Warning – This Blog Might Be Bad for Your Health

The HFSS Warning Symbols

I was about to enjoy my lunch when I noticed the warnings. My pot of jam, with a tempting picture of a bunch of blackberries, had large circular symbols. ‘High in Sugar’, one proclaimed. ‘High in Fat’, I was told. Without stopping to check if the fat was saturated or unsaturated, I quickly dropped the pot back on the table. Who would want to eat anything so dangerous to their health?

These symbols, known as HFSS, are used to mark all food and non-alcoholic drinks as High in Fat, Salt, and/or Sugar, according to the Public Health of England’s Nutrient Profiling Model. It is important to note that we are talking about the English Nutrient Profiling Model as there are some 39 other models in use around the world and we do not want to be confused, (or should I say, more confused).

Israel has adopted the HFSS designation method which became mandatory on 1 January 2020.

As usual over lunch, on television, Sky News was mumbling to itself. Suddenly, the much-feared warning appeared – “this report may contain flash photography”. I quickly ducked beneath the table, a risky business as there was no ‘mind your head’ warning. (I have written to the TV authorities pointing out this oversight.)

While under the table, waiting for the thoughtless press photographers to stop trying to endanger any of the 2,250 photo-sensitive people with epilepsy (out of a population of just 60 million) in Britain who might be watching, I had a thought.

We need a new classification, the HLDU. Yes, my suggestion could revolutionise life in Israel. This classification, ‘High in Laziness, Deception and Unworthiness’, would require all Members of Knesset  to wear a label carrying large circular symbols. These symbols would tell us:

  • Laziness – a ‘Low in Attendance’ symbol would show us just how hard they work for us.
    Watching the empty benches on the Knesset channel, which features live broadcasts of all the Knesset Plenum sittings, we wonder what our representatives are doing.
    (I was reminded of a sign on a shop window in the I’m Backing Britain campaign back in 1968 which read:  While You’re Backing Britain I’m Back In Bed.)
  • Deception – does the MK vote as they spoke on important issues?
    How many times have we seen an MK promising action on a matter of vital public importance in a TV interview, but nowhere to be seen when it came to the vote.
  • Unworthiness – is the MK worthy of our trust or just interested in the benefits and privileges that MKs have awarded themselves?
    Many MKs have taken Marcus Aurelius to heart – ‘A man’s worth is no greater than his ambitions‘. They strive to increase their worth with greater and greater ambition.
    (Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor from 161 to 180 and a Stoic philosopher.)

Even better would be a ‘Tastes Good’ icon. We could all enjoy our food in peace.
And how much harm can a little sugar do? Perhaps I will have some blackberry jam.

About the Author
The author has been living in Rehovot since making Aliya in 1970. A retired physicist, he divides his time between writing adventure novels, getting his sometimes unorthodox views on the world into print, and working in his garden. An enthusiastic skier and world traveller, the author has visited many countries. His first novels "Snow Job - a Len Palmer Mystery" and "Not My Job – a Second Len Palmer Mystery" are published for Amazon Kindle. The author is currently working on the third Len Palmer Mystery - "Do Your Job".
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