Monday, May 28, 2007

Bunch of Deacons

Could Snack the dog, Professor Foodsmart and the Great Grub Club Gang be the answers to helping cut childhood obesity?

The World Cancer Research Fund hopes that by using the health conscious characters on its new website it can encourage better eating and a more active lifestyle among its target audience of four to seven-year-olds.

Competitions, puzzles and stories aim to encourage children to learn more about food.

The answer to the question posed in the opening sentence above is No. This is because children are not idiots and can spot something which is thinly disguised as fun but which is actually educational and worthy a Cornish mile off.

Children are, however, nasty little bastards. Roald Dahl, the Beano and South Park understood this. Well-intentioned people with Great Causes rarely do. Their good intentions tend to backfire. Anyone who remembers what happened with Joey Deacon will undertand the nadir of this phenomenon.


Oroborous said...

Sheer idiocy.

Having visited their site, I will say that it's not horrible, but the biggest hurdle is that four-to-seven-year-olds don't typically do the shopping. So the World Cancer Research Fund is essentially claiming that they will someday convince a majority of young children to say "please, Mummy, don't make me eat another burger," (a villain at their site).

The key phrase, and all one really needs to know, is the following line from the BBC article: "Funded by the Department of Health..."

Anonymous said...

That's not the biggest hurdle at all. Do you think if they did do the shopping they would stock up on fresh veggies and give the Twinkies a pass?

Anyone who has coached young kids knows that sportmanship must be enforced, not just encouraged. If allowed, they eat the food they crave at the moment. They are bored to distraction by wilderness holidays and scenic drives. They close their ears and count the torturously slow-ticking seconds until the sermon is over and they have to be forced under pain of death to give old Aunt Agnes a kiss. Being bad is a thrill they confuse with maturing. And they really don't give a hoot about global warming.

Nor should they. They're kids. At least everyone else's are. Mine, of course, are special.

Oroborous said...

While I appreciate the truth of what you've written, it's always possible that they might convince kids to eat more veggies, and less junk, if it were available to eat.

But they can do nothing about providing such to the children. Therefore, that can't help but be the biggest challenge.

It's like farming. Everything about it might be challenging, but farmers can do nothing about the weather, and so that's the greatest hurdle to a successful season.

Anonymous said...

You and the World Cancer Research Fund are birds of a feather. What is all this dreaming about convincing? It's like a modern bullying counsellor lying awake hoping her homilies convinced the school terrorist to care more about his victims.

Eat your veggies or there is no dessert!

Duck said...

Peter, your diatribe on youthful incorrigibility puts paid to the notion that children can be moralized by religious education, doesn't it? Turning the other cheek has about as much appeal for young children as eating broccoli.

Bret said...

peter burnet wrote: "If allowed, they eat the food they crave at the moment."

Heck, if I'm overly hungry, I eat the food I crave at the moment. To my great detriment I might add.

Outlaw junk food!!!

Er, um, except for chocolate, of course.

Anonymous said...


I wouldn't go that far, but I'd love to see Oro launch a website designed to "convince" toddlers to say this every night after they have finished their favourite bedtime vegetables.

Hey Skipper said...

At the very real risk of conceding a point to Mr. Judd, why is the entire Left (no doubt the set from which the progenitors of this excresance hail) such humorless gits?

Bryan Appleyard said...

How far is a Cornish mile? And why is everything about Cornwall these days?

Brit said...

Cornwall is where it's at, man.

A Cornish mile is any distance longer than a piece of string.