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SNP recipe for healthy eating is just too much to stomach

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WHAT is the primary purpose of, and thus the moral justification for, a government? This is a question that since the time of Plato has occupied great minds. And though I was not as attentive as I ought to have been during the late Dudley Knowles’s lectures, I cannot remember him saying that any of them concluded that it was to prohibit free poppadoms and prawn crackers with a carry-out meal.

Or not, as the Scottish Government has over-ruled that bit of the consultation paper on its strategy to tackle unhealthy eating and drinking. The paper said that “targeted” foods (including poppadoms and prawn crackers) should be banned from promotions such as multi-buy deals and as add-ons to main meals. After a lot of people thought this a ridiculous idea, a government spokesman declared they would be classed as part of a main meal, and thus exempt from the proposals.

Perhaps the supposed health impact of fatty, salty or sugary foods is immediately nullified when they are classed as an intrinsic part of a meal, while they are stuffed full of calories and poison when wolfed down as a snack before the main event. Or perhaps the Government is making it up as it goes along, and performing an instant U-turn when people point out that its proposals are illogical, tyrannical and impertinent.

You may remember that one of David Cameron’s first acts was to set up a “nudge unit” (it was officially called the Behavioural Insights Team), which was given National Lottery money to persuade us to insulate our lofts and pay our vehicle........

© Herald Scotland