Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Off the Cuff

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Off the Cuff

Article excerpt

Byline: By Richard Ord

Health Nazis have been choking on their mange tout over the Government's backing of plans by chocolate maker, Cadbury's, to provide sports equipment to schools.

The selfless marketing men at Cadbury's are, it appears to me, being crucified for putting the needs of our kids first at a time when cash-strapped schools are crying out for help.

The multi-million pound confectionery company has vowed to give schools up and down the land all sorts of vital sports equipment - providing kids buy a bit of chocolate,well quite a bit of chocolate, oh, OK, a few million bars.

In fact, according to the Food Commission, if a school wanted a set of volleyball net posts, schoolkids would have to munch through around 1.25 million calories of chocolate to get them.

That would some volleyball game. Vomit ball more like.

If you're a kid it must sound great. "Sorry kids, no games today unless you eat 100 gallons of Whole Nut." Cue stampede. There'll be no shortage of youngsters tucking in napkins in the front of their shirt collars and volunteering for the task. I'd have quite happily chewed through my own body weight of Texan bars, with or without the promise of a five-a-side goal in my youth.

The Texan bar was a 70s classic, guaranteed to remove at least three fillings at every sitting.

Still don't remember it? "Texan: Sure is a mighty chew" was the slogan and the ad featured a prisoner about to be shot by a Mexican firing squad. He was asked: "Any last requests, gringo?" He demanded a Texan bar which he took so long to eat the firing squad fell asleep and he escaped. At least that's how I remember it.

Anyway, they went the way of Spangles, Toffos and Pacers.

Cadbury's bosses claim they are encouraging kids to take part in sport and there are few who could argue otherwise.

As the Food Commission points out, an average 10-year-old wanting to earn a basketball through the scheme would need to play basketball for 90 hours to burn the calories he would consume to get the ball in the first place.

Hey, if it keeps 'em off the streets ... Personally, I don't have a problem with the scheme. Kids are

going to eat chocolate anyway so why not give them the

chance to get some sports equipment? …

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