Physician Heal Thyself… Again

It seems barely a day passes without someone – frequently a medic – thinking that it is their place to tell us how to live our lives.

Dr David Walker said chocolate used to be a treat, but has become a harmful addiction, causing weight problems, diabetes, high blood pressure and back pain.

Consumers are often eating more than half a day’s worth of calories when they polish off a bag of chocolates in front of the television, he claimed.

Sigh… Ultimately, what we do with our bodies is our business and no one else’s. It is not up to doctors to seek to stop us and it is certainly none of the state’s business.

Under his proposal, revenue raised from taxing chocolate would be used by the NHS to deal with the health problems caused by obesity and to fund new sports facilities.

New sports facilities, God spare us. What next, propaganda footage of nice blond Aryan folk doing their exercises?

While it would not solve the problem of Britain’s expanding waistlines, he argued the measure may slow the increase in obesity rates and would send out a strong message the Government was serious about tackling the problem.

It is not up to the government to send out messages, because it is none of the government’s business, just as it is none of Dr Walker’s. He is paid to patch people up when they walk into his surgery. If, at that point, he wishes to give advice, then he is doing what is required. It is not up to him to decide for the whole population what we should eat or not.

Julian Hunt, of the Food and Drink Federation, said: “While good for grabbing headlines, there is no evidence to suggest that such ‘fat taxes’ would actually work in reality.”

That’s because they won’t. People will find a work around.

Another day, another petty little despot trying to meddle in our lives. Is there no end to it?


  1. Wonder if we’ll ever see a War on Chocolate. If it ever happened I’d be like the chocolate version of a heroin addict.

  2. Indeed. It’s a bit like my grandmother who smoked twenty a day all her life and lived to ninety three. Of course, had she not smoked, she might have lived to ninety four…

  3. I particularly like this bit
    Under his proposal, revenue raised from taxing chocolate would be used by the NHS to deal with the health problems caused by obesity and to fund new sports facilities.
    Yeah right, and which planet would that be on. If all the tax gathered on smoking and drinking alone were plowed straight into the NHS There would be a Dr, a Nurse, a private room and no expense spared treatment for each and every one of us. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen like this. It would just pay for more people to come up with more silly rules with which they could tax us even more.

  4. I would suggest that this comes straight from the Dr’s prejudices rather than researched fact. Doubtless there are some people who pig out on chocolate to the detriment of their health, but where is the evidence that it is endemic? I see none proffered.

  5. LR

    Dr Walker gets a lot of traction on the BBC who today reported the distressing news that his resolution was defeated (by “only” 2 votes). So Dr Walker lives to fight another day.

  6. I also liked Julian Hunt’s other quote – ’taxes on foods that consumers love would result only in lighter wallets, not smaller waists’

    Is it the chocolate that’s the problem or the sugar we put in it?

    Won’t be long before sugar and salt are kept in bonded stores with the spirits and tobacco.

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