Taking Stock - October 22, 2012

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It seems, these days, we can’t go five minutes without a health scare hitting the headlines.

There are, it seems, dozens, if not hundreds, of science types out there who are only too ready to 
declare my entire diet is about to kill me.

Red meat, chocolate, wine, white bread – they’ve all been targets in recent years.

And I’m not for a moment arguing that these things aren’t, in part, responsible for the belly which long ago overwhelmed my slender cross-country champion physique.

I’ll admit a diet of pork scratchings and cask ale most likely isn’t going to help me on the way to a long and active life.

That’s not to say I should cut them out completely – although thanks to the time taken up by having three young children it seems like, right now, I’ve done just that.

I suspect that, in moderation, there’s nothing wrong with the 
occasional bag of deep fried pig skin and a pint or two of ale.

There’s nothing wrong, either, with an occasional trip to the Chinese takeaway, accompanied by a nice bottle of red – maybe stretching into a second if it’s not a school night.

I’ll accept that my crispy chilli beef is probably packed with sugar, salt and all sorts of things which are, most likely, going to reduce my lifespan by a matter of seconds.

Those seconds, so our scientist friends will surely tell us, do all add up.

But, do you know, I’m not concerned.

After all, what would life be without an occasional treat.

I know salt is bad for me, but it makes my mash taste nicer. I know sausages aren’t as good for me as, say, an apple, but would an apple taste as nice with buttery mash and onion gravy? I suspect not (although I’ll admit they do add a certain something when you’re roasting pork chops).

I can’t help it – I prefer white toast to brown, lamb curry to chicken and I’m partial to the occasional Curly Wurly or three.

And these little things, be it a finger of Fudge or a beef roast, complete with Yorkshire puds (very bad for you, apparently) are the little treats that make life more pleasant.

I know I need to eat more greens and, most likely, do a little more exercise.

But I’m not going to cut out the things I enjoy, no matter what the message.

A pinch less, a pint less, a portion less and a good stroll after – that’s the best way towards a healthier life.

And I’ll ignore anybody who tells me otherwise.