herald

Monday 5 December 2016

An Bord Bia tackles the big issues - why are we consuming less and less cake?

An Bord Bia wants to know why you're not eating more of these
An Bord Bia wants to know why you're not eating more of these

Never one to shy away from the big questions of the day, An Bord Bia is embarking on a vital course of action. It's been announced this week that the semi-state body has put out tenders to market research firms in order to get to the bottom of one of modern Irish life's great imponderables: why are we eating less cake?

It may, to the untrained eye, seem strange that at a time when the state is pouring billions into tackling our chronic obesity problem, An Bord Bia has found a better way to spend taxpayers' money - boosting our domestic confectionery manufacturing business by finding out why people under 25 in particular are consuming less, and generally get people to eat more cake.

It is doubly bad timing considering the recent World Health Organisation report that Ireland is on course to become the most obese nation in Europe, suggesting that 89pc of Irish men and 85pc of Irish women will be overweight by 2030. And it is triply bad timing that they have done so in the week that the late Derek Davis talked so movingly about his own battle with weight, and being faced with the reality that a premature death would mean he would never see his grandchildren grow up.

"It wasn't a fear or a terror that I felt, but a melancholy," he revealed. "Particularly when the kids were so young. That I wasn't going to see them grow up. To me . . . that was shattering."

Aside from the sheer bad timing of this undertaking, however, how about knocking it on the head just for financial reasons? Because rather than embarking on this idiotic task, how about phoning up their colleagues in the Department of Health, who will probably give you the answer for free?

After all, there's a good reason why Ireland's under-25s are eating less cake. The penny has finally dropped that it's chronically bad for you.

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