What exactly are the London Mayor’s priorities when it comes to tackling London’s major social and economical issues? Is it to stop knife crime and acid attacks? Is it to catch online peedophiles and sex traffickers? Is it to infiltrate not only radical mosques but all radical religious gatherings? (But let’s be honest, it’s almost always mosques). No. It’s to stop your child from becoming a fatass.

To state the obvious, if someone is clinically obese then they are at serious medical risk of having a heart attack or a stroke – let alone having to live with diabetes and/or high blood sugar. Obesity is bad! According to a study, the rate of men and women that die every year due to obesity closely contends with those who die due to smoking related illnesses. According to another study in the US, more people have died from obesity than smoking. Even simply being overweight contributed over a million deaths last year in the UK. So is obesity a big deal? Yes, by all means it’s a huge deal. But Sadiq Khan is doing anything but helping the epidemic.

Khan’s solution to childhood obesity is to take down fast food ads from the London Underground, make pizzas smaller, pack less biscuits in a pack of digestives (and blame Brexit whilst you’re at it), sugar tax fizzy drinks, ban milkshakes and ban TV advertisements that promote junk food. Nobody can tell for sure whether Khan is genuinely looking out for obese children or trying to create a distraction over the rise in crime in London. The reason this is questionable is because none of Sadiq Khan’s strategies actually work. Let’s start with consumerism.

When it comes to selling to children, they may not be the direct customer but simply just the consumer who indirectly receives the product. This is why most companies try and have their products aimed at the parents, considering they are normally the ones who make the payments when it comes to food, clothing and other essentials. So really, Sadiq Khan should be looking to advertise healthy living to the parents, instead of moving all McDonalds TV advertisements past 9pm. Same goes for making food smaller, anyone who is addicted to sugar will notice and just buy 2 products instead of one to make up for the size. Now they could considerably be taking in more calories. Also don’t forget those who prepare their own food at home. Sadiq Khan will never be able to ban that. The argument of sugar taxes were to prevent children drinking full fat cola and introducing a diet/sugar free version instead. The biggest issue with this is that those ‘harmless’ sugar free drinks contain high levels of sweeteners, which are far more liable to cause cancer. A recent study suggests that diet drinks can still make people fat – so well done Mr Khan, kids are now getting cancer and their BMI continues to dramatically ascend higher.

Some good ways to tackle childhood obesity is to tackle fast food with a similar strategy to cigarettes. Put OBESITY KILLS on boxes of Big Macs, start mass informing people and finding new and innovative ways of persuading children to live healthier, encourage parents to lead healthier lifestyles, help poorer communities find cheap ways to eat healthily, treat sugar addiction as a real condition, make fat shaming just as tolerable and acceptable in society as smoker shaming, hold healthy body sizes and realistic beauty standards in high esteem, shame lazy parents for not feeding their children healthily and so on. All of the above would work to some degree, but Sadiq Khan has a mindset where he feels the need to control people and assume that people listen to him regardless. Does he mean to have that mindset? Does he have any hidden agendas? It is up for debate.

By Damien Taylor