Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Watch with Mother Nanny - World Cup Special

Worried about your waistline while you watch the football? Concerned you might be piling on extra pounds as the tension mounts? Fear not, help is at hand!

The Food Standards Agency is justifying its existence (and annual budget of £135million) with advice to help you stay healthy through the World Cup, inviting you to 'check out our tips on how to make some healthier choices about what you’re going to eat and drink while you’re feasting on the footie'.

First target is having friends round to watch the match - 'there are lots of tasty and healthy options you can tuck into as you cheer your team on. Why not serve a vegetable curry with boiled rice or a tasty chilli with plenty of kidney beans?'

Or if it's snacks you're after, you could try fruit, low-fat crisps (remember to compare those labels!) or 'low-fat dips (less than 3g fat per 100g) with vegetable sticks for dipping'. Come on, you know it's good for you!

Perhaps you're off to watch the match in the pub instead - 'You could walk to the pub instead of taking the bus [because you'd never drive there in a nasty polluting car, oh no no no!] or use half-time for a brisk walk and some fresh air'.

And watch out for all that dangerous alcohol: 'with many hours of football to watch, it can be easy to over-indulge. It's recommended that men drink no more than 3 to 4 units, and women no more that 2 to 3, a day.

Don’t feel pressured by those around you to drink more than you want to. Skip a round or opt for a soft drink – how about try [sic] a sparkling water with a slice of lemon or lime?'

Pubs, it turns out, are full of hazards: 'Enjoying the match at your local pub can be great fun, but the snack and meal choices tend to be limited. Bar snacks are often high in salt and fat, particularly saturated fat.' You don't say!

And the same demons are lurking round every corner on the way home: 'You can still make a healthier choice if you opt for a takeaway — but remember not to eat them too often as they can be high in calories, fat, saturated fat and salt'. Thank goodness Nanny is there to save you from your own ignorance!

So as England kick off their quest for World Cup glory, you and your friends can happily sip your mineral water and nibble on low-fat-humus-dipped carrot sticks, secure in the knowledge that the Food Standards Agency is leading you by the hand to the sunlit uplands of glorious state-sponsored health.


  1. Well, if the progressives get their way, the next World Cup might not be so interesting* to watch after all...

    * - yes, tongue very firmly in cheek!

  2. Thanks, JuliaM; it's amazing that in the era of non-competitive egg-and-spoon races and prizes for all something like that hasn't surfaced before.