Blaise Tapp: Nothing will put me off my lunchtime treat

As the runaway juggernaut that is my life careers towards the 40 barrier my vices, like my fashion sense, are becoming that bit more boring.

Monday, 21st March 2016, 8:01 am
Updated Monday, 21st March 2016, 8:14 am

In my teens and early 20s it was nicotine, the Belgian lager that turns most mortals into knuckle dragging loons and anything in a shot glass which fuelled my misdemeanours.

Then, as I acquired a mortgage and my mildly intolerant girlfriend became my disapproving wife, I relied upon single malt and lamb bhunas to get me through the working week.

Now that I am a fully paid up member of the school gate mafia with more of an interest in the FSTE 100 rather than the Top 40 it is social media, caffeine and, most importantly, sugar which enable me to put one foot in front of the other.

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Every day, like clockwork, I find myself in danger of grinding to a shuddering halt at precisely 11am. It is then that I reach for my trusty rucksack and, carefully avoiding the week old banana that I rummage for my lunch.

Although finishing one’s DairyLea and cucumber sarnies well before noon is never the most prudent option it is dessert which makes this potential schoolboy error worthwhile. Be it a Kit Kat or, if I am feeling particularly decadent, a Curly Wurly, I always feel energised after the obligatory chocolatey treat.

While parents everywhere try their hardest to steer their charges away from a sugar rush, I find that it is the only thing which keeps me going until home time, before the fun of bath and bedtime begins.

My sugar intake comes largely in the shape of the aforementioned chocolate and biscuits, ketchup and the occasional ready meal. Very rarely do I reach for fizzy pop or what the suits at Westminster now describe, in an out-of-touch dad kind of way, as sugary drinks. This curious phrase has been well used in the past week, ever since an under pressure George Osborne announced the radical move to tax manufacturers who produce soft drinks containing high levels of sugar. Although his Budget Day announcement was initially welcomed by health campaigners and a denim clad Jamie Oliver who greeted the news on television looking like a boyband survivor, the backlash has been fierce.

Clearly, big business is not happy and while that is not necessarily a bad thing, there is a huge question mark over the plan with critics arguing about the amount of revenue it will raise and whether or not consumers will either pay 25p more for their favourite tipple or move to cheaper brands.

Even to the casual observer, this version of the long discussed sugar tax smacks of desperation on the part of Osborne - a man under immense pressure following his poorly handled decision to cut disability allowances.

Since last Wednesday’s Budget we have been subjected to many statistics about our consumption of all things sweet and, if those figures are to be believed, less than 20 per cent of our sugar consumption comes from soft drinks which means there is a long way to go if we are to tackle the growing problem of obesity.

Maybe it is time for the Government to legislate that particularly nasty sweet stuff carries images of what sugar can do to your body - rather like we see on the side of cigarette packets?

Can’t see it happening myself but I am unsure if even that would put me off my lunchtime treat.