The recent news that Barr’s is to cut the amount of sugar in Irn-Bru set me thinking. And the question that sprang to mind was how much responsibility for the nation’s health lies with the manufacturer of such treats and how much is down to individual choice.
I suppose the key lies with my use of the word ‘treats’.
I’m currently fighting that battle (again) and it’s not an easy one to win
If you’re walking down the street on a rare sunny afternoon and are looking to cool down, then reaching for a can of Scotland’s other national drink won’t do you any harm.
If, however, a two-litre bottle is barely enough to get you through the day then you’re probably storing up a problem.
A slight cut in the amount of sugar in the drink may have marginal benefits but it’s not going to tackle the underlying issue - namely an addiction to sugary drinks.
Likewise the ‘sugar tax’. If I’m a chocaholic is the thought of paying an extra few pence for a Mars Bar going to stop tucking into my favoured snack? Not a bit of it.
It’s a bit like signing up to the latest miracle diet hoping it will make you super thin.
Of course it will work – most diets do – but only if you stick to it. In the end it comes down to what you want most - a stuffed crust pizza with a portion of onion rings (go easy on the salad) or a super slim body.
No harm to the people who choose the former but it’s not going to help you shed the pounds.
I’m currently fighting that battle (again) and it’s not an easy one to win. There’s plenty of support out there if you are committed to it, but that choice lies with you not Barr’s or the government.