If the Greek crisis has taught us anything it is that European Unity, despite its history, its number of member states and the size of its economy remains a precarious notion. Lucky for us the European politician occasionally turns its attention to the real important stuff, thus keeping citizens and denizens updated on what truly matters. Like the amount of sugar we consume or whether or not we visit the right toilet.
We move too little and we eat and drink too much, and not only of the good stuff. Hence, we are overweight. But things are never quite that simple and views on what exactly is to blame for the world’s current girth expansion varies. The lack of exercise, rising stress levels, wrong life style choices, wealth inequality, overabundance of ‘badness on offer’, we need a culprit and now that our historical battle with fat has been fought, we have identified our new enemy, sugar.
Sugar is bad for us. It makes us fat, it ruins our teeth and it is everywhere. Even there where you least expect it.
But spare me more lists and tables …
The latest WHO guideline recommends the reduction of daily sugar intake to less than 10% of total energy intake (but how?) while a further reduction to 25 grams of sugar per day (aha!) would provide additional health benefits.
Okay. No biggie. If 1 teaspoon of sugar equals 4 grams, it is easy enough to check our packaging for sugar content per 100 grams and think. And keep your kitchen scales at hand. (A new app anyone? iScales©!!!!)
What else is needed? Good and clear labeling on all products and an ongoing, intelligent, multi-leveled government information campaign. What we do not need? More taxes.
The argument that taxes keep people from overconsuming any given item and help cover medical costs is wrong. Whether or not a product should be banned is often open for debate. After all, it is not cyanide we are talking about here. Rather, we need to consider usage, manufacturing, advertising, measure and restraint. Taxes do not help to reduce consumption but instead waste money and encourage bureaucracy. Too low the taxes and they are completely ineffective. Too high the taxes and they create a black market.
And what about my freedom? Can only the rich now afford the risk of obesity?
Sometimes I want my cake and eat it.
Another safety debate lurks, this time about toilets.
My home boasts unisex toilets, used by male and female members of our tribe.
Ugh? No! Normal.
Sit or do it standing up, as long as you leave it clean, that’s the message. And wash your hands as you leave.
But the world has lost its innocence.
The M/F division is outdated and we now need, so it seems if we wish to believe a growing group of campaigners and self-proclaimed progressive politicians, to take into consideration the needs of gender non-conforming individuals and all those identifying themselves along the transgender spectrum.
There even is a web application (so far in the US only), Refuge, “for those who find themselves in need of a place to pee safely once again”.
It is fashionable to relate to the needs of agender, gender-neutral, genderqueer, bigender, pangender, cisgender individuals.
But what about the father who takes his five-year old daughter to the movies? What when the girl needs to go?
Bathroom users of the world, unite!
If we can’t overcome our loo-squeamishness, lockable single-occupancy, unisex bathrooms seem the answer.
And to those who disagree, a spoonful of sugar to help it go down.