Monday, June 29, 2009

UK anti-obesity advocate pays student volunteers with junk food!?

Meet Ms. Annette Brook.

She's the British Liberal Democrat MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole. She's also a staunch crusader in the fight against childhood obesity.

She's quite outspoken.

Here's a smattering of quotes from her website:

"We welcome the removal of vending machines selling chocolate, fizzy drinks and crisps to encourage young people to seek alternative snack options."

"We have allowed food marketing companies to influence our diets and the television media to further develop our already sedentary lifestyles. We need to empower our citizens to lead a healthy lifestyle and action now is imperative."

"For every £1 spent promoting healthy eating £500 is spent marketing unhealthy food, so the market has clearly failed. Advertising promotions determine our children's food choices and propel them down a single route. The producer is king. I agree that if we limit the advertising of unhealthy food for children, many parents will be under less pressure to give in to their requests for fast food."

"Let us ponder on "You are what you eat". If we keep that at the back of our minds, we will be able to get totally on message."
So how "totally" on message is Ms. Brooke?


You see a story came out in the UK Telegraph yesterday detailing the fact that Ms. Brooke in her submitted annual expenses billed UK taxpayers for all those things she wants to see gone - fizzy drinks, chocolate and cakes.

So wait a second here, aren't I the guy that says life includes chocolate? Yup. So why am I blogging about this? Isn't it Ms. Brooke's right to choose what she wants to eat?

Sure it is, and while it certainly wouldn't look great for Ms. Brookes to regularly be munching on vending machine fare, that's not what makes this story blogworthy. What makes it blogworthy is that Ms. Brookes spokesperson, in defending the expenses explained that the junk wasn't for Ms. Brookes but rather it was for the students who were working in her office without pay.

Yup. Ms. Brookes, crusader against Big Food marketing to kids and junk food in schools pays her own student volunteers with, yup, junk food.