A leading New Zealand health researcher is calling on supermarkets to follow the lead of the UK's biggest supermarket chain, Tesco, and remove all sweets and lollies from checkout areas to remove temptation from impulse buyers.
Apparently, wicked supermarkets deliberately place sugary treats within the eyeline of shoppers, including parents with children, who are stationary in a queue, vulnerable to temptation and helpless to resist brightly coloured packaging and the promise of instant sweet-tasting gratification.
Whatever happened to just saying no? As in, "No, I had a whopping dessert for lunch today, I'll pass on the chocolate tonight."
As in, "No, kids, you can't have lollies right now because you've been holy terrors all day and the sugar will turn you positively feral right before dinnertime."
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When I see frazzled mums in supermarkets pushing huge trolleys of groceries and trying to manage tired toddlers, I sympathise. But the ones who give in to their terrorist toddlers deserve all they get. A constant stream of "No, darling; no sweetheart; Mummy says no, Damien; put that down, darling; I'm counting to three, sweetheart," is far too often followed by, "Oh, all right. Just make sure you eat your dinner."
Damien may only be 3 but the smug look and victorious ripping open of the lolly packet is evidence he is fully aware of his powers.
What supposedly raises us above animals is our ability to resist our base urges, and our capacity for rational thought.
Are we really going to ignore millions of years of evolution simply because we cannot walk through a supermarket checkout aisle without succumbing to the lure of a colourfully packaged chocolate bar?