/ Health

This week in comments – obesity, home care and bugs

Fighting the obesity crisis, tackling the failings in home care, and fixing financial services – it’s been a week of debating how we can fix the big issues. Oh, and we’ve been eating bugs…

The Responsibility Deal

One year on, the government’s Responsibility Deal to tackle obesity in the UK doesn’t appear to be working. But commenter Pam doesn’t think it’s the government’s problem:

‘Why is it the responsibility of the government to fight obesity. The problem does not lie in food labelling, it lies in greed and laziness. As long as people are too lazy to cook for themselves and depend on junk food and takeways then there will be obesity.’

But Sheila disagrees, and replied to Pam saying:

‘Surely one of the government’s roles is to legislate to prevent the food industry providing so much food which provides little nutrition, does enormous harm, promoted by information and labelling which is misleading, all for the benefit of profit, whilst never once considering that they are at the root of this massive rise in adult and childhood illness.’

Medication left out of reach – home care must change

Sarah, who owns a small family-run care agency, was shocked by our home care investigation:

‘It is devastating hearing the level of unprofessional support being provided. Not all care agencies are bad. The reason we decided to set up our own care agency was because we had identified that people weren’t being given the support they not only deserved but required to live as fulfilled a life as possible.’

And Denise Burke thinks our investigation shows something needs to be done:

‘After this latest report, there can be no doubt that the care system is severely underfunded and in crisis. Families can’t wait any longer for the government to create a sustainable and fair way to fund better care. Action is needed urgently to tackle the care crisis and address families’ fears.’

Want a new TV? Here’s why you should buy last year’s model

Rob’s on the look out for a new TV, but isn’t tempted by the latest features.

‘I don’t want all the extra overpriced ‘features’, like 3D. I certainly don’t have any inclination to watch Eastender’s in 2D let alone 3D. If you want streaming and internet connectivity you can get media players like Western Digital Live for £160 or Apple TV for £99. I just want a TV with a good panel!’

Would you swap Australia’s Bondi for Britain’s Bridlington?

John Ward weighs up the values of holidaying in ol’ Blighty or abroad:

‘If you can have a long enough spell to guarantee plenty of fine weather the east coast (especially Norfolk)takes some beating. If you’ve only got a week then a trip to the Med or the Canaries is probably the best answer as sunshine is virtually guaranteed throughout – and it might even be less expensive with better accommodation, luxury facilities, and more desirable attractions.

‘I’m not sure that the British hospitality industry has yet woken up to the need to provide the quality of accommodation, meals, amenities, and entertainment that people want these days – not in Bridlington at least, nor even Great Yarmouth.’

For and against eating insects – would you dine on bugs?

We were too late to include this in our comments round-up last week, but I thought Hugh D, an entomologist, made some excellent points about bug eating:

‘Much of the (largely) western aversion to eating insects is cultural; in modern times we do not eat insects and other “creepy crawlies” such as worms as we did in earlier days. The caterpillar of the goat moth was a delicacy to the Romans [and] the French eat snails.

‘Much of the aversion to insects is that they are unfamiliar, and humans (as do many animals) have a tendency to be cautious over trying new foods. We are also too often taught that creepy crawlies are “nasty”, an association that for some individuals is hard to shake off. Anyway, time for my breakfast. Moths on toast, anyone?’

And commenter M left me speechless with his tales of eating bugs (you can’t miss his preying mantis story, but read our food expert’s word of warning):

‘I have eaten greenfly since I was a child, they are sweet and tasty. I got the idea after learning that ants farm them for the honey like substance they excrete, licked some off a plant and never looked back.

‘As a result I have tried most insects, uncooked a lot of them are bitter tasting [to deter predators I think]. Preying mantises make me violently ill and there are some poisonous bugs out there. Best way to start on bugs is to get drunk and start munching.’

Will the new financial regulator succeed? You’ll be the judge

And our comment of the week goes to Suspicious, who comments on our guest post from the future head of the FCA Martin Wheatly:

‘My question is of a more simple nature: How many times do financial services have to be caught with their hands in the till before any regulator actually takes meaningful action? I refer to pensions mis-selling, ppi mis-selling, endowment mis-selling, investment mis-selling et al.

‘The recent episode of politicians being too close to some in the newspaper industry is echoed in financial services. Too much “you scratch my back and I’ll look the other way” going on. So come Martin, let’s see what you’re made of.’

Comments have been edited due to length, so make sure to read them in full on their relevant Convos (by clicking on the red title link).