THE BLOG

Get Your Hands Off My Chocolate British Heart Foundation

08/02/2017 15:56 GMT | Updated 09/02/2017 08:06 GMT

First they came for the trans fats, and I did not speak out, because science.

Then they came for the salt, and I did not speak out, because we could all do with a little less of that hidden in our dinner.

Then they came for the chocolate, and I said, now this gets personal.

As part of a fundraising campaign to raise money for research, the British Heart Foundation is currently promoting its annual 'Dechox' campaign.

Encouraging members of the British public to give up chocolate and get friends and family to hand over the cash to watch them struggle throughout March without even a Freddo to ease their pain.

And while the £1.6million raised over the last two years via the campaign is undoubtedly worthy, the legacy leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

chocolate

In a world where we are swimming in a sea of scientific studies, conflicting reports and an entire industry based on meaningless buzzwords (clean eating we've got your number), consumers need clarity around food more than ever.

We've lost track of the number of things in our fridge that might give us cancer, weight gain, or heart problems one week, and are exonerated the next (sorry, eggs).

And in a world of fast consumption we know that many people aren't taking the time to research for themselves and instead rely solely on the information they see on their social media feed.

Whether this information be political, cultural, or about our stomachs, just as we are sifting through fake news we need to be ever more careful about ambiguous nutritional guidance.

Let's get this clear, the Dechox campaign isn't about putting chocolate in the naughty box as a food that is bad for your heart.

Amanda Bringans, Director of Fundraising at BHF, confirmed to The Huffington Post UK exactly that: "[Dechox is happening] not because it will vastly improve their heart health, but because they can help raise vital funds for our life saving research."

In fact, the official BHF website has previously written about research that shows 100 grams of chocolate daily can actually lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.

These people are all for chocolate.

And while the Dechox campaign does not explicitly say anything to the contrary, the implication is clearly there in black and white.

In this instance, a household charity aligning itself closely to an anti-chocolate stance and not making the distinction clearly enough that giving up chocolate isn't about health but money is dangerous.

This is apparent just from a quick scroll through their Twitter replies, where many confused people ask the obvious - but I thought chocolate was okay?

Credit where credit is due, the PR team has meticulously gone through and corrected most of their followers, but the damage might already be done.

By virtue of the anti-chocolate rhetoric they are pushing, they are contributing to a whole generation of people who would find it easier to solve a Rubix cube in less than ten seconds than list foods that are entirely safe to pass their lips this week.

Oh, won't someone pass us a Twix.