Good Food Blog
Munching on the movePosted at 12:02PM, 17 September 2008 by Stuart Walton - Food and wine writer
Feeling peckish? Don't worry, so's everybody else. A little-noticed factor in the obesity epidemic, and one which is even more of an influence on body mass than what people eat, is the fact that they're eating all the time. At some stage in the recent past, presumably when Mum wasn't looking, we all started raiding life's cookie jar, and now we can't stop.
Eating is going on all around us, all the time. In the days when public decorum was more restrictive, eating was confined to particular times of the day. If you felt nibbly at around 11 in the morning, or three in the afternoon, you just put up with it - at least until the next tea-break. What happens far more now is that people eat something. They graze. They snack. They have something to 'put them on' until the next tea-break, when they eat something else.
It is a rule of all train travel now that people have to start eating something as soon as they get settled into a seat
It is a rule of all train travel now that people have to start eating something as soon as they get settled into a seat. If you haven't equipped yourself with a foot-long baguette, to be eaten from the bag at laborious length, don't panic. There will be a trolley along shortly, with a selection of snacks and refreshments to ward off the debilitating effects of calorie shortage.
We have all sat in front of people at the cinema who choose the crunchiest sweets in the crackliest wrapping to get them through the two-hour stretch ahead of them. These people follow me around Brighton actually, not only crunching and crackling their way through every film I go to see, but sitting behind me on the bus and standing behind me in the bank queue. It won't be long before I find they're sitting next to me on the settee at home when I switch on EastEnders.
If it is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving, why isn't it illegal to be chomping on a Mars bar? And what about those people who eat on the phone? How annoying is that? Please, scoff your banana first. I'll wait.
Some of the bus companies, and most cab firms, have 'No Eating' rules, but on the buses at least, there's nobody to enforce them. Eaters can render any rules unworkable anyway, by smuggling chips, cheeseburgers, lightly grilled steaks in black pepper sauce with steamed broccoli on the side, anywhere they want to eat them because, as we know, it would be an infringement of their human rights to stop them from filling their faces for five minutes.
This heartfelt plea goes out to the Eating Guerrillas. We can do a deal, I'm sure, come to some compromise agreement, only please stop stuffing yourselves. You're going to pop. (Or I am.)