Dame Prue Leith has joined the debate over whether or not it is acceptable to bring cake into the office, and surprisingly, the Great British Bake Off judge is having none of it.
Earlier this week the head of the UK’s food watchdog suggested that people should not bring cake into the office for the sake of the health of their colleagues.
Professor Susan Jebb, chair of the Food Standards Agency, said although it is a choice to eat sweets, people can help each other by providing a “supportive environment”.
She then went on to compare bringing cake to the office with passive smoking.
He told The Times: “With smoking, after a very long time we have reached a place where we understand that individuals have to make some effort but we can make their efforts more successful by creating a supportive environment “
During an appearance on Times Radio on Friday, Prue insisted that comparing bringing cake to the office with second-hand smoke was “no way to tackle the obesity crisis”.
“It’s not a good idea to tell people they can’t have the things they want,” Prue said.
“This is no way to deal with the obesity crisis.
“I think it’s a bad idea to just say to people, You shouldn’t eat cake and that taking cake into the office is like passive smoking. I think we need to say yes, of course, you should have cake once in a while.” Must eat, eating too much is not good.
“And we should be encouraging people to learn about food, not just lecturing them to eat the wrong foods.”
Prue then went on to quote Henry Dimbleby’s Food Strategy Reportdescribing it as “the best government document ever”.
“What he is saying is that we should tax sugar, salt and food items and we should spend that money on helping people who are in the cycle of eating junk food, bBecause they can’t cook and they don’t understand about food; Vulnerable people, disadvantaged people who are most at risk of obesity and most likely to be eating really bad food,” Prue said.
“They’re the people who will suffer if we ban it. But if we make it more expensive by taxing it, sure they’ll eat a lot less of it, but if the tax money goes into making healthy food more accessible and affordable to vulnerable people The money is spent on making food affordable and giving cooking lessons to families and children and teaching them about it. Changing attitudes towards food and eating… We need to change people’s attitudes.’
Prue is not the only one to speak out against Professor Susan Jebb’s comment.
Mark Littlewood, director general of the liberal think-tank IEA, said it was “just ridiculous”, while Dr Helen Wall, a GP in Bolton, told the BBC: “If someone can have their cake, you don’t get to eat it.” People have to take some responsibility for this.
And according to at least one SNAP poll, the general public is unlikely to follow the advice any time soon.
YouGov asked more than 5,000 Brits what they thought about bringing unhealthy foods (“such as cake or doughnuts”) into the office, and revealed that 77 per cent thought it was “completely wrong”. ” or “to some extent” is acceptable.
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