Guest Post: Terry Barnes Lard-arsed kids need exercise, not plain-packaged breakfast cereals

You have to hand it to the Obesity Policy Coalition.  Funded indirectly by government, through their funding sugar-daddies (geddit?) the Cancer Council of Victoria, Diabetes Victoria and VicHealth –  Victoria being the biggest nanny State of Australia – their one-person, a mailing list and a letterhead operation gets a heck of a lot of media traction.

The Obesity Policy Coalition’s Jane Martin’s latest publicity wheeze is castigating kid’s cereal manufacturers for having the temerity to box their products in colourful packaging featuring cartoon characters.  She has declared war on Tony the Tiger, Sam the Toucan, Coco the Monkey, Scooby Doo and any cartoon character who’s ever appeared on a cereal packet, claiming these loveable critters drive kiddies’ pester power over poor Mum as she wheels the overladen trolley down the supermarket aisle.

That Mum may be too spineless to keep her kids in line of course hasn’t occurred to her.

In doing the rounds of the media, Ms Martin is calling for tighter packaging standards for “junk” food, effectively demanding plain packaging for Coco Pops (cocolossal as any 60s child will know from the black-and-white TV ads of the time) and Fruit Loops just like plain packaging for cigarettes. She seems to think that packaging and marketing of lawful food products is a conspiracy of Big Junk Food against vulnerable little kiddies, when it’s just the market at work.

It’s worth pointing out to the good Lady Jane, therefore, that this month’s latest edition of the National Drug Strategy Household Survey, run by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, covered the period 2013-16.  It was the first survey period fully covering the operation of Australia’s repressive plain packaging regime for tobacco products.  Yet, while smoking rates in the then non-plain packaged United Kingdom tumbled over the same period, Australia’s smoking rate declined less than half a percentage point, well within any margin of error.

On those AIHW-endorsed numbers, plain packaging is a big fail.  It is achieving nothing.  It nudges not.  If applied to Coco Pops, it would fail just as dismally, probably even more so.  If people want to buy yummy stuff, they will, pure and simple.

Instead of media-bait press releases Ms Martin and her fellow wowsers should face facts.  If too many kids are turning into lard-arses, it’s because they don’t run around enough while stuffing whatever they and their parents choose into their young mouths.  It’s not Kelloggs, Nabisco or whichever food manufacturers force-feeding the kiddies, Ms Martin, it’s their Mums and Dads who need to act like adults and take responsibility for their kids and themselves.  In this snowflake age, it’s all too easy to blame others for our own failings, and if parents raise lard-arses they need to look to look in the mirror, not at a cereal box.

Just as for nicotine and alcohol, the correct message for convenience food of any sort is to enjoy in moderation, but use the brains God gave you rather than blame everyone else for your own inadequacies and parental failures.  Balance your kids’ diets and, above all, get them off their flabby snowflake arses and get them active.

Plain packaging achieves nothing, playing the holier-than-thou puritan achieves nothing.  The likes of the Obesity Policy Coalition should stop wasting taxpayers’ money with their self-righteous indignation and anti-capitalist conspiracy theories.

Indeed, they should not get any taxpayers’ money at all.

Terry Barnes is a policy consultant and former Howard government adviser.

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52 Responses to Guest Post: Terry Barnes Lard-arsed kids need exercise, not plain-packaged breakfast cereals

  1. Senile Old Guy

    The likes of the Obesity Policy Coalition should stop wasting taxpayers’ money with their self-righteous indignation and anti-capitalist conspiracy theories.

    The only thing these parasites* live for is to waste our money on crusades against anything that makes life worth living.

    * Apologies to parasites as, unlike these nongs, they perform a useful function in ecology.

  2. Rabz

    Quite so. Coco the monkey could be engaged in far more useful activities, such as drafting Obamacare legislation.

  3. Muddy

    Surely we could make a case for plain-packing the ABC? What damage must they be doing to the kiddies by constantly focusing on all their favourite issues? Plain-package them by cutting the visuals so you only receive sound.

  4. Bruce of Newcastle

    When I go for an afternoon bicycle ride along the shared path I often encounter gaggles of kids from the nearby public high school, plus teacher.

    They’re moseying along at snail pace yacking away with each other.

    This, I think, is Sport.

    I think Sport is now such that schools dare not have anything dangerous like football. They don’t want their arses sued off and teachers gaoled because they’d oppressed special snowflakes or something. Last year the same high school removed their cricket nets and grassed the area over.

    No wonder kids are fat bastards nowadays. Then there are the phones they have their eyes plugged into 24/7.

  5. Some History

    Terry,
    in disagreeing with the health “intelligentsia”, you obviously want people to die.
    🙂

    [see earlier thread]

  6. Tim Neilson

    Roy and HG had the right idea for an anti-obesity campaign.
    Every time you see a fat kid, give them a boot up the date.

  7. braddles

    If I recall, all these cartoon characters promoting breakfast cereals were around when I was a kid in the 60s, and if anything, the promotion was more intense back then. There is no correlation whatsoever between this and childhood obesity.

  8. duncanm

    “Jane Martin – BA (Hons)”

    sod off you meddling burger flipper.

  9. Gavin R Putland

    That Mum may be too spineless to keep her kids in line of course hasn’t occurred to her.

    And of course Mum has so much time and energy for parenting – after she’s worked to help pay the mortgage, and fought with Centrelink over a bogus FTB robodebt – that she should be grateful to the junk-food advertisers for digging some more holes for her to fill up.

  10. Stimpson J. Cat

    The only thing worse than a fat kid is a fat adult.

  11. Confused Old Misfit

    Well Terry Barnes, if those lard arsed kids were able to own a gun they might get out in the bush a bit.
    But your former fearful leader decided, like Lady Jane that taxpayers money should be spent in copious quantities to protect us (and those in power) from ourselves.
    The precedent is firmly in place now.

  12. .

    “Jane Martin – BA (Hons)”

    “Enid Swink – LLB GLDP”

  13. Stimpson J. Cat

    This is literally all the fault of the fat kid from Hey Dad!

  14. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    demanding plain packaging for Coco Pops (cocolossal as any 60s child will know from the black-and-white TV ads of the time) and Fruit Loops just like plain packaging for cigarettes.

    Thin edge of the wedge much? Where do you stop once you let this in regarding edibles? I know plain packaging has already happened with ciggies, and disagree about that, but to tackle kidstuff (or anything colourful and attractive that adults may like too) on supermarket shelves is a quantum leap further on. Resist it, or we’ll have plain packaged cheese, bikkies, chips, and the creeping destruction of any sort of food marketing unless ‘approved’ by Big Nanny.

    Over-eating is the problem, and under-running. Tackle those on the home front.

  15. Trader Perth

    [It’s not Kelloggs, Nabisco or whichever food manufacturers force-feeding the kiddies, Ms Martin, it’s their Mums and Dads who need to act like adults and take responsibility for their kids and themselves. ]
    School drop off and pickups give you a good idea why we have fat kids. The parents are overweight too. Overweight to obese , pierced and tattoo’s and living with the latest fling, not great role models.

  16. Procrustes

    The only fruit loop is Jane Martin ((c) Dad joke central)

    I recall when I worked on this stuff (advertising regulation) in the UK, Sweden decided to waste its six month Presidency of the EU in attempting to carry over its advertising to kids ban to the whole of Europe. Even the Europeans told them to take a running jump at the time. I fear they’d get an easier ride this time around.

    Anyone interested in a good all round primer on the overall case for advertising wouldn’t go wrong if they read Christopher Snowdon’s introduction to Harris and Seldon’s “Advertising in a Free Society” available at the Institute of Economic Affairs.

  17. Rebel with cause

    If your kids are fat, chances are you’re a shit person and a shit parent.

  18. .

    It is more about a hatred of capitalism and large businesses than anything else.

    A local foods wanker, loading his wares up with sugar gets a pass.

  19. mark

    Let’s plain package state run ads on the basis that the state is the biggest killer of the 20C, and giving it a good go in the 21C.

  20. val majkus

    The only thing these parasites* live for is to waste our money on crusades against anything that makes life worth living.

    and to make themselves relevant! Like global warming funding

  21. Pingback: Guest Post: Terry Barnes Lard-arsed kids need exercise, not plain-packaged breakfast cereals | Catallaxy Files | Cranky Old Crow

  22. Chris

    Terry, thanks for that fairly sensible piece.
    Every excoriating word ALWAYS applied to the gun control nanny-state bullshitters like NCGC/ GCA and the publicly-funded lynch-mob at the ABC, the Attorney-Generals Department and the Australian Institute of Criminology.

    How about writing us a piece on bad thinking giving inappropriate results there?

  23. Bela Bartok

    mark
    #2427821, posted on June 30, 2017 at 1:56 pm
    Let’s plain package state run ads on the basis that the state is the biggest killer of the 20C, and giving it a good go in the 21C.

    I like Mark’s idea… plain package or ban the GreenFilth and the LaborFilth – socialism is responsible for more deaths! Ban Soviet Colonels rather than Frostie kernels.

  24. Nathan

    I went though primary school in Meekatharra the early to mid 80’s and while my household had a good selection of cereals, most low in nutritional value and high in sugar, I was always skinny as a rake. Then again I was allowed access to the school grounds almost an hour before school started to run amok with mates, all unsupervised by a teacher. We also had an active recess and lunchtime sporting ritual where kids player British Bulldog, tag, chasey, footy, cricket, tennis, basketball etc where we broke bones, lost copious skin in gravel rashes, got into punch ups and learnt valuable life lessons. We also hit the winning runs in a test match for our country, kicked goals after the siren or hit a buzzer beater to win the premiership/championship for our teams. In our fertile little imaginations. We are killing our kids with over supervision and removing risk from their lives.

  25. Helen

    I agree, we can’t have plain packaging. It would destroy capitalism as we (or Kelloggs) know it if people stopped buying breakfast cereals. Of course the manufacturers could just gradually cut down the amount of sugar, slowly, until kids’ taste buds adjusted.

    Or we should just let them stay fat and get fatter. We taxpayers would much rather pay for their long-term health costs than waste our money on nanny state health crusades.

    PS perhaps on a topic like this, posters should be required to state their weight so we can see who is biased /hypocritical. (I’ll go first – 70k).

  26. Boambee John

    Speaking of nanny state wowsers, Harold Scruby of the Australian Pedestrian Council and Ausflag was on the idiot box the other evening.

    I suspect that both organisations consist of Scruby and possibly some family members.

    Still, he has dragged in a lot of government grants over the years, for little apparent impact.

  27. Boambee John

    Helen at 1658

    Also 70k, and I am a bloke!

  28. Nathan

    Helen – I’m 190cm and 88kgs at 43. Not that it matters a dot.

  29. Tim Neilson

    Of course the manufacturers could just gradually cut down the amount of sugar, slowly, until kids’ taste buds adjusted.

    Why the flying duck should they? Who appointed you God-Empress? As has been noted, many of us grew up eating all this stuff and have never been fat because we burned it off. It’s nanny statism on exercise etc., and lack of parental and school encouragement to exercise that’s making them fat.

    70k’s? Yes but are you under 5 feet tall?

    I don’t even know how much I weigh. Total irrelevancy because I’m not fat, and never have been.

  30. Stimpson J. Cat

    PS perhaps on a topic like this, posters should be required to state their weight so we can see who is biased /hypocritical. (I’ll go first – 70k).

    Let’s be honest Helen.
    All anyone cares about is whether children or women are fat.
    Pregnant women get a pass so long as they are pregnant.

    😁

  31. Mother Lode

    The horrid trout.

    People are having more and more decisions taken out of their hands.

    With less and less exercise of judgement you can expect the capacity of adults make judgements to atrophy*.

    Which will require more decisions to be made for them.

    I doubt this would cause Jane any great worry. She will already have noted that everyone else makes the wrong decisions. If it takes regulations to make them see things her brilliant way, then so be it.

  32. a reader

    This was way better than the last guest post! If they succeed in banning these things I’ll start buying them…not because I want them but because I want these bastards to f*** off out of my life!

  33. Eddystone

    Lard arse kids need more lard in their diet.

    Simple.

  34. Helen:

    PS perhaps on a topic like this, posters should be required to state their weight so we can see who is biased /hypocritical. (I’ll go first – 70k).

    95/178cm
    I just wish the state would stop pissing our taxes away on these Saviours of the Nation, who will never be satisfied until we have to ask permission/justify our every waking moment.

  35. Rob

    Sugar makes you fat, not lack of exercise. Breakfast cereals, whether advertised with cartoon characters or not, are just packaged sugar. You probably would think it stupid to feed your kid Coca Cola for breakfast. Probably the same amount of sugar in a serving of cereal as one of coke.

  36. stackja

    Lionel Murphy created liability culture. Other lawyers don’t want children being free.

  37. spangled drongo

    Can’t believe how stupid nanny is. Smokers have always been some of the most peaceful and productive people in the country who usually drop dead just before they collect the old age pension.

    And nanny taxes them off the face of the earth because they “cost” us so much.

    Rum didn’t win the west, nicotine did.

    And they never do anything violent after smoking a packet of cigs.

    It would be interesting to know how many would-be smokers have chosen harder drugs these days as a result of nanny-pressure.

  38. Tel

    And they never do anything violent after smoking a packet of cigs.

    Let’s put a small wager on whether they make that mistake a second time!!!

  39. .

    Helen

    How tall are you st 70 kg?

    5′ 7″?

    Only a complete psychopath would support plain packaging in any form.

  40. Chris M

    You should probably stick to advising Howard Terry.

    Diet is the overwhelming issue here. More activity would certainly be beneficial but it would do only a little to tackle the problem which is 90% dietary.

  41. John Bayley

    Just to further illustrate how ridiculous the nanny state in Australia has become, here’s my personal experience – actually from just last week.

    I am in my early fifties, 179 centimetres & 75 kilograms. I eat sensibly, don’t smoke or drink to excess and I exercise – mainly by running around 15 kms per week.

    I also ride a bike to work; this is in a regional town with not too much traffic, over a distance of 3 kms each way – a little too far to walk, so the bike is perfect. I only ride on side streets and at average speeds comparable to a moderately fast run.

    Due to an operation a couple of years ago, I have been given a medical exemption from wearing a bike helmet.

    Last week I was pulled over by a policeman who appeared to be in his late twenties – by his accent from the UK. As the very first thing, he fined me $121 for not having a bike bell – something I did not even know was now compulsory.

    Then he opined that my medical certificate was over a year old, and therefore invalid, and fined me another $121 for that. When I challenged this, he told me he did not like my attitude and proceeded wasting 20 minutes on his phone, in order to “confirm” with my GP that the exemption was genuine. He could not get through, so he told me to obtain an updated document from the doctor, otherwise he may have to assume this one may have been forged and he would then proceed to charge me with a criminal offence.

    I then had to walk home on the threat of being booked again for both the bell and a helmet if he saw me riding.

    I did see my GP the next day, got the certificate updated and then had to wait at the local police station to see that same pommie guy, in order to get the helmet fine cancelled. He was not quite so antagonistic then, so I asked him, why he was so keen to harrass a middle aged guy minding his own business and harming nobody. Especially so with him (the copper) being from the UK, where helmets are not compulsory. He had also apparently visited Holland and Denmark, where almost no commuters wear helmets, many more people ride and cyclist fatality rates are a fraction of ours.

    He really had no answer to that, apart from “I’m just doing my job.”

    I thought well, so did the NKPD commissars when sending people to Stalin’s gulags, but it was best to say nothing.

    The sad thing is, we have in our town a significant problem with drunks – both indigenous and white – congregating by the river that runs through the CBD, who often can be a significant nuisance to walkers. I would have guessed sorting that problem should have been a higher priority that booking me for no bike bell, but who knows – I must be out of touch. Perhaps if I stayed at home posting on Facebook all day, over a pizza and a carton of beer, with high blood pressure and a cooked liver, I would be so much more of a model citizen that the cops would then leave me alone.

    Incidentally, I also pay more in income taxes every quarter than what this copper likely earns in a year; but it would have been unwise to point that out I guess.

    What a sad state of affairs we have got to in this country…

  42. Tel

    He really had no answer to that, apart from “I’m just doing my job.”

    The real answer is the he has been told to go out and raise revenue, and it’s easy to get money out of a guy like you. Less work and more profitable than going after the drunks.

    You can thank Mike Baird for the idiotic cycle bell fines. We have had some appalling Premiers in NSW and Mike Baird was one of the worst. At least the ALP corruptocrats had some basic common sense.

    http://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/motoring/nsw-has-introduced-new-fines-for-cyclists-and-they-are-a-bloody-joke/news-story/358f66ffc225c3c3ec2cda1cfd834453

  43. .

    Chris M
    #2428483, posted on July 1, 2017 at 9:53 am
    You should probably stick to advising Howard Terry.

    Diet is the overwhelming issue here. More activity would certainly be beneficial but it would do only a little to tackle the problem which is 90% dietary.

    Correct.

  44. .

    The real answer is the he has been told to go out and raise revenue

    The real answer is that he is an authoritarian little xunt who contributes NOTHING to society.

  45. John Bayley

    You can thank Mike Baird for the idiotic cycle bell fines.

    Yes, I know – a friend who lives in Sydney told me that if he goes out on his bike for his usual 10-k ride around Manly beach, and neglects to have any of helmet/ID/bell, it could cost from $319 for the helmet up to almost $700 for the triple.

    Thank you, Liberal Party of NSW.

    I’m in Queensland, and our fines are lower, but the bell one was a novelty. Apparently indended to prevent cyclists using the shared walkway around Brisbane river from colliding with pedestrians!

    Rather amusingly, my pommie copper ‘mate’ told me that if I ride without a helmet, I definitely must have a bell, because I’m more at risk of a ‘serious injury’, so I should ring it all the time while riding in order to ‘warn drivers’!

    You can’t make this up…truly stranger than fiction.

  46. .

    What? IOhave never heard of this bike bell shit. Is this serious? This is too much. This is like a William Tell moment. Fuck them. I am not bowing to a fucking hat in a town square.

  47. a reader

    The bike bell shit is definitely the case in NSW. I’m not sure about QLD. It may be law in SA too but I’ve never had a policeman look twice at me on a bike in Mainland Tasmania. The whole thing is insane.

  48. John Bayley

    Tel, thanks for that link.
    A good read, but if you then pass an eye over the comments, you can see straight away why the country is the way it is. I don’t think there is a single one supporting the article writer in the first 20 or so commenters – which is as far as I bothered to look.

  49. John Bayley

    Bike bells are definitely compulsory in QLD now.
    I looked it up on the QLD Transport website, because despite having been pulled up for no helmet from time to time (the cops usually wave me off once they see the medical certificate), nobody had ever hassled me over that particular item:
    https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/rules/wheeled-devices/bicycle/#equipment
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-25/police-crackdown-on-bicycles-without-bells-in-queensland/7198784
    It’s a ‘one size fits all’ here in the Sunshine State, at $126 a pop for a myriad of cycling-related offences:
    https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/fines/demerit/cycling/#cycling
    Still better than NSW I guess, but no doubt we’ll get there also – for our common good, of course!

  50. John Bayley

    And if anyone doubted how insane we are getting, my wife managed to get fined a couple of months ago, because she took the Woolworths shopping trolley back to its stand in a shopping centre carpark (a distance of about 50 meters) and ‘neglected’ to lock the car!
    If you are more than 3 meters from the vehicle, it is considered ‘unattended’ and a helpful copper was happy to write a ticket for $40.
    Apparently in Victoria this same ‘offence’ can cost as much as $380 if you dispute the initial $117 charge and opt to see a magistrate.
    https://www.allianz.com.au/car-insurance/news/fine-for-an-unlocked-car

  51. Tel

    It’s all about the revenue.

    The only answer is massive sackings right across government.

  52. .

    Fines for no helmet, no bike bell and leaving your car unlocked.

    What a shithole.

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