healthy-eating guidelines

      For “shrinking the size”, read “putting the price up and making more profit”.

      No need for personal inults – unless you’d like to impose a “guideline” for any free speech that doesn’t agree with you?

    171. steveasaneilean says:

      That should have read Dr Richard Weller.

      Oh, and antioxidants stuff is probably a lot of bollocks too:

    172. Ananurhing says:

      I agree with many others here that education is the answer, and the Scottish Govt have a pretty good track record with this.

      I’m constantly delighted to see so many of our young people who don’t consume sweets and fizzy drinks excessively. They drink water and eat fruit in a way that my generation never did.

      The fact that so many of them now sport braces on their teeth is testimony to this.

      That’s the trouble with young people nowadays, they’ve all got too many teeth.

    173. Capella says:

      @ almannysbunnet 3.20pm thanks for the links to the videos – interesting stuff. I have read Gary Taubes and Robert Lustig and do agree with their theories – and, of course, the original proponents of avoiding sugars, Dr Atkins and John Yudkin “Pure, White and Deadly”.

      BTW there is already a sugar tax. It is the Health budget and the cost of treating all the conditions which refined carbohydrates cause.

      High Fructose Corn Syrup hides under a variety of names:

    174. handclapping says:

      I’ve been all over Wiki, ADHD, blood brain barrier, food intolerance, looking for this:-

      ‘When humans consume glucose, dopamine gets triggered from neurons. This causes a message to be sent through the brain, which encourages the brain to consume more glucose. This affect lasts as glucose intake rises, the reception of the brain still stays the same unlike other dopamine triggering material (such as sex, drugs and consumption of other foods). The triggering of dopamine increases brain activity notably within the basal ganglia and prefrontal cortex and increases blood pressure. This stimulant makes sugar addicting, and may have long term bodily damage, particularly within the brain, because of its overuse and overworking side effects.’

      So its not the obesity that is/will be the problem, its the ADHD in our kids and the dementia in our adults that are correlated to the increase in sugar consumption that will cause problems to others from over consumption of sugar. If kids can’t learn and the old don’t die (dementia; no stress, live for ever) we sugarphobes are heading into queer street.

      Its everywhere, there is even sugar in your Wiltshire ham! And if you look up the Sugar Act 1764 and its outcome I definitely think Westminster should raise a sugar tax 🙂

    175. Brian McHugh says:

      Great article… and couldn’t agree more.

      I’m a smoker and fully back the ban in buildings, but the Nanny State/Anti smoking lobby are going to extremes.

      I was recently chastised for smoking outside next to a road… with busses and cars passing by pumping out diesel and petrol fumes.

      I don’t drive and I walk to work. My carbon footprint is minimal… when do I get a say against those parents who own a big gas guzzling/air polluting/health destroying 4×4 to take their sprogs to school?

    176. Carol says:

      I like my fruit and veg but life would not be worth living without a can of coke. What gets me is that others drink endless cups of tea or coffee with added sugar but that seems acceptable. Anyway we already pay tax on sugar.

    177. Valerie says:


      I contradicted you, there is a difference.

      If I was personally insulting you, I’d call you stupid.

      The whole of society is governed by guidelines, unless you live in a cave.

    178. yesindyref2 says:

      @valerie: “Nothing like going full out drama queen.

    179. Iain says:

      The trouble with kids is that they are such paragons of virtue in that they show up the distinctly dodgy life we all lived. Until they fall in love, then all bets are off.

    180. yesindyref2 says:

      @Brian McHugh
      I roll my own cigarettes, and the look on some people’s faces as I do it gives me a real laugh. If I’m feeling really bad I put it in my mouth (unlit of course) and watch the look of shock horror.

      I smoke outside at home for years, ever since I washed and washed and washed the walls and ceiling of the room I used as an office, ready for decorating.

      By the time I’d finished it didn’t need decorating.

    181. Ian Brotherhood says:

      ‘…and Moses did come back down carrying two big giant bars of tablet, and he smote them asunder into bite-sized chunks saying, “Let he who haveth no blubber put on the first stone.”‘

    182. Phronesis says:

      Interesting debate – there is not yet a scientific consensus on the what the outcome of sugar regulation would be-

      ‘Added sugar regulations and recommendations have been proposed by policy makers around the world. With no universal definition, limited access to added sugar values in food products and no analytical difference from intrinsic sugars, added sugar recommendations present a unique challenge. Average added sugar intake by American adults is approximately 13% of total energy intake, and recommendations have been made as low 5% of total energy intake. In addition to public health recommendations, the Food and Drug Administration has proposed the inclusion of added sugar data to the Nutrition and Supplemental Facts Panel. The adoption of such regulations would have implications for both consumers as well as the food industry. There are certainly advantages to including added sugar data to the Nutrition Facts Panel; however, consumer research does not consistently show the addition of this information to improve consumer knowledge. With excess calorie consumption resulting in weight gain and increased risk of obesity and obesity related co-morbidities, added sugar consumption should be minimized. However, there is currently no evidence stating that added sugar is more harmful than excess calories from any other food source. The addition of restrictive added sugar recommendations may not be the most effective intervention in the treatment and prevention of obesity and other health concerns’

      Erickson, J. and Slavin, J. Are restrictive guidelines for added sugars science based? Nutr.J. 14, 124. 2015.

      Perhaps the focus should be on the allostatic load, stress accumulated over the life course which does contribute to premature mortality and has clear links to health and socio-economic inequality-

      ‘Data from a national sample of 1255 adults who were part of the MIDUS (Mid-life in the U.S.) follow-up study and agreed to participate in a clinic-based in-depth assessment of their health status were used to test the hypothesis that, quite part from income or educational status, perceptions of lower achieved rank relative to others and of relative inequality in key life domains would be associated with greater evidence of biological health risks (i.e., higher allostatic load). Results indicate that over a variety of status indices (including, for example, the person’s sense of control, placement in the community rank hierarchy, perception of inequality in the workplace) a syndrome of perceived relative deprivation is associated with higher levels of biological dysregulation. The evidence is interpreted in light of the well-established associations between lower socio-economic status and various clinically identified health morbidities. The present evidence serves, in effect, both as a part of the explanation of how socio-economic disparities produce downstream morbidity, and as an early warning system regarding the ultimate health effects of currently increasing status inequalities’

      Seeman, M., Stein, Merkin S., Karlamangla, A., Koretz, B., and Seeman, T. Social status and biological dysregulation: the “status syndrome” and allostatic load. Soc Sci.Med. 118, 143-151. 2014.

    183. Ian Brotherhood says:

      The Rolling Stones, ‘Brown Sugar’ (Live, 1972)

    184. cearc says:

      Never mind sugar, what about all the other crap that is put in ‘food’.

      Last year I found a large pack of cupcakes left in my car (it’s a long story!) they had been there a few days and had condensation dripping of the packaging, so I left them to give to the chickens when I got home. They were half cake colour with pink icing and half brown with brown icing.

      Now chickens, free and left to their own devices are pretty omnivorous and eat just about anything, insects, seeds, plants. They dig through shit for the ‘tasty’ bits, well ‘matured’ carrion is very popular and they go crazy for for expanded polystyrene.

      Given the cakes they dived squabbling over the cake coloured ones but didn’t touch the brown ones. Something that a chicken won’t eat? What is it?

      Well, donning my reading glasses I looked at the ingredients which were in an illegibly small font but there were more than 40 ingredients. 40+!

      To make cupcakes all you need are eggs, flour, sugar, butter and cocoa for brown. Mix it up, bung it in the microwave for 5 mins. Mix icing sugar with cocoa for brown or a couple of raspberries for pink icing.

      It would take nearly as long to get into the packet of the bought ones.

      People do have time to cook, if they know how easy it is. (See Ruby and tasty soups!).

      Never mind nutrition just teach kids to cook. They love mixing stuff up and experimenting.

    185. Dr Jim says:

      If you consume huge amounts of sugar over a very long long time you might get fat and get diabetes
      If you consume carrots in the same quantities for a much shorter time you turn orange and die

      Ban carrots

      And see if you check it’s actually happened, Yu Hu, it has

    186. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Is there any good reason why folic acid and other vitamins should not be included in tobacco and alcohol?

    187. phil says:

      Hi Stu,
      Wow that was quite a rant. I have found myself disagreeing with almost every word.Sorry mate, you’re just plain wrong. BTW keep up the good work.

    188. cearc says:

      Great Idea, Ian!

    189. peter newling says:

      As you say, the question is where the line should be drawn.

      What do you feel about compulsory use of car seatbelts?

    190. Ian Brotherhood says:

      The Archies, ‘Sugar Sugar’ –

    191. Ian Brotherhood says:

      The Very Best of Sugar –

    192. Frann Leach says:

      I agree with you about the poisonous sweeteners. There’s a lot of little known difficulties with these, not least the recent research showing that they don’t actually prevent diabetes, for reasons that aren’t properly understood.

      But stevia is, in fact, a natural sweetener, extracted from the plant Stevia rebaudiana. Sugar is also an extract – from either cane sugar or beet, so if stevia isn’t natural, neither is the genuine article.

    193. shiregirl says:

      Valerie says:
      23 January, 2016 at 7:59 pm

      “Have to say I’m a bit appalled that people don’t understand the link between poor areas and poor health. I mean poor health as anything from smoking, drugs, alcohol to obesity.”

      Your comments are rather generalistic – I believe all comments on this thread are understanding of the link between poor health and poorer socio-economic areas, but people are entitled to their own beliefs.

      Again, taxing the public on sugar consumption will be to the detriment of the poorer in society. Sugar is addictive. Price will will not stop people buying it. Instead, what will happen is those who struggle financially will not go without, but have less money to spend on healthier options, such as vegetables, whilst those who can afford it will continue to enjoy a balanced diet and better health.

      Fruit is nature’s sugar. What do you suggest? Tax apples? Sucrose, fructose or whatever, it does the same damage – calorie wise and also to childrens teeth. Apples are the worst for teeth so I was told by a Dentist.

      Let people decide for themselves. Give them the education early on and at important times i.e.pregnant mums, at baby clinics etc- that’s all you can do.

      @heedtracker 7.41 Likening giving a child a milky bar to child abuse is pathetic and just a bit silly. My kids have chocolate, toffee apples and tablet. I am proud to say I make it and give it to them. The important bit is this – it’s in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. They also brush their teeth and have no fillings. If the price of their Maltesers went up, would they stop buying and opt for grapes? Not a chance.

    194. carjamtic says:

      You’ll have had yer tea ? now….Shhmoke’n’pancake ?

      Free Download Scottish Cookbook ‘nom nom nom’

    195. CameronB Brodie says:

      Bottled water is probably the most environmentally unfriendly product on the shelves. Completely unnecessary and energy greedy to produce and distribute.

      Combining all the energy input totals, Gleick and Cooley found that producing bottled water requires between 5.6 and 10.2 million joules of energy per liter, depending on transportation factors (a typical personal-sized water bottle is about 0.5 liters). That’s up to 2,000 times the energy required to produce tap water, which costs about 0.005 million joules per liter for treatment and distribution.

      In 2007, US consumers purchased more than 33 billion liters of bottled water, or 110 liters (30 gallons) per person. The total energy required to produce 33 billion liters is equivalent to 32-54 million barrels of oil (although not all the energy used comes from oil). Energy to produce bottled water accounts for about one-third of one percent of total US energy consumption.

    196. Fireproofjim says:

      This is the only thread which left my teeth hurting!

    197. CameronB Brodie says:

      A wee tip for the future. If hoping to paint over nicotine stained walls, add a little gloss paint to you emulsion. Cheaper than buying silk or satin finish paint and the nicotine doesn’t shine through. 😉

    198. Craig MachAonghais says:

      Just eat less…folk are still wedded to the three meals a day habit which is fine if you’re doing a hard physical job, but most of us nowadays are parked on our arses in front of a computer, so we don’t need three large meals a day.
      As for government “bans” or taxes, I’m not generally in favour of that. If you want to kill yourself smoking shite, or eating shite or injecting shite, then feel free, but I do think it’s important that we actually know the contents of whatever shite it is and that’s where governments can help, by forcing the producers of shite to tell us exactly what’s in it. Then we can make up our own minds – informed.

    199. Robert Peffers says:

      @ian m says: 23 January, 2016 at 7:47 pm:

      “Diet drinks should be banned”

      Which is as bad as banning those with sugar, Ian.

      I’m an old man and I’ll tell you my experiences. I worked in Rosyth Dockyard and, many years ago I worked afloat. That is on ships under refit in dry dock or in the non-tidal basin. Thus on ships without shore power except for temporary lighting and low power work sockets.

      Being then employed in the Radar, Radio and Sonar Workshop our base was a considerable distance from the actual ship we were working on. We thus didn’t have a close Howf, (restroom), we could use.

      Tea and coffee doesn’t keep too well in a flask if it has milk and sugar added and most people just drank it black and unsweetened. After a while your taste changes and if you drink tea with milk and sugar added it tastes vile.

      So even now I don’t add sugar to anything I eat or drink. I now do use dry powdered milk in tea or coffee but still find sweet stuff, either sugared or sweetened, tastes vile.

      I may be wrong but I suspect if parents didn’t feed sweets and sugary stuff to their kids as comfort food that the kids would grow up finding over sweet things tasted vile.

    200. Croompenstein says:

      OT – I caught some of this on radio this morning and thought it was really good, SC had linked to it earlier but I think it deserves another punt. Listen to how the Norwegians think we could do things in Scotland. Let’s get this done…

    201. jimnarlene says:

      I agree with the proposition that, you should enjoy life in whatever way floats your boat; as long as you do no harm to others.
      I, like the good Reverend, don’t want to be an old basket case, eating stewed prunes, pissing myself and dribbling at the mouth, while talking gibberish at an artificially elongated age.
      Nether do I wish to die prematurely, but sod living beyond my appreciation for life and all it’s wonders, if I’m unable to enjoy them.
      With you 100% Rev, 100%.

    202. Fred says:

      Shocking news about the threat to the Lochaber aluminium smelter, mebbes when the last of Scotland’s industry folds we’ll no be able tae afford sweeties!

    203. schrodingers cat says:

      I remember chipping ice off the inside of windows on a top tenement flat

      when I were a lad, we used to have to chip the ice off the inside of the bed sheets…

      Must pop out, for that nice bottle, or two of lovely Scottish beer.

      luxury, best we could do was to drink out of a broken bottle

      if the Rev is found face down in a sweet and sour chicken. Hopefully someone trusted has the admin passwords

      think m15 will have them, ‘scuse me a sec, someone’s pounding on my front door….

      Anyone remember Jam?…..

      when I were a lad, we were too poor for such luxuries

      I was looking at a u tube clip about “stout people….

      argh, so you have to be fat to be stout now….

      Robert Peffers
      Believe it or not it was an innocent looking pack of frozen Stovies.

      sharp in take of breath….sacrelage

      “Gies a peice maw”, and the mother would throw the Piece down to the kid. …

      best we could afford was lard…

      Valerie says
      given sugar cane was pretty much responsible for slave trade….

      but we were happy in those days…..

      That’s the trouble with young people nowadays, they’ve all got too many teeth…..

      try telling them that….and they wont believe you

      there is even sugar in your Wiltshire ham…..

      shear luxury

      The whole of society is governed by guidelines, unless you live in a cave.

      terribly troglodytist

      Ian Brotherhood
      ‘…and Moses did come back down carrying two big giant bars of tablet,

      I have here 3 tablets with 15 comman…..crash,, um,,i have here 10 commandments..

    204. Fred says:

      @ Cameron Brodie. I assume your tip about gloss refers to water-based paint? oil & water don’t mix very well.

    205. schrodingers cat says:


      mmm, i was totally blown away by this

    206. Brian McHugh says:

      CameronB & yesindyref2;

      Aye, painted the sitting room last year… I think the work I had to put in to covering the stained walls, provided significant exercise to be a bonus to my health. …always an up side. 😀

    207. schrodingers cat says:

      CameronB Brodie
      A wee tip for the future. If hoping to paint over nicotine stained walls, add a little gloss paint to you emulsion. Cheaper than buying silk or satin finish paint and the nicotine doesn’t shine through. ?

      alteratively, magnolia is your friend

    208. CameronB Brodie says:

      I didn’t want to give away too many trade secrets. 😉

    209. Robert Peffers says:

      @steveasaneilean says: 23 January, 2016 at 8:02 pm:

      “Hi Vestas – I don’t want to sidetrack this post by Stu – but I hope he will tolerate a few more lines on vitamin D.

      I am old enough to remember when vitamin B deficiency was cited as the definite cause of MS.”

      Aye! steveasaneilean, and I’m older still and old enough to remember when, Glasgow in particular, was the capital City of Europe for the scourge of Rickets. There was more short, bandy legged folk inn Glasgow than anywhere else but the rest of Scotland, or indeed the UK were far from being spared.

      Rickets, if memory serves, is caused by lack of Vitamin “D”. Lack of sunlight and other food sources of the vitamin as a cause were wiped out in Britain by the end of WWII but sadly the disease has made a comeback, now even among lasses, due to kids not going out to play and not getting enough vitamin “D”, in their diet.

      During WWII the government issued Malt, Cod Liver Oil and Orange Juice to children and that wiped out several bad diseases that were caused by bad diet.

      Sadly several have returned under the twin threats of poverty and tv/computer games and the trend to stop children from playing outside.

    210. Lenny Hartley says:

      Agree 100% Rev, when. I was five my mum took me to Skool the first day, thereafter for the next seven years I had to walk the 2-1/2 miles rain hail or shine, some of my classmates had to walk over four miles, now even the 21/2 miles return journey is deemed to much for the fragile wee souls so from my council tax I pay for a bus.
      I’m officially obese these days , I did go on a crash diet in the summer and lost 12 kilos in a little over a month, mind you part of that time I was in a coma and being fed by a tube. however when I got out of hospital,I was happy coz I had been trying to lose about 12 kilo’s for years. problem was that due to issues from two ops in quick succession I could not exercise and I have put thev12 kilo back on. I don’t take sugar in my tea and coffee and eat processed food infrequently but I eat too much crap at night. However I have adopted a wee boy, a Collie dug and they need exercised, I now walk at least four miles most days, I’ve lost 4 kilo,s in last month (which is good over xmas/new year. ) this proves that it’s exercise that is required.

      put a tax on use of play stations and you will have a leaner fitter society going forward.

    211. CameronB Brodie says:

      Magnolia? Bloody luxury. When I were a lad…

    212. kininvie says:

      WTF? I’ve just arrived here – and there’s more passion about sugar than there is about independence!!

      Go to France, where they eat, drink, smoke, more or less as they wish, but where most people care about style and how they look, and what their nation stands for…

      Go to Scotland and no one much cares…

      You don’t change people’s behaviour with a tax. You change it by getting them to take pride in themselves and what they can achieve. We know the answer to that, surely.

    213. jimmock says:

      sorry stuart, but you are wrong. the nanny state is necessary. 85 per cent of woman do not obtain enough folic acid from their diet to protect their unborn children from serious birth defects. 150 years ago our ancestors ate cabbages and herrings regularly and so protected the health of themselves and their children. we should have compulsory school meals that include all the basic health needs of our children if we want to have a healthy society. sugar tax. alcohol tax. fat tax. bring them on

    214. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Cameron B Cheapskate Do a proper job . Wash down with Sugar Soap ( good excercise )

    215. Fred says:

      @ Cameron & The Cat, an auld neighbour of mine sent her son to the B & Q for a gallon of Mongolian! 🙂

    216. CameronB Brodie says:

      ronnie anderson
      You’ve sussed me. 😉

    217. Robert Peffers says:

      Talking about the Cod Liver Oil And Orang Juice –

    218. ronnie anderson says:

      When we get back roon tae Popcorn time,diz that mean we huv tae buy Sugar Free,bugger am gon oan tae Candy Floss, anybody got ah auld Spinner Drum.

    219. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Lenny Hartley (10.27) –

      You sound in fine form mister – more power to ye. 🙂

    220. John Young says:

      I was brought up on a wee croft in Glen Nevis. We had 2 cows and about 50 hens. My Mum used to buy groceries of the delivery vans using trays of eggs.

      We made our own butter and one of the delights of my childhood was scrumptious sugar sandwiches.

    221. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Robert Peffers at 9.58

      If I remember school milk was given as a reason for the huge reduction of rickets in Glasgow and the West of Scotland. The rise again in rickets coincided with the cancellation of school milk.

      Rickets was particular problem in the Asian population in Glasgow area (because of their sun resitant skin)and it was countered by the addition of Vitamin D in the basic flours in their food.All dark skinned people in Scotland should take Vitamin D supplementation.

    222. Fred says:

      Tommy Sherridan swears by it! 🙂

    223. Tam Jardine says:


      Aye- Stu is promting discussion on the sugar thing but I don’t really care for it either.

      I want us to be like France. An energy rich, low population, gallus, cool (cold) version of France.

      We are trying to persuade people that are struggling to shake off the Stockholm syndrome. Some of them can be persuaded. Others would be voting no down to the last drop of oil while the “Project North East England” kicks in.

      They’d be voting No even if Westminster secretly destroyed our economy (which they did). They’d be voting No even if Westminster lied to us about our resources (which they did). They’d be voting No even if every single fucking promise made to us had been reneged on (which they did).

      Independence now. Not in 2020. Not once the pollsters decide we are at 60% for a year. Not after we get dragged out of Europe.

      It is the responsibility of us to save our brothers, our sisters, our parents and our children from a ruling class that has been treating Scotland like a fucking ATM forever.

      We don’t need statistics. We need to simply to shake off our shackles and move forward. Everything we have known from now back is in the past. My humble suggestion is this: Euro ref: England votes out, Scotland votes in- mass outside Holyrood. Draft a declaration of independence. Then watch the EU.

    224. Ian Brotherhood says:

      It’s all just ‘modern life’ innit?

      Here’s instant relief – the Church of the Sub-Genius:

      ‘The World Ends Tomorrow, And You May Die!’

    225. Lenny Hartley says:

      Cheers Iain amazing what a packet of Wine Gums does fur ye!

    226. Dr Jim says:

      I’ve just seen the HM Governments Ad for the new and improved super living wage of £7.20 an hour and how everybody should be eternally grateful
      And they’ve done it tastefully in as many “British” accents as they could put together in one short inclusive piece, the last one being a fairly strong Scottish voice happy to inform us of the £4.00 quid an hour less than the actual living wage

      Better together or are we soon to be seeing..Da Da Da Dah

      The Hunger Games

    227. Rock says:

      It is not sugar that causes diabetes or early death.

      It is the processed and factory farmed stuff we eat.

      I don’t have any medical ‘evidence’ for that, only my common sense.

    228. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Lenny Hartley –

      ‘Wine gums’?

      My old dear was too fond of the sugary stuff, got all her gnashers hauled fifty years ago – now she’s only got gums and she’s never done whining about it!

      Boom Boom!!


    229. Kevin meina says:

      Just been to a SNP Burns supper in West Kilbride the toast to Scotland was by George Kerevan MP what a superb speech about 18th century Scotland in the times of Burns.
      Just shows what goes around comes around “a parcel o rogues indeed sold for English gold.”

    230. yesindyref2 says:

      A World Health Organisation report has recommended reducing the daily speaking and writing of words by 50% to 1,526, and the reading or hearing of words to 4,916. MP for Rotting on the Wold, Jimmy Oliver, has recommended a tax of 1p per word to help enforce this recommendation.

      A team of lexicologists from Oxford University is furiously at work condensing the dictionary to allow use of multiple sentences into single words to follow the WHO guidelines.


    231. Rock says:

      The monetary cost saved by society as a whole is nothing compared to the emotional and psychological cost to immediate family (parents, relatives and friends dying early for example).

      Tory Thatcherite capitalists know the monetary price of everything and the value of nothing.

      We need to start curbing the freedoms of multinational corporations.

      But that is not going to happen any time soon.

    232. Cadogan Enright says:

      Sometimes I wonder is the Rev is related to Colonel Awkward of Chipping Whatsit writing to the Times of London or the Daily Telegraph. I’m waiting for the “Global Warming Is’nt Really Happening” post next.

      To be fair, Years ago I was highly suspicious of Government adding Flouride to water or even of the potential damage of mobile phones radio, wi-fi or microwave ovens food additives etc etc and especially listening to Briitish Tory ministers tell us that all was well.. Given the experience of my extended family with Government and especially the UK government I am inclined to trust them with nothing or even automatically take the opposite view on the slimmest excuse.

      Then I started to follow who was successfully canvassing the Tories to enact or stop policy, and using that as a yardstick to gauge the accuracy of my opinions. I note how these canvassings are reflected faithfully in the Stare and Corporate Media. Pharma companies, Oil Companies, torturing animals for ‘science’, Campaigners against renewables, Banking self or minimum regulation, Food Companies wanting self regulation on sugar and salt in processed food, insane dictatorships wanting guns, the security services who can conduct an inquest and a report into a dead Russian in record time with maximum publicity while refusing to release details for police investigation on the state murder of 256 wholly innocent British Civilians murdered by state forces in NI or preventing up to 60 inquests for as long as 40 years or more with no publicity at all. Murdering civilians ‘cos they support human rights is what bad government do – hence BBC coverage of dead Russians only.

      This sugar thing is obviously one of these issues on which the Rev is basically barking, like his stance on minority languages, where it is a badge of honour for him not to check the facts.

      I’m on the finance committee of my local Health Trust covering much of Down and a chunk of Belfast and we are essentially having to plan for a melt-down of public health based on obesity, epidemic levels of type 2 diabeties directly arising from too much sugar in the public diet, 1/3 of children obese and unable to run for a bus, more older people suffering long term illness triggered by environmental issues with food and so on.

      Thus when the so-called British Food Insustry (think ‘British’ Papers here) successfully canvass the Tories to against regulation of addictive levels of salt and sugar in processed foods often aimed at the poor and young alarm bells ring. When I hear cries of ‘nanny state’ from the same folk who lie about Scotland, claxtons start to go off.

      Totally agree people should have the right to kill themselves in whatever way they want, even if it means years of expensive intervention by the NHS to deal with the consequences, but let them pay the cost of it in increased taxes so fresh unprocessed food looks more attractive by comparison.

      What a fruitcake. . . . . .

    233. ArtyHetty says:

      Re; Dave M Hill@10.49

      I read am interesting article in the National recently by L. Riddoch on vitaminD. Research has shown that most of us in the northern hemisphere are likely deficient in VitaminD.

      VitD is important as it acts like a hormone in regulating immune system, I think if I read that right.
      Our bodies can only store a certain amount and given our increasingly cloudy skies…

    234. Ian Brotherhood says:

      George Carlin, on ‘Fat People’ –

    235. Rock says:

      Dave McEwan Hill,

      “All dark skinned people in Scotland should take Vitamin D supplementation.”


      “I read am interesting article in the National recently by L. Riddoch on vitaminD. Research has shown that most of us in the northern hemisphere are likely deficient in VitaminD.”

      If fair skinned people in Scotland have evolved to absorb Vitamin D in the Scottish climate, why would most of us be likely deficient in Vitamin D?

    236. Del says:

      “No, fuck off.” from away back top of the thread.
      I might have a certain sympathy for the Rev’s attitude to SNP or Independence-laden attitudes. I have little respect for ‘do whatever you want’ stories regarding foodstuffs and drink stuffs. Anyone consuming volumes of Irn Bru, Barrs whatever or similar, is aiming at diabetes 1 or 2.

    237. yesindyref2 says:

      @Cadogan Enright
      The problem with all that is the statistics, and of course statistics never lie, just as figures don’t.

      Apaprently the average intake of sugar is 11.5%. First it was recommended to bring this down to 10%, now to 5%.

      But it misses the point completely, as far as obesity is concerned. If the average daily intake is 11.5%, then half the people take MORE than that average. If obesity affects 1/3rd of children, then if sugar is directly related, to make it easier, then they are obviously above that average 11.5% daily intake.

      In other words, reducing the average daily intake to 5% from 10% or even from 11.5% to 10%, is not directed at these children, nor obesity. All that’s need is to try to get the 50% of people above the average, or even just the 33.3% suffering from obesity who are presumably well above that 11.5%, down to the average daily intake of 11.5%, at least as the first measure (the average will then drop).

      So why take the 66.7% of people who aren’t obese, for their more reasonable daily intake of sugar?

      Statistics, eh?

    238. Effijy says:

      The Cube Root of Sugar is Death with a Smile.

      Rev, I truly fear the Westminster Parties and MI6 will now agree to sneak in to your home and plant a short lifetime worth of Tea Cakes and Iron Bru to finish you off.

      It was previously a fear of a hit and run or a leaky Gas pipe but you have just planted this seed in their mind by your own hand.

      Can you realise how much we, Scotland, Liberty and Justice need You to maintain all the wonderful facets that make up WoS?

      Please put a good lock and chain on the door of your all electric home, buy a year’s supply of Ryvita and drink only rainwater. lol

    239. Rock says:

      Cadogan Enright,

      “a melt-down of public health based on obesity, epidemic levels of type 2 diabeties directly arising from too much sugar in the public diet”

      Has anyone proved whether type 2 diabetes arises directly from too much sugar or too much food processing, including refining sugar?

      In my view, it is too much food processing that is the direct problem.

      Sugar can be burned off and unrefined sugar wouldn’t be a problem, but the processed food messes up and damages all organs of the body.

      But our lifestyle has become such that we can go for the easy ‘solution’ of drinking tea and coffee without sugar but cannot do without processed foods which are the bigger problem.

    240. Anagach says:

      Despite a serious Lindt habit (those bunnies die quick) and a excellent chance of type 2 in a few years I got to say I am happy for a sugar tax.

      The issue for me is not that people knowingly buy a choc bar or a full sugar coke, but that products like chicken, sliced ham, or corn on the cob have sugar added. That kids breakfast serials have become sugar snacks as bad as coke, ‘healthy’ fruit juices are anything but in so many cases.

      Hidden sugar padding out and addicting people in processed products by an industry who aim is not to provide health and nutritious food but as much sales and profit as the morbidly obese population can provide.

      Perhaps the tax should be levied upon the producers.

    241. Fairliered says:

      We were at that Burns Supper. Totally agree with you regarding George Kerevan. Excellent eulogy.
      Hard to imagine that Rabbie wouldn’t have been a Yesser. But possibly RISE rather than SNP?

    242. Cadogan Enright says:

      National on sugar

      Revs post reminds me of the NRA in the States “it’s not guns that shoot / kill people” – it’s people who make choices

      Maybe we should all carry sugar lumps to protect ourselves against evil corporates that might be putting addictive levels of salt and sugar in our food.

      We can post jelly babies outside schools armed with spear mints to stop Tory donar companies replacing school milk with sugary drinks

      On the other hand, we can regulate to stop addictive levels for sugar and salt being added to food and tax those foods and drinks that are based on salt and sugar

    243. Croompenstein says:

      But possibly RISE rather than SNP?

      Probably Scotland

    244. Fairliered says:

      Agree with you Rock. Very concerned about the added sugar and salt in processed foods.
      It’s a tragedy that the UK neoliberal economic model doesn’t allow time for people to cook meals from basic ingredients. Do you think its a deliberate policy to maximise food processing companies profits at the expense of ordinary families?

    245. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Tetchy, tired, half-pished, and ready for the sack…

      But all the same: we still don’t know what the fallout from Chernobyl did to Scotland; we cannot explain why suicide remains such a popular ‘life-choice’ for Scottish men aged 18-35; we have no independent Scottish mainstream media; our elected representatives in Westminster are treated with open contempt.

      And we’re arguing about ‘sugar’?

      This is aimed at no-one in particular, but please, let’s just at least try to get a fucking grip, eh?

    246. Fairliered says:

      Only half pished, Ian? Must try harder!
      The suicide statistics for 18-35 men are an embarrassment to Scotland. Could it be related to a feeling of powerlesssness in a colony where traditional manufacturing, engineering jobs have been sacrificed for the sort of financial services parasitic rubbish more suited to public school educated wankers to the detriment of the honest working class folk that graduate from e.g. Auchenharvie Academy?

    247. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Fairliered –


      I will try harder, at the very next opportunity!

      Auchenharvie Academy?

      Both my weans are there, and it’s a great school. Even if I had the dosh and/or the choice, I wouldn’t have had them serve their ‘school’ years anywhere else.

    248. liz g says:

      Ian Brotherhood @ 1.19am
      No argument with that.

    249. schrodingers cat says:

      come the revolution, ye’ll a’ dae as yer fuckin’ telt

      ps, potato soup recipe

      1.boil a pan of water ain tattie in said pan for 60 seconds then remove


      ps, said tattie will last fer ower 6 month


    250. Kevin meina says:

      Rise or SNP,I agree Scotland I think he would have realised the wisdom of SNP till free then be free to vote for whom you wish.
      We are only being encouraged by MSM to vote for others as a means of splitting the SNP vote to allow unionists in.Todays articles reference fracking being a case in point.

    251. yesindyref2 says:

      Now here’s an interesting article in the Herlad:
      “Wishart: I’m “relaxed” about no manifesto commitment on Indyref2″

      THE SNP’s shadow leader of the House of Commons says he and most of the party’s 115,000 members are “relatively relaxed” about not seeking a mandate for an independence referendum in May.

      I don’t remember being polled.

    252. Sandy says:

      Was brought up in the North of our fair land where income came from mainly crofting/fishing. Sustinance came from what was caught, reared, or grown & maybe at times surripticiously taken from the river or the hill. Anyway, good healthy food. “Bogey Roll” or “Capstan/Woodbine” was smoked &, shh, homemade “juice o’ the barley” was drunk. People regularly lived into their 80s/90s or were drowned at sea.
      Then, along came processed food.
      Enjoy your E127 this morning?

    253. jdman says:

      Schrodingers cat
      “come the revolution, ye’ll a’ dae as yer fuckin’ telt

      ps, potato soup recipe

      1.boil a pan of water ain tattie in said pan for 60 seconds then remove


      ps, said tattie will last fer ower 6 month”

      Mind if I pass this recipe onto my wife?
      She does exactly the same thing but without the potato.

      She’ll probably ask me if it’s my birthday or something
      women on diets are a bloody nightmare 🙁

    254. Col says:

      Not sure why suicide is so prevelent amongst young men, I’m talking from experience here too. I battled depression for years, a lack of understanding of the condition certainly plays a part. I sank into a hole without realising it, if I was aware of the condition I might have recognised it for what it was but even then it took me ages to get back on my feet so to speak.
      Loosing a close relative actually made me realise that I couldn’t put my relatives through another loss and from there I’ve built myself a half decent existence.
      . I’m happy now!
      I’ve just decided to contact a mental health charity and offer myself up. Pretty sure being through hell qualifies me at least to help out somewhere.

    255. louis.b.argyll says:

      yesindyref2, cadogan,

      If there is an average of say 10%
      (of anything) it doesn’t follow that half (of the people) are above below.

      That would be a 50th ‘percentile’..or something like that..

      Swine statistics.

      But also, your ‘67%’ of taxable non fatties may be a similar statistic to ‘folk who hardly use NHS/ don’t have children in education/ don’t support militarisation of the planet.


      War on food corruption? Or war on ministers who know SOMETHING MUST BE DONE.

    256. Robert Louis says:

      Just consider yourselves lucky you don’t live in the USA, where almost every food stuff (including many you would never, ever expect (bread!!)), is laced with the damaging high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), in place of sugar.

      No doubt HFCS will be the new de facto ‘sugar replacement’, following TTIP. Could this be Cameron’s motivation for a sugar tax?? Those American corn farmers need a bigger market.

    257. B.Bomb says:

      Stuart I think you’ve made some good points.
      When my wife and I are out shopping we NEVER buy the “no added sugar” or “diet” options. The sweeteners that are used as a substitute for sugar will do you far more harm than sugar will.

      It’s not only the artificial sweeteners that’ll mess you up. There’re great apps you can get for free that tell you all about these sweeteners and E numbers. They are a great tool for checking ingredients in things before you buy it. Go ahead, download one and check out what’s actually in those “sugar free” items. You’ll be surprised at what companies are putting in their products.

      Sugar, as with everything else, is perfectly fine in moderation.

      You’re final dig about tree huggers and quinoa stained hands is a bit unnecessary in my opinion. My wife and I are both vegan and are far more aware of what goes into our food and what goes into processed food.

      I think this is where the government are getting it wrong. Why tax people who buy something knowing it is full of sugar? Why not legislate for manufacturers to be more clear about what goes into their products? It’s the processed food that contains “stealth” sugars that are the problem.

      Earlier comments have said its about education. In my opinion it’s true. Educated the parents to provide better home cooked meals for their kids. Educate the children about what goes into the processed crap that their parents are serving them. Educate the kids to cook basic food and make it fun to learn. They will then educate their parents AND continue to cook their own meals.

      Sugar isn’t the problem. It’s people being unaware of what they are eating that is the main problem. We’ve become lazy and obsessed with convenience that we’ve basically allowed these food manufacturers to ruin our lives.

    258. Brian McHugh says:

      Would banning advertising and hiding all sugary products behind the counter, in blank packaging or maybe with pictures of exploded dead fat people on them (Mr Creosote?) Work?

    259. Roger Hyam says:

      I think you are applying the same argument the tobacco industry used to use. You can’t tax the fags as it is the only pleasure the poor people have and we wouldn’t want to take that away. Sounds blood patronising.

      Instead of asking questions about why people are disadvantaged fight to keep cultural identities based on crap food consumption.

    260. ScottieDog says:

      It’s crazy just to blame obesity on too much sugar. We have a food system now which is completely delocalised. A much greater portion our time as a nation now is working to keep a roof over our heads and cooking and food prep is much less of a priority. Most things in the big supermarkets are loaded with E numbers and additives and our fruit and veggies peppered with chemicals. The nation runs on carb intensive convenience food.

      Maybe one day the UK be as democratic with its land as Mr Putin. That might help our bodies and give everyone a chance to eat healthy.

    261. Lollysmum says:

      Col at 6.47am
      You are exactly what is needed by mental health charities-a volunteer that knows what it feels like to suffer the same problems & manages to get themselves back on an even keel is worth their weight in gold. You are a walking, talking demonstration of a life after depression. Good man-people will listen to you because you’ve been there.

      Good luck with it.

    262. louis.b.argyll says:

      Nicola Sturgeon answered every question with the truths she believes in.

      Then after the next interview,
      with uber-capitalist head of change at BBC..
      ..Marr says..’over to the news..’


      It was a guy reading a paraphrased summary of two INTERVIEWS WE HAD JUST SEEN.


    263. Robert Peffers says:

      @Rock says: 24 January, 2016 at 12:50 am:

      “If fair skinned people in Scotland have evolved to absorb Vitamin D in the Scottish climate, why would most of us be likely deficient in Vitamin D?”

      Simples! Fair skinned Scots have indeed evolved to absorb Vitamin D in the Scottish climate but, and it’s a big but, our way of life has changed.

      Kids don’t go out to play anymore and we absorb vit D from Sunlight. Our way of life has changed – most folks do not now work outside and if they do they knock-off and go in out of the rain.

      Our diet has also changed and we do not get vitD there either. Hence 25% of evolved Scots are VitD deficient.

    264. bugsbunny says:

      The Story of Aspartame,

      Stephen Roney.

    265. Garry says:

      It’s my body. I will put in it whatever the fuck I want. I do not require a nanny state or a bunch of do Gooders telling me what I can and can’t have. When the argument is really boiled down, it’s about money, as per usual. You don’t want to pay for a fat guys treatment. I don’t want to pay for some bicycle wanker that got run over playing chicken with the traffic in the city centre. Tough shit, we all pay in, we all receive treatment.

    266. G H Graham says:

      The amount of time spent by the average person sitting in front of the TV, being spoon fed BBC propaganda & puerile game shows is a whopping 4 hrs per day. And for those aged 55-64 it’s nearly 6 hours per day. And those statistics are from 2011.


      That’s between 28 hours & 42 hours per week doing nothing more exhausting than feasting on cheese & onion crisps & Kola Kubes just to help one get through an entire miserable episode of Eastenders without feeling suicidal.

      And why do we have so much time on our hands compared to even a couple of generations ago?

      Several factors:

      1. The near continuous year on year improvement in manufacturing productivity due to automation which has made time saving gadgets more affordable than ever.
      2. In the UK, per capita income in 2000 was estimated to have been 4.5 times more than it was in 1900.
      3. Educational enrolment rates in the late 20th century are massively different from the rates in the late 19th century.


      So there you have it. The problem of chronic obesity isn’t caused by sugar at all. It’s caused by cheap, time saving gadgets purchased by people who had the nerve to go to school instead of choosing to start life sweeping chimneys.

    267. Robert Peffers says:

      @louis.b.argyll says: 24 January, 2016 at 10:01 am:

      ” … It was a guy reading a paraphrased summary of two INTERVIEWS WE HAD JUST SEEN.


      Nothing happened to it, Louis.b, It just wasn’t the news where you were, it was the news where they were.

      Ah’ll get ma coat!

    268. Cod says:

      ”Consumption of sweet treats is a vice which harms only the user, and ought to be none of anyone else’s business.”

      But is this actually true? It can be argued, quite effectively, and using only the logic you displayed with the other examples previously mentioned, that overuse of high sugar content “treats” does in fact constitute a form of harm to others – and in many cases, a much higher level of harm than, for example, singing sectarian songs at a football game (which I disagree with, strenuously, to be clear). “How so”, you may ask.

      Well, let’s look at the fact that the cost of treating obesity, including conditions such as Type 2 diabetes, and elevated BMI, which result from a high sugar diet, runs into billions of pounds. According to the Department of Health, the last concrete study on the costs, done in 2007, had costs of obesity to the NHS running at £2.3 billion pounds, with total wider costs of elevated BMI running at £15.8 billion pounds [1]

      The cost to the economy of the country – which, eventually, has a direct impact on things like life expectancy – is only second to the impact of cigarettes, with a study from consultancy firm McKinsey and Company putting the figure around £47 billion per year, or just over 2.5% of the entire UK GDP. [2]

      Now, you may be thinking, so what? Although this is a lot of money, it does not directly affect the health of others, like, for example, smoking does. Except it does. Every million pounds spent on conditions resulting from obesity is a million pounds lost from the NHS budget which could be used for fighting other conditions. Every million pounds spend on buying equipment specifically designed to deal with obese patients is money not able to be spent on new CAT machines, or better standard equipment. Every billion pounds spent on treating obesity is money lost towards building a new hospital, or funding advanced research into Alzheimers, or other diseases. Every time someone dies because the NHS could not afford their cancer drugs, or because a specialist piece of equipment was not available, that’s something which can be directly attributable to high sugar content food and drink.

      It’s no different than the argument that smokers cost the NHS money, and therefore resources which could go towards treating other conditions. Sure, it’s entirely correct to argue that someone eating a box of sugary doughnuts while standing next to you is unlikely to cause you any problems directly, but that doesn’t mean it has no impact on you at all. It’s just that the effects are indirect.

      However, it should be noted that those being targeted should not be the consumers – although some education always helps, and perhaps some form of subsidy on healthier food and drink could be applied. No, the ones who should be in the targets of the government are those who produce the food we eat. It’s not just sugary drinks and snacks which are the problem, although they are the most visible part of it. Almost all of the processed food we eat is loaded with sugar. Take a look at the labels of pretty much any processed food in a supermarket, and you’ll see sugar on it. The companies shovel these foods at people, with a disproportionate effect on the poorer sector of society who tend to buy more processed foods than more well off people. They make millions of pounds in profit in doing so, with none of the costs associated with these products being borne by them.

      The health of the nation is a common good, but the costs are spread in a very unfair way. Companies make the money, while the NHS, and by extension, every tax payer in the UK, pays for it, and everyone pays for it in terms of the lack of funding available for areas of the NHS which do not deal with obesity.

      Thus, the argument that dealing with obesity through sugar reduction is a model of a nanny state at work is false, predicated, as it is, on the notion that such high sugar usage does not impact on anyone other than the consumer themselves.



    269. louis.b.argyll says:

      Indeed Robert P..but

      It wasn’t the news where you live.


      It must be written into his contract…that no matter how trivial or regurgatative the interviews may seem..we’ll make some kind of headline ‘whatever’.

      Especially if it means we can gloss over dodgy Saudi militarisation and the British corruption which hides it’s dark side.

      Robert P…, what’s your take on the two Royal Houses that have deliberately destabilised the M.East?

    270. Lucy Dolan says:

      Fenteman’s, Bottle Green, Whole Earth… all lovely lemonades for your voddy, with read sugar. Likewise, Fever Tree, Fenteman’s or Bottle Green tonic for your gin.

    271. louis.b.argyll says:

      And, since I’m asking..

      ever report on OTHER COUNTRIES ROYALS?


    272. yesindyref2 says:

      OT again
      Great reply to that Wishart thread in the SH from Peter Bell. I endorse every word of it.

    273. frogesque says:

      I thought all sweets and fizz already carried a 20% tax. Namely VAT. The problem seems to be so called basic processed foods preloaded with fats and sugars. Sort out the VAT and problem solved.

      Also, isn’t the whole Indy debate about freedom, being informed and acting accordingly? Sugar, like everything else is OK in moderation, taken to excess it is a poison. Education, education, education far more effective than bans and a nanny state.

    274. Dean Clark says:

      Yes, but think of the children. Your sugar fueled obesity quest will, unless you do the honorable thing and fail to breed, almost certainly trigger epigenetic changes in your progeny, and likely theirs too. Fat parents on the whole have fat kids, or at the very least kids with a propensity to lay down fat more easily than others. You are dooming the yet unborn to a life of tubbyness and fat jokes.

    275. Lollysmum says:

      Story of Aspartame Comic not available

    276. Robert Peffers says:


      Just reading a news item :-

      A former Labour Pollster has told The BBC that a report into why Labour lost the 2015 election is, “Whitewash and a massive missed opportunity”.

      Deborah Mathinson completed voter research to feed into Dame Margaret Beckett’s report, but says her evidence was not published.

      Ms Mathinson told BBC Sunday Politics she was “very concerned”, that lessons from the election would not be learned.

      Labour said Beckett’s report had, “consulted far and wide”.

      Wings had that subject well covered quite some time ago. We were all aware that Labour were doing their usual whitewash.

      They just cannot get the courage to face up to the fact that they have blown any chance they may have had of any form of even modest recovery.

      To my mind the Scottish Branch Office blew their chances in Scotland when they allowed the London lot to deselect sitting Glasgow Councillors and replace them with London chosen candidates.

      The Labour Party, Scottish Branch, at Westminster already had their jaikits oan shooglie pegs, as did the the Holyrood sitting members and the last stronghold of Labour was the local councils.

      By not facing up to the truth it now seems that last bastion of Labour power in Scotland is about to also see itself off in Scotland.

      When you cannot face up to your own failings, and instead decide to ignore them, you are well down the road to self-destruction.

    277. galamcennalath says:

      louis.b.argyll says:

      ever report on OTHER COUNTRIES ROYALS?”

      Probably because other countries’ royals aren’t real royals, they are just pretendy. There is only one real royal dynasty on the planet.

      Same as “there is no nationalism” view because the UK is the default, and all other countries are foreigners. Nationalism is something other people do, never the UK.

      The UK Is special, didn’t you know? The UK’s Empire was a force for good in world, of course. The UK only spread culture, civilisation, and the rule of law, not like other empires.

      Take the EU. There are two classes of countries. There is the UK and then there Is a block of Europeans.

      Being the UK is being ‘normal’. Anyone who isn’t the UK is deviating.

      And we want out!

    278. heedtracker says:

      Sunday Politics BBC 2 boots up, Ligger Neil interviews tory hacks from rancid Graun, Times and FT. Another day of UKOK toryboy propaganda farts into action. Sweaties, lefties, even liberal progressive types on the BBC? get tae France.

    279. Almannysbunnet says:

      Processed food, processed food, processed food!

      A sugar tax will not stop manufacturers adding high fructose corn syrup to processed food, it’s cheap, it’s addictive, it’s in their interests to keep adding it.
      There is a direct correlation to it’s introduction in the 70’s to the explosion of obesity and diabetes in the West, particularly in USA and UK.
      The corn refiners in the USA have tried to get HFCS rebranded as corn sugar and described as natural. The FDA told them to F off.

      If the government really want to tackle obesity then ban refined corn syrup and kick the sugar tax into touch.

    280. Fred says:

      Somethin else fur yese tae worry aboot!

    281. Socrates MacSporran says:

      I hope we all enjoyed the SLAB party political broadcast, featuring Oor Andra Neil and Ian Murray, on Sunday Politics this morning.

      It was almost a return to the 1950s BBC style of: “Is there anything you want to tell us Minister”?

      Murray gave Andra umpteen chances to put the boot into SLAB, all of which Andra passed on.

    282. Socrates MacSporran says:

      AND – Sunday Politics Scotland was, yet again, an SNP-free zone.


    283. Nana says:

      O/T links

      Consultation ends on the 31st Jan …

      If Scottish labour wins Holyrood hahahahhaha…

      Scottish Labour leader pledges not to cut Air Passenger Duty if party wins Holyrood

    284. Cuilean says:

      Chocolate hoarders of the world!

      The dentist’s waiting-room awaits.

    285. Valerie says:


      The gas article link is coming up – page not found?

      I even tried to search the site, nothing.

    286. Nana says:


      Click on the homepage on that ‘page not found’ and you will see the article.
      That website has a habit of moving articles after a few hours.

    287. Lollysmum says:

      Me too Error 404

    288. Nana says:

      Unionists crowing that Nicola has not reached target…

      I posted further links which must be in moderation, so best check back later to see if they appear.

    289. CameronB Brodie says:

      Wow. I usually fast twice a week (no food at all), and rarely eat breakfast.

    290. ArtyHetty says:

      Re;Robert peffers@10.02am

      You can read L.Riddochs article on VitaminD over at the National. It was published on Aug.27th last year. Just put a in for search vitaminD. Article linked into the first comment.

      Not sure if it is ok to share their articles here?

    291. Lollysmum says:

      I didn’t even know Nicola had a crowdfunder running. Last day today-lets do this with the power of Wings

    292. James Barr Gardner says:

      In 11 hours it will be 100 days till the 5th of May.
      Tick, tick, tick………………………………………

      Not so long to wait now folks to hear the excuses in 101 days time from the liars, fraudsters, con men, place-men, BBC and the harlequin tory party.

      SNP 1 and 2 for me!

    293. Robert Peffers says:

      @louis.b.argyll says: 24 January, 2016 at 10:40 am:

      “Robert P…, what’s your take on the two Royal Houses that have deliberately destabilised the M.East?”

      My, “take”, of all subjects, “Royal”, while perhaps not made explicitly, is very, very clear.

      I believe that in all things the people are always sovereign. Further that any systems where the people are not sovereign are basically corrupt.

      The whole concept of legal sovereignty, of other than the people, is based upon old superstitious beliefs in mythical superior beings, (Gods). I do not believe in Gods.

      Royals originally claimed to have, “Divine Right”, that is they claimed to be God’s, (whichever one), representative on Earth. Their word were God given and thus law.

      Dictators and governments then took over the right to rule, but were usually self appointed in that they deposed the royalty and took over their role. Usually by force of arms.

      Even the so called Communist governments are basically dictatorships to some degree and all based upon the false concept of false, God given, sovereignty.

      So I neither believe in royalty as sovereigns nor of any government that is not actually based upon a true mandate of the people being sovereign, (and I do not mean Communism nor what passes today in the UK as socialism).

      Even the USA constitution, (which is actually based upon the principles of Scotland’s, “Declaration of Arbroath), is a corrupt system.

      In theory any USAsian citizen can be president of the USA but in fact only a very, very rich individual, or one backed by very rich organisations, can get elected to office.

      It most certainly is not what it claims to be, i.e., “Government of the people, by the people, for the people”. For that means all the people – not the chosen few of the people.

      The SNP are truly only funded by the membership and that membership is open to all, “The People of Scotland”, and these are defined as, “Those of any creed, colour or country of origin who are mainly resident in Scotland and registered to vote in Scottish elections”.

      Could there be anything closer to, “Government of the people, by the people for the people”?

      I’ll leave the answer to you.

    294. ArtyHetty says:


      I will check out the links later. The one on human rights particularly crucial. They UKok, english government, want to scrap it and replace with a British bill of rights’, if I am correct on that.

      Very chilling indeed.


      I read yesterday in a rag on a shop shelf, that the poor single mum, who recieved her eviction (bedroom tax victim) notice following the death of her 16yr old son, according to officials, she did not commit suicide.
      No, hanging herself was, and I can’t remember the creepy words they used, but implying it was a game, a cry, a plea, because her house was too big, officially her death is not recorded as suicide it seems. I find it very sinister and very 1984, that they can even record a death so that it takes away the sheer desperation caused by UK goverment actions. How scary.

    295. Paul says:

      I believe people have been ‘educated’ over time to adapt to sweeter, saltier foods found in snacks and ready meals.
      Who wants to work long hours and come home to prepare and cook a healthy meal – pop a meal in the microwave and its ready in 5 minutes. Who has time to sit down to breakfast – have breakfast on the go and eat a cereal bar to save time.
      One solution is higher wages and shorter hours to encourage people to buy and eat more healthy food, containing less sugar, salt and other additives but that doesn’t fit to the neoliberal narrative – squeeze as much work out of people and pay them as little as possible to maximise profits for those at the top.
      People smoke, drink, take drugs or indulge in sugary treats for a quick pick me up and the corporations know this.

    296. Robert Peffers says:

      @frogesque says: 24 January, 2016 at 10:52 am:

      ” … Education, education, education far more effective than bans and a nanny state.”

      But! But! But! frogesque, according to all parties and the MSM, under the SNP Scottish Education, Scottish NHS and even Police Scotland are totally inept and useless.

      How can such a poorly governed country educate and enforce what it educates?

    297. louis.b.argyll says:

      Robert P,
      ‘..any systems where the people are not sovereign are basically corrupt.’

      Galamcennalath, sarcastically,
      ..’The UK’s Empire was a force for good in world, of course. The UK only spread culture, civilisation, and the rule of law, not like other empires.’

      Is there ever such a thing as a rogue ‘state’?

      Or just rogue rulers?

      Either way, many of the current TROUBLES around the world…were caused WHEN BRITAIN WAS A ROGUE STATE.

      We’ve gotta get out of this EVIL EMPIRE, Scotland is last to leave the party, we shouldn’t politely help the unionists/imperialists tidy up.

    298. Valerie says:


      Good link on fasting, and you are doing well! I try to restrict eating to a certain window of hours, easy since I dumped wheat. I didn’t eat until 1pm, after walking my dogs today.

      The Doctor at the end, Dr Mercola, has a huge following now, along with a handful of others in the U.S., because they are challenging the old way of thinking. Another name to look for is Dr Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain, one of the scariest books I’ve read. Check them out on Amazon.

      What folk don’t get, is that there is a ton of research, but it’s never been collected in one place. These Doctors have broken from the herd, to start connecting the dots.

      Some of it is now starting to trickle through here, so it will be more mainstream at some point.

      For instance, did you know all wheat is GM? All the strains of seeds were altered back in the 30’s when there was no requirement for testing, and high yield was needed to feed a hungry world.

      Any original seed is held in historical seedbanks. Wheat is a commodity, traded on the market, and like sugar, permeates everything.

      Research is now finding it increases appetite, and has various harmful stuff attaching to the brain.

    299. Robert Peffers says:

      @louis.b.argyll says: 24 January, 2016 at 1:32 pm:

      “We’ve gotta get out of this EVIL EMPIRE, Scotland is last to leave the party, we shouldn’t politely help the unionists/imperialists tidy up.”

      History teaches us that the UK, or what was, “The British Empire”, or even before that just, “The Kingdom of England”, ever cleans up.

      For example the Knights of Christendom went to fight the, “Crusades”. Now I’m not taking the popular, but wrong, wiew the Crusades were wars on Islam made by power mad Popes.

      The Crusades were in fact defensive wars. They were direct responses to Muslim aggression. They attempted to stem, or at least defend against, Muslim conquests of Christian holy lands.

      All I’m pointing out is that the present Middle East conflicts are no more than a continuation of wars between opposing religious beliefs and both, being religious beliefs, are absolutely idiotic conflicts over mythical superior beings that no one could ever prove have ever actually existed, (and never will ever prove).

      The point is that what we should have realised was the Blair’s taking the UK to war in Iraq should have been a refusal to go with the thought, “Oh! Bloody hell! Here we go again”. The first crusade was launched by Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont in 1095.

      I say again they never clean up after themselves.

    300. louis.b.argyll says:

      Mr Peffers..

      ,. And everything we’re saying leads to the fact that UNILATERALISM is the only throw of the dice ‘populations’ have, to buck the ugly direction humanity is taking.

    301. Robert Peffers says:

      @Valerie says: 24 January, 2016 at 1:42 pm:

      ” … For instance, did you know all wheat is GM? All the strains of seeds were altered back in the 30’s when there was no requirement for testing, and high yield was needed to feed a hungry world.

      Well that’s not strictly true, Valerie. The original Stone age Hunter/Gatherers were concurrent with the first farmers who used selection of the best yielding grasses to grow food. That selection process has gone on ever since. All grain crops, indeed all crops and all domestic animals, came to be by that selection process.

      If you think about it every living thing on the planet is a result of natural selection where the fittest survives and the weakest fails. In most cases Genetic Modification only speeds up the process. It is not inherently evil.

      The problem is that potentially good, but not recognised, traits of the original may be lost unless they preserve the originals.

      “Any original seed is held in historical seedbanks. Wheat is a commodity, traded on the market, and like sugar, permeates everything.”

      Which is just what I’m highlighting above. In fact they have reintroduced some natural traits back into already GMed crops when they discovered in use that, for example, a trait had been removed that fought a particular disease or pest that affected the GMed crop but was present in the original.

      Furthermore, there is nothing new in things thought to be domestically harmless that turned out to be harmful. For example the green/blue patterned wallpapers that were loaded with arsenic.

    302. bugsbunny says:


      I put in a capital I instead of a small l which looks different here, but looks the same on the google bar. So here goes again.

      Hope it goes this time?

      Stephen Roney.

    303. Muscleguy says:

      @Rev Stu
      “Precisely which science have I flown in the face of, champ?”

      You called stevia artificial. Also a number of the sweeteners you denigrate as ‘chemical’ (let’s just park that one for a mo) are made by bacteria fermenting, sugar. Like xylitol for eg. Which can be used to make a perfectly functional sugar syrup, I’ve used it to make a sugar free sorbet (well other than the sugars in the fizzy wine).

      I cannot believe you labelled some thins ‘chemical’ in contrast to a hexose dimer.

    304. christine says:


    305. christine says:

      Your sugar post it seems ,stew, has opened a can of worms!

      heard recently a “science” Radio 4 programme on sugar which fairly raised my BP.
      They gave the biased choice of 1 tax on sugar or 2 reduced portions as “people are eating too much, 2000 + calories a day”
      First of all i wonder where they take their numbers from, and where is the evidence that people eat too much .In my experience, people eat too LITTLE, and this is why they throw themselves on junk food come 4pm,to keep going.
      were they able to eat a hot, nutritious meal for lunch, the sugar and fat hits would not be needed.

      But who has the time/ money? I agree the situation is created by poverty,hence chronic malnutrition which has become the norm.

      The so called “options” – hypocritical- are not the answers as they try to suppress a symptom rather than the cause.They will only enrich the fakefoods makers, which let’s face it ,is the main point of the campaign.

    306. Lollysmum says:

      Bugsbunny-thanks it worked that time. Now bookmarked for passing on to others

    307. ben madigan says:

      in my view although lack of exercise has an impact on weight, processed foods are the main contributors to obesity.They are easy to pick up in the supermarkets, quick to cook as you just pop them into the microwave but we don’t know exactly what’s in them and what effect they have on us.

      people might like to consider a return to cooking their own meals from fresh ingredients as one pensioner mentioned above talking about soups. Breakfast prorridge, stews and casseroles are very filling particularly in the winter months and usually cheap enough. They are however time consuming for workers.
      A collective approach might help. A stay at home person could offer to cook healthy meals for a group of 4-6 neighbours, sharing costs etc. giving each person a portion to heat up and eat in their own homes.
      If supermarket packets of fruit and veg are too big for 1 person or a couple then maybe arrangements could be made with friends, nearby relatives or neighbours to share costs and large packets.

      Over a month or so as people are getting real nourishing food instead of god knows what additives, the desire for sweets etc wanes because we are getting our energy from other, more traditional sources!

    308. bugsbunny says:

      Thank you Lollysmum for the reply. It certainly made me more aware of the dangers of artificial sweetener. As a diabetic I avoid these as well as sugar, well most of the time anyway, (blush).

      I prefer good Scottish Water anyway over Irn Bru, sugar free or otherwise. I will buy a bottle of water if I’m out and about. Remember when they used to have drinking fountains not only in Schools and Colleges, (as well as jugs of water with glasses on the tables), but had them in public parks as well? I remember I used to walk down Ayr Low Green and along the shore and they were drinking fountains everywhere. Now, not a one to be seen anywhere.


    309. Rock says:


      “It’s a tragedy that the UK neoliberal economic model doesn’t allow time for people to cook meals from basic ingredients. Do you think its a deliberate policy to maximise food processing companies profits at the expense of ordinary families?

      Multinational corporations rule the world and their only interest is to maximise profits for themselves and their fatcat bosses.

      They don’t give a damn about ordinary families.

    310. christine says:

      Is the obesity epidemic really/solely due to sugar overload anyway?
      What about the “endocrine disruptors” all around- and within -us?

      Bisphenols A and B for instance.Banned in france respectively 6 and 1 years ago, they’re barely talked about in the UK.The EU has now published an unfavourable report on a slew of chemicals – allegedly only for it to be haggled over by the big agrolobbies.Meanwhile the mass poisoning continues apace.

      What about miraculous soya? Again the French health authority after data review has declared soya a HAZARDOUS foodstuff and recommended an outright ban of any soya derived product – they’re everywhere too- to pregnant women and children under 3, and restricted consumption of just one product a day for the rest of us.That was years ago, where did you hear about it around here?
      The NHS factsheet on soya extolling the marvels of it, with the faintest of warning hints at the bottom of the page: “Though research is still ongoing,…”Blink and you’ll miss it as they say.

      Diesel fumes, aspartame, soya, fizzy drinks..risks widely known/suspected by the public and official scientists on the continent sometimes DECADES ago, don’t tell me the ignorance the british are kept in on health matters is accidental.imo there is a deliberate blackout of real information in the UK.

      Only after the manufacturers have raked in their enormous profits – and made millions of victims too- are we then “allowed” it seems to have the sad truth revealed but never fear, a new improved “healthier” substitute is just around the corner!

      So maybe the sugar riff is used as a distraction from greater more sinister dangers that will not be addressed, sorry, must not be addressed.

    311. christine says:

      I agree with you Ben Madigan , however it’s not easy to solve.Maybe vouchers to an association of local cafes, or subsidised workers canteens ?

      by the way can anyone confirm that traditional porridge needs be soaked overnight with a handful of barley- a friend told me otherwise oats prevent nutrients absorption in the gut. Is this the case?

      As for sugar, I have used xylitol chewing gum to deal with cravings, and raw cane molasses.

    312. K1 says:

      I love Wings. Great debate folks, great humour and great info. resources. Whit mair could a person ask for?

      Here’s an informative site that I check into because it’s stacked with information about very ordinary foods (affordable for anyone), essential nutrients and their functions within the body. It has a quite extensive reference to many studies related to said foods and health benefits of their consumption.

      it’s called ‘World’s Healthiest Foods’, I’m providing the ‘site map’ link as you can easily access the WHfood list and Essential Nutrient list. Which is pretty much the bones of the site. It also provides a lot of recipes if your’e into experimenting wi yer plate.

      I love it cause it is educational, they focus on about 100 whole foods which are nutrient dense, they have a rating system which is explained in their FAQ’s section which aids people in understanding the benefits of what they are eating. Part of their philosophy is that these are the most readily available and affordable foods that anyone one can buy, and gives you an appreciation of simple ordinary everyday stuff that somehow ‘goes out of fashion’ but is actually the food of our upbringings; from potatoes tae beef tae porridge. Also thrown in is a wee bit of the history of these foods too.

      Hope someone finds it a useful tool 🙂

      Oh and they have sections about natural sweeteners too…honey, blackstrap molasses, maple syrup. 😉

    313. christine says:

      As for teeth: the risks of fizzy drinks not only in its sugar content: they interfere with bone structure (Phosphorus? Calcium?) apparently,leeching nutrients.
      For all things teeth related I consult holistic dentistry site holodent (also about implants)

      However, it’s a battle with NHS dentists.All they want to do is pull teeth:easy,cheap and final!
      You complain about the sugar tax Stu, what would you say if like me your dentist had made fluOride toothpaste and fluoride fillings compulsory!From now on fluor is imposed on us- no controversy allowed.To whom profits the crime?

      Since health is the topic, i’ll recommend the author of the new Mediterranean diet Michel Delorgeril as a trusted reference.
      He has published many books all based on his independent research (he battles big pharma), notably pointing the finger at statins .He has demonstrated- so he claims- that cholesterol is nothing to worry about and that statins increase the incidence of diabetes.
      read him and his blog for yourselves (google translate)

    314. Neil Cook says:

      My take on sugar is this, if you remove the sugar it’s sugar free, why do we need to replace it with anything. People will buy it as it has less calories and forego the sweetness, why do manufactures feel compelled that they have to replace it.

      For me its like vegetarians they don’t want meat but they want vegetarian mince, sausages lasagne , bacon steaks etc , what the hell they want no part in animals but everything they eat has a meat ringtone to it. Absolute nonsense, same as sugar, if I want a drink why has it got to be called sugar free, diet or low calorie. Someone is taking the Michael out of peoples intelligence!!

    315. Free nougat of info: if you leave sugar on concrete, over time, it will dissolve it.

      Used to run two refineries in USA & the shipping ports suffered from terrible corrosion & concrete erosion due to the acidity of sugar.

      But keep putting it in your tea if you like but now you’ll also know why yer teeth are blacker than a coalminer’s arse.

    316. Valerie says:

      @Robert Peffers

      We are not eating anything like Stone age farmer! Since when did they identify a grass, thresh and mill it into flour? The earliest identified people using einkorn were Natufians – 8500 BC. They roamed the fertile crescent, Jordan,Syria.

      This was the original wild growing grain. Massive human intervention in wheat started late 20th century. Dr Borlaug was awarded a Nobel prize for his work with high yield, dwarf wheat.

      In my book, GM is evil, it’s working against nature, with no knowledge of where it is going. In the case of wheat, the whole genetic code is altered for profit and ease of harvest. Altering the genetic code has produced new types of proteins, that are only being identified today.

      The whole issue of gene control was formalised in 2003. Decades after tens of thousands of experiments in hybridization.

      All of this is in great detail via Dr William Davis,with all his evidence identified, in Wheat Belly.

      He couldn’t understand why bread was elevating blood sugars higher than chocolate, so he set about deconstructing.

    317. Valerie says:

      For anyone who is diabetic, trying to lose weight, addicted to bread. It’s worth a look.

    318. megsmaw says:

      Rev, I completely agree with you. The tax is a stupid idea that only punishes poor folk – the fat middle classes will still be able to afford to eat as much sugar as they please.

      Artificial sweeteners are the Devil’s work and I actively avoid them. There’s also been studies that show that they actually contribute to obesity – something to do with the brain being unsatisfied by them and craving more sugar as a result.

    319. megsmaw says:

      @Valarie – Sorry but I’m going to have to break out my Chemistry and Biology knowledge (and the fact that I’ve had cancer) out to correct you.

      “Regards cancer, it thrives in an acidic environment, sugar is an acid. The aim in your diet should be to aim for an alkalinity.

      Remember, if you run out of Domestos, coca cola makes a fantastic lavvy cleaner, and shines your coppers lovely.”

      1. Cancer is not one thing – it is many factors, the main one being your own bodies cells which for some reason have decided to mutate.
      Cancer cells like the same environment that your normal body cells like, which is on the acidic side.
      Being an acidic environment keeps bacteria and other nasties in line and is almost impossible to change.
      If you ever did try to change your body to alkaline it would cause you to die. Please don’t try it!

      2. Your comment about cleaning the toilet with cola – Yes it will clean the toilet because it is a mild acid. Same goes for vinegar and orange juice. Which is why dentists prefer you drink these through straws, and only give children watered down fruit juices.

    320. megsmaw says:


      I forgot to add that bleach is an alkaline, and is just as corrosive as an acid.

    321. Valerie says:

      I know too much about cancer @megsmaw, and agree it’s not one thing, and would never presume to tell anyone how to proceed. It is a fact that the site of tumours are acid compared to PH 7.4.

      It is a fact that if your body starts to become more acidic via diet, stress etc., all sorts of disease is then being set up.

      I’m not trying to turn my body alkaline but I don’t want to set it aflame with sugar, or other foods which have a high GI value.

      Getting blood sugar levels under control is as important as stopping smoking. If folk don’t understand that, and don’t care, that’s fine, but I know a lot of readers are similar age to me, and I wish someone had told me long ago, to get informed.

    322. David Wardrope says:

      If I were to put on my ‘completely totally cynical’ hat on, I would say that this might be the whole point. A great many others would agree that it’s their right to chomp on the sweet stuff and they’ll not be put off by a tax increase. Also, because eating sugar-laden products could be seen as quite deeply ingrained into Scottish culture, many will continue to eat such things.

      Like cigarettes (which have had the arse taxed off them), the tax may not be for the benefit of the populations health, but could be seen as a pretty reliable cash cow.

      *Removes ‘completely totally cynical’ hat*

    323. Valerie says:

      From Telegraph, 16/1/16

      A sugar tax on fizzy drinks in Mexico has cut sales by 12 per cent, in the first year it was introduced, according to research published in the British Medical Journal.
      Mexico introduced a 10 per cent tax on sugar sweetened beverages in 2014 in a bid to reverse trends which have seen it overtake the United States to become the most obesity country in the world.

      Everyone is watching Mexico on this subject. Cola was seen as a sign of wealth there, and they actually put it in baby bottles for toddlers.

    324. Grouse Beater says:

      If you’re looking for rationality, and a sane read away from the neurosis and over-wrought language of Vague Hague and Hysterical Woman, wisdom that is the human essence of self-governance, look here:

    325. Swedish Scot says:

      Got to disagree with you here Rev.

      Sugar is put into things like baked beans, curry, ready meals, crisps and all sorts of stuff already just to get you hooked. It’s effects are measurable. The consequences are also evident. It’s addictive as you’re piece shows.

      If you’ve ever been in a classroom of young teens who’ve been given access to the Cokes and Tizers that are it seems part of the SSD (Standard Scottish Diet world renowned for being almost as far right wing as can be in the ‘it’s all about me and screw the system coz it owes me a comfy life’) you’d see the effect it has on development and attentiveness. It’s a burden on society and individuals that should be taxed. Banning it isn’t what is being put forward but making it pay to choose more wisely is what a tax would do.

      Smoking isn’t banned just like alcohol isn’t banned but taxed to the hilt it means people will perhaps choose less harmful addictions like fruit (loads of natural sugar there so you still get your fix) . The cost to society of looking out for the preservative filled, sugar soaked, ballooning diabetic needs to be found somewhere and if you want a society that takes care of each other then you start of with setting up a society with people who take care of themselves and putting out all these attractive flavours of shit still keeps people feeding on shit rather than changing their behaviour into a healthier fitter and perhaps better at sport.

    326. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Sugar is put into things like baked beans, curry, ready meals, crisps and all sorts of stuff already just to get you hooked.”

      Well, no. It’s because they make them taste nicer so people will buy them more often. It’s not a sinister conspiracy by Big Sugar.

    327. Valerie says:

      Sugar is addictive, that has been studied and proven.!

    328. christine says:

      @ Ian Brotherhood

      “But all the same: we still don’t know what the fallout from Chernobyl did to Scotland; we cannot explain why suicide remains such a popular ‘life-choice’ for Scottish men aged 18-35”

      Fallout from Chernobyl messed up the functioning of the thyroid which in turn interfered with vit D synthesis leading to chronic depression and finally suicide.

      I’ve just mae it up but sounds plausible , so might be correct.

      Since very little vit D is taken from diet (up to 20%- they can’t even agree on the figure) i’ve wondered myself why they don’t use those uvB lamps that they prescribe to psoriasis sufferers.

      Image the wonders it would do for community bonding, everybody in their bathing suit taking their weekly uvb dose in the local nhs lounge!
      Lets hope this idea be considered in the next snp manifesto!

    329. Derek McLean says:

      Aspartame is the ‘source of phenyl alanine’ the ingredients refer to.

      Phenyl Alanine is a chemical neurotransmitter which is capable of passing the blood brain barrier.

      Studies have shown that aspartame can cause bad things to happen to your brain.

      Donald Rumsfeld is the man who pushed it through despite the findings.

    Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

    ↑ Top