Wonder how stupid the recommendations will actually be

An updated government app will use barcodes to encourage families to switch to healthier food as part of efforts to tackle Britain’s child obesity crisis.

The new feature, announced on Monday as part of the Better Health campaign, will scan selected shopping items and suggest alternatives with less saturated fat, sugar or salt. Families using the NHS Food Scanner app will also be shown a “Good Choice” badge for items which could help improve their diet, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.

Depends upon how infested the design team has been with woke ideas about “ultraprocessed food” I guess. Just for funsies, if anyone sees the list do let us know so we can all have a look.

46 thoughts on “Wonder how stupid the recommendations will actually be”

  1. if there’s no stick – i.e. you’re not getting your bap reduction surgery unless you use it for a year, i’m struggling to see the voluntary user base of this app. And should there be one i’d expect a few different versions done at no cost to the taxpayer in the app store.

  2. There is no such thing as ‘healthy food’, only ‘healthy diet’.

    We have had these same morons telling us what to eat and what to do for 70 years and things have gotten worse, but it isn’t their fault, oh, no.
    Government experts: “You must eat a High carbohydrate, low fat diet”. Resultant massive increase in diabetes* and obesity? = “Following the science”.

    *plus big pharma getting the definition changed to suit their shareholders – just like vaccines.

    Also, “Encourage”. What if they don’t comply? Restrict their access to certain establishments?
    “App says you haven’t been to the fitness centre this week, so no Chinky for you this Saturday”.

  3. “Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at the DHSC, said advertisements promoting unhealthy food to children were contributing to the problem.”

    How fucking dare you. We laid waste to children’s TV because of banning advertising of “junk food” to kids. The ASA have a code about advertising to kids.

    Maybe, just *maybe*, kids like sweets and crisps. And some parents can’t take responsibility for when they give into pestering.

  4. “Ultraprocessed foods” is a beautiful concept, isn’t it?

    Are tofu and tempeh counted as ultraprocessed? They are generally found in the lists of healthy and desirable foods, but the number of processes required to make them is extremely high.

  5. BiND:

    Thanks for the “ultraprocessed foods” link.

    “Simply put, ultra-processed foods are foods that can’t be made in your home kitchen because they have been chemically or physically transformed using industrial processes. They are recognisable on the supermarket shelf as packaged foods that are ready-to-eat, contain more than five ingredients and have a long shelf-life.”

    Flavoured tempeh would fail. So would wholewheat pie containing tofu. And kimchi.

    I’ve been eating this stuff since the 1980s, and nobody told me…

  6. Tofu

    One of the odd facts I learned on a visit to my local power station is that one of their by-products of flue scrubbing (magnesium sulphate) is used in the manufacture of tofu.

  7. Ultra-processed food, like junk food, is a social classification not a scientific one. They are the sort of things eaten by deplorables.

    I eat chips less than I did in the first half of my life – one cost of moving south is that the chips, like the bakery, are much poorer. That perhaps helps me keep my carbohydrate consumption down. But it may also mean I eat less fish, and certainly less black pudding, than once I did. And less bloody puddy and chips means less pickled onions. Do the Food Fascists ever investigate that sort of correlation among food intakes?

  8. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    “one cost of moving south is that the chips, like the bakery, are much poorer.”

    This is so, very, true.

  9. “…one of their by-products of flue scrubbing (magnesium sulphate) is used in the manufacture of tofu…”

    Magnesium sulphate has been known as Epsom Salt since before there were power stations.

  10. Just tried it. First go “We are having difficulties at the moment” On a Govt. IT project? Tell me it ain’t so.
    Second go: “Product not recognised” for a bag of Walkers salted crisps. Impressive library then.

  11. “We are having difficulties at the moment”

    Suggesting that it isn’t running offline from a locally-stored database. For some reason. Kids today…

  12. The reason chips are crap these days is they stopped frying them in animal fat and started using vegetable oil. Buggers up the flavour and is far less healthy.

  13. In my humble opinion the best chips in the world are sold in ‘Perry’s’ chip shop, Lowestoft. Double fried (no, not fried twice as long as my local chip shops consider ‘double fried’ to mean)in Q silver vegetable oil. Now if only I could get some of that oil (it appears to be trade only, 12.5Kg).

  14. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    I actually started frying my fish and chips (if you think chips are bad in the south of England try German chips) in beef fat at home recently, for the lols, and because I do such crazy things in the kitchen.

    They do taste nicer, but I am not sure sufficiently nicer to bother with (1) the inconvenience of cooking in a fat that is solid at room temperature, seeing as deep frying is messy at the best of times (2) the astronomical cost of beef fat compared to rapeseed oil.

  15. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Adolff, 12.5 kg would be a reasonable year’s supply for an occasional fish and chipper, with full oil change every 4 months.

    Why I am not sure the beef fat experiment will become routine.

  16. Great believer in frying in animal fat.* Vegetable oil at frying temperatures is, as every artist knows, the route to making paint. And I prefer to reserve Dulux Gloss for exterior woodwork.

    *They don’t polymerise.

  17. When I was on Hot Food Licensing, I used my fascist control of private business to insist that beef fat be used for frying chips.

  18. Possibly not of much help to BitFR but for residents of the Peninsular: The Spanish (down this end, at any rate) for some reason don’t seem to have the slightest idea what to do with beef suet*. Spanish butchers just call it “gresa” & bin it. So if you ask them politely they’ll dig a load out & give it to you for free. Suet’s just beef fat in a cellular membrane. Stick in the oven on a low heat the fat drains out & can be collected. Damned sight cheaper than buying their “manteca de vaca” at about 4€/500g. If they stock it.
    BitFR could try cutting beef fat 50/50 with the cheaper pork fat. Fries the same, but since the pork fat tastes of little, the beef flavour predominates.

    *Odd because Chile was at one time a big exporter. So much so the C17th was referred to as their “century of suet”. Maybe they were using it for greasing cart axles.

  19. Bloke in North Dorset

    I used to love dripping and bread when I was a kid. The landlord of one of my locals used to love his Sunday roast after the pub closed at 2pm. His wife used to bring out some of the dripping and bread just before they closed, it was a great way to soak up a few pints.

    Mrs BiND couldn’t believe how nice Yorkshire Fish and Chips were when she first had some in the ’80s. They just aren’t the same nor, for reasons given above.

  20. “one cost of moving south is that the chips, like the bakery, are much poorer.”

    But on the plus side, the beer gets much better.


  21. Harry Haddock's Ghost

    But on the plus side, the beer gets much better.

    If by better, you mean shite, then you are correct.

    Darn sarf is a real beer wasteland.

    If, on the other hand, you want a pint of murky rubbish that tastes like cat piss and flowers, brewed by a trust fund arsehole call Tristan, and served in thirds, then it’s glorious.

  22. What about the role of exercise, I love how in the middle of a pandemic it was deemed useful to shut all exercise facilities and limit people exercising even outdoors

  23. BiS, the seppos don’t know what suet is either. Our butcher, Local Yokel, had very good beef. The Wagyu suet was in the back of the freezer and didn’t sell. It was a dollar a pound. You can’t even buy packet suet except for vegetarian Atora in the exotic food aisle at Kroger’s. That was the most essential part of the pudding. For kidney you had to go to the Carniceria. I’m guessing the app doesn’t recognise steak and kidney pud. No bar code, see.

  24. @ BniC
    That was during a panic over the NHS being shown, rather too obviously, as incapable of providing universal healthcare as and when needed. The food and obesity supervisors were temporarily ignored.
    As a former (nearly said ex- but I’m still hoping to do one more) marathoner I felt restricted by the press claim that I could only do one hour’s exercise outdoors until some kind guy on this blog told me that 1 hour was just Gove’s suggestion for a “reasonable” amount.
    Needless to say, I shall not use any such app to scan barcodes: I am sufficiently literate to read the list of ingredients for myself.

  25. Suggesting that it isn’t running offline from a locally-stored database. For some reason.

    If the database was stored locally, it would take about 5 minutes for someone to reverse-engineer it into a “This is what you could be eating!” app that suggests the good stuff when the user accidentally swipes one of the approved bar codes.

  26. I am still enjoying the Master and Commander series. Our heroes have just enjoyed steak and kidney pud at (if I remember correctly) their club. It included larks. Now there’s a Healthy Meal.

  27. They’ll integrate this app to your NHS app and ration the tasty treats under our new benign social credit utopia

  28. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Thanks BiS. There is as far as I know one supplier of suet in the Vaterland, and it comes ready rendered in jars. Better than Atora and easier than even finding somewhere to get it raw. I do not understand why it is so unknown.

    Its my go-to pastry fat, and I use it sometimes for shallow frying. I can’t imagine deep frying in it.

  29. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    And I am reminded of when I served at the bar.

    In the south with a relief landlord from Yorkshire. His complaint was less about the chios than the fish.

    “Would sir like plaice, cod, haddock, skate…?”


  30. For suet on the mainland.. The Belgians are your saviours there…Look up “Ossewit” or Blanc de Boeuf.

    Goes for €3-5/kilo around here, usually in handy 250gram bricks. ymmv elsewhere + shipping.
    But it’s not as if it’s unknown or unloved… Belgian fries are only considered such if they’ve been fried in ossewit. They spit on the vegetable stuff. And rightly so…

  31. Depends upon how infested the design team has been with woke ideas about “ultraprocessed food”


    I’m as disappointed as anyone that a processed-food diet – with its refined carbs, sugar and inflammatory polyunsaturated oils which were probably already rancid when they left the factory – leads to chronic disease.

    Yet here we are. Nothing to do with being woke.

  32. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    Ossewit is (I think) subcutaneous fat, suet is abdominal fat.

    Suet has a much stronger flavour.

  33. @dearieme

    You’ll need this recipe book: “Lobscouse and Spotted Dog: Which it’s a Gastronomic Companion to the Aubrey/Maturin Novels”

  34. @BiFR Could be they cut it to make it cheaper, but formally ossewit is rendered from bovine renal fat.

    And like with anything animal, the gods only know how much breed and feed determine the taste, especially for the connaisseurs/snooty gourmands.

  35. Bloke in the Fourth Reich

    That’s curious as the stuff I got tastes of not very much, definitely does not have the suet pong.

    That said, being a snooty gormaund, I have found the food in the low countries to be mostly of limited intensity (yes, even coming from the Vaterland) so perhaps it is simply the terroir.

  36. At a small hotel I used to frequent in Schleswig-Holstein, the tables in the restaurant had a small tub of butter and another of dripping to spread on your bread. Took me back to childhood in northern England.

  37. RE: Aubrey/Maturin. I remember they at a sea pie once. Not so called because it was necessarily made with fruits de la mer, but because it was made at sea.

  38. I guarantee you there will be a feature in the app that keeps track of how many “Good Choices” the user makes. Everyone will have an overall rating, as is done with Uber, and will act as a piece of the social credit score.

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