YEP Letters: February 1

The Government is considering a range of measures to tackle gambling addiction. Photo: PA

Check out today’s YEP letters

Only losers have gambling problem

Terry Thomas, Leeds.

WITH regard to ‘problem gamblers’ (‘Leeds could house North’s first gambling addicts clinic,’ YEP, January 25), I can’t help feeling that if these gamblers were constantly winning – rather than losing and accruing debts – I’m sure this ‘problem’ would diminish and it would no longer be considered an illness that the NHS has to get involved with.

At present the odds are so in favour of the gambling industry that it only produces losers.

Surely that is the root of the problem?

Britain has the unhealthiest diet in Europe

Britain has the unhealthiest diet in Europe – significantly increasing the risk of obesity and heart attacks and strokes an alarming new study has found. Ultra-processed ‘junk’ food such as crisps and chicken nuggets and poor-quality ready-made meals now make up just over half of the meals consumed in the average household. Britain’s consumption of these foods is five times as high as it is in Portugal researchers found in a study of 19 European countries. Professor Carlos Monteiro of Sao Paulo University - who led the study - said Britain’s poor diet posed a “serious problem” for the nation. He said governments should take action to increase consumption of food that involves little or no processing for example by putting health warnings on the packets. They should make ultra-processed foods “less available and affordable” – for example through extra taxes. We asked YEP readers for their views and here’s what some of them said on social media..

Martin Walker

But what motivation is there for people to eat healthy? We have a cities filled with cheap takeaways, cafes, fast-food franchises, restaurants, street food vans, supermarkets with snack foods!

So people can quite easily put away 3-5000 calories a day. Then people drive places instead of walking, cycling, etc. Use lifts instead of stairs, so don’t get any sort of aerobic workout.

And doctors pump drugs to deal with some of the consequences. I’ve seen people with diabetes eating whatever they want, cos their “drugs really work”. But on the plus side, overweight people don’t live as long.

And there’s plenty of fruit, veg and salad stuff in supermarkets for the rest of us at reasonable prices.

Murray Craigen

I spy the “T” word in there.Tax! It’s strange that tax, which will ultimately be squandered before the hunt for more things to tax begins, appears to be the cure for all of society’s ills these days. Taxing people just makes them poorer.

Could it be the country’s 105 per cent mortgage and continued borrowing has something to do with all of these articles mentioning tax?

It’s time for a fair tax system.

Scrap Income Tax and National Insurance and replace it with flat salary VAT which the employer pays.

Reduce the actual VAT percentage for all purchases and place it across the board.

So a simple form of income and expenditure tax, which is transparent and costs less to collect than out current bloated system.

Peter Kush Bajger

Noticed most people in UK don’t even know how to cook proper meals, they’re so used to take aways.

Richard Crossley

We’re also worked to the bone compared to other European countries.

Working longer hours just to pay for everything that less in Europe than what it does in rip of Britain.

Philip Robinson

Teach domestic science at school as a compulsory subject. Teach children how to grow vegetables, how to cook simple nutritious food. I spent years learning algebra, and I don’t recall ever using it in my adult life, I eat three times a day!

Ankit Choudhary

Learn how to cook simple Indian food over unhealthy Indian takeaways.

Dawn Van Gelderen

Most people are struggling with time and money. Some work long hours with a minimum wage.

Taxing cheap food will make the poor even poorer and if people are visiting food banks to survive they don’t have a choice. I’m sick of people dissing the eating habits of the people in the UK.

I do agree that a lot of people have lost touch with cooking healthy meals.

Instead of taxing cheap food maybe the government should provide cookery classes for people on a tight budget.

Richard Gillies

Other countries also have people on minimum wages working long hours.

The monthly minimum wage in Portugal for example is €500 – hardly a fortune. The difference is not financial but cultural.

However, as you say, people can eat what they like but there will be a longer term health impact.

David Rowley

No shock there with how expensive healthy food is. People who dont have much find it’s much cheaper to buy fatty food.

Pavlina Alexiou

Healthy food is cheaper than junk food if you cook it, and I mean real cooking!

I’ve lived in the UK for two years now and I’m still wondering why people eat pre-prepared or pre-cooked food. This is neither healthy, nor cheap.

In Greece people work more than eight hours every day, and some of them seven days a week, and children have many outdoor activities, but the vast majority of 
them prefer healthy Mediterannean food, which they use to prepare the night before.

You can find numerous Mediterranean recipes on the internet. They are easy, quick, healthy and cheap.

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