UK

'War On Sugar' Declared In PMQs, The Internet Reacts Accordingly

15/01/2014 13:37 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 21:01 GMT
Paul Viant via Getty Images

The War on Terror, the War on Drugs, the War on Crime, the War on Poverty? Did we learn nothing from World War II about a war on multiple fronts?

But now a Labour frontbencher has warned at Prime Minister's Questions of a far more sinister enemy within than drug dealers or bomb plotters - an innocent little sugar cube. This, dear readers, is the War On Sugar.

Keith Vaz opened the questions in the Commons by mentioning Action on Sugar, launched this week to combat obesity and lower sugar in processed foods. It is a cause Vaz has championed since being diagnosed with diabetes.

Slamming voluntary agreements with the industry which the Labour MP dismissed as ineffectual, he called for the Prime Minister to back the 'War on Sugar' and challenged David Cameron to give up sugar for a day.

"Will you meet with a delegation of health experts to discuss this issue and can we enlist your support in the war on sugar by asking you to give up sugar and sugary drinks for one day this week?" he said.

"I'm sure that would have the support of Mrs Cameron," the PM retorted.

The War On The War On Sugar

But on Twitter, people weren't taking the War on Twitter nearly as seriously as Samantha.

Vaz's comments come on the back of startling obesity statistics. Around half of all adults are considered "overweight" – and nearly a quarter obese – by body mass index.

Action on Sugar called the sweet stuff as dangerous as alcohol or tobacco, and have called on the food industry to cut 30 per cent of it from processed food, shaving 100 calories off a person's daily intake.

Cameron praised Vaz at PMQs for "speaking out on the issues of diabetes and obesity with such consistency, because they are major health concerns for our country.

"We are taking them very seriously. We are rolling out the NHS health check programme to identify all those between 40 and 74 at risk of diabetes.

"Childhood obesity rates are falling but there's more that needs to be done. I'm happy to facilitate discussions between you and [Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt] to have the discussions you want.

"We take this issue very seriously. We think the Responsibility Deal has achieved great things but there is more to be done."

One person who is certainly unlikely to take the War on Sugar seriously is Lord Norman Tebbit, who made this insightful contribution to the recent Lord's debate on obesity.

“People ought to know that if they stuff themselves silly with high-calorie rubbish foods they will get fat. It is their responsibility. All the forums and other nonsense are merely trying to divorce people from the consequences of their own stupid actions," he said.