The author of ‘You Must Say No!”’ publishes an article on LinkedIn


It’s May madness time as far as the nation’s obsession with remedies that have little or no effect on the NHS’s weighty challenges. As ultra-processed food manufacturers simply laugh at Government threats to pass legislation, the take-away food industry expands in line with their customers’ waistlines. Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) now have 1,016 UK outlets. They have launched ‘the Ultimate BBQ Burger, smothered in smoky BBQ sauce, layered with crispy onions, cheese, burger dressing and crispy lettuce’.

Chef Marcus Wareing (‘Simply Provence: BBC2 5/5) visited a school in the south of France where he observed that the youngsters were not overweight (unlike 25% of children aged 10 and 11 in British primary schools, according to NHS data). The French schoolkids were eating three-course meals at lunchtime. These included lobster bisque with calamari or fried squid. Does un plus un equal deux?

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, in a colourful 8-page recipe meal plan pullout (‘Why You Should Eat 30 Plants a week’) in the Daily Mail with the introduction ‘our meals should include a far greater variety of fruit, veg, nuts, pulses and herbs.’ The selected dessert is ‘beetroot and chocolate torte’. The ubiquitous Professor Tim Spector pops in to explain, ‘why 30? That was the optimal number when my research explored the relationship between diet and a helpful gut biome.’

Meanwhile the campaigning body ‘Bite Back’ says ‘Britain is sleepwalking into a preventable health crisis.’ Its research is showing that the UK’s ten largest food and drinks firms sell 262 products featuring child-appealing packaging: 78% were classed as unhealthy – including crisps, cereals, ice cream and sweets.

An alternative to these various proposals is to read ‘”You Must Say No!” and begin a sensible, cost-free diet. This is what Scott has done and here is his weekly diary:

Scott’s diary: Monday 6 May 2024

This is my 3 rd week “Saying No” and I have lost 10lb. Being frank, it gets easier as you see it working. I feel different – my face is thinner, my stomach is tighter, I simply don’t feel as overweight as I was before. I have started planning the day before what I am going to eat. It seems to remove the decision making when you are hungry before a meal as the decision for that day has already been made and the food allocated. Although there was a minor battle between a small chocolate roll and an orange, the orange won. Why? Because the chocolate roll would be consumed in probably 30 seconds, so what’s the point. Does that chocolate roll bring that much pleasure? The feeling of not eating it, saying “no”, gives more pleasure for far longer.

My pal in Paris says that the French always know best! ‘Bouffe la moitie’ – serve half!