Monday, 24 September 2012

London's Obesity Crisis: An Unlikely Solution

London is fat. Not ‘phat’, as in Professor Green, but ‘fat’, as in Professor Klump. According to a report by somebody somewhere nearly a fifth of the Capital’s kids are obese and more than half of its adults are in a state of fat bastardry. And this chunkiness among London’s residents has not gone unnoticed by slender, fighting fit, natural athlete Boris Johnson, who is understandably concerned about our health suffering, as well as the cost implications of repairing London’s pavements as we all lumber wheezily to the nearest fried chicken shop in order to satiate our horrific appetites with deep-fried dreadfulness. He is so concerned, in fact, that he is seeking help from fitness experts abroad. So which country has he turned to for advice on tackling obesity? America, of course. In a move akin to seeking Andrew Mitchell’s advice on humility, Boris has sent his chief of staff to New York to find out how we Londoners can become as slim and waif-like as the average American.

Boris gags after eating his fifth deep-fried chocolate Cornetto in ten minutes
Apparently we could all learn a thing or two from New Yorkers who, under the gentle guidance of Mayor Bloomberg, are not allowed to drink oversized fizzy drinks, eat trans fats in restaurants, no matter how delicious, smoke in bars, smile for more than 42 seconds consecutively or indulge in horseplay of any kind. Consequently the average New Yorker now weighs less than 6 stones, and those that exceed that weight benefit from further tender prompting from Bloomberg to get them to a size that he deems acceptable.

So can we expect to see this kind of diet related totalitarianism from Boris? It seems so; and he will be spending his £25 million public health budget on some adverts saying that being a big fat chubber is just not on, haranguing restaurants into reducing huge portion sizes and addressing the number of fast food outlets in the capital in a way that is as yet unclear.  

But is there a simpler solution to London’s plump population? Yes – over-priced, custom-made bread made by amateurs.  If everyone bought their bread from the growing number of micro bakeries in the capital at around £3 per loaf it wouldn’t be long until we all realised that we couldn’t afford anything to go with it. Instead of beans on toast we would just have toast. Instead of bread and butter we would just have some bread. And brochettes would be easier to make. Imagine all the unnecessary calories we would save by just eating lovely slimming bread all day; after all, as everyone knows, there’s nothing like a belly full of carbohydrate when it is weight loss that you most desire.

Some breads

If, like me, you want to cash in on the inevitable huge demand for costly loaves of bread that are made in batches of four or five, you can take a course in either north or west London to become a ‘Bread Angel’. During the 12 hour course – a snip at only £350 – you will learn the basics of making top notch expensive bread, including:
What is gluten and why is it important?
What is fermentation and why is it important?

And of course the question on every potential micro baker’s lips:
Why is some bread square with evenly spread, exactly sized little holes throughout and some bread flat and holey?         

I personally cannot wait to find out. And when I do you can be sure that I will use this information to produce literally dozens of pricey loaves a week, and do my bit to reduce the lard arsery of my fellow Londoners.  

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