My post about chocolate reminded me of a series of tongue-in-cheek pieces I wrote for the sadly-defunct Doctor magazine, a few years ago. They were a bit politically-incorrect but made me (and the editor) laugh.
The pieces were about the assumptions we make about health, due to social and class background. They embraced a range of prejudices, stereotypes and lazy journalism. So with the apologies out the way, here’s a couple, in the hope they might make you laugh too.
Health beliefs in Surrey
1: Red wine deglazes the arteries.
2: Burgers from expensive gourmet chains are healthy.
3: Apple in Pimms, lemon in G&T and olives in martinis all count towards your five a day.4. If you don’t smoke, you can do anything else you like.
5. You don’t have a drink problem if you can make it to your desk at Goldman Sachs before 10.
6. One really good weekly session with a personal trainer is as good as exercising 5 times a week.
7. Homeopathy works. And it doesn’t cause side effects.
8. If it’s made by Duchy Organics, it’s healthy.
9. Essential oils are the best way to tackle headlice
10. Blocked sinuses the day before you’re due to fly to St Barts is a medical emergency
Health beliefs in Billericay
1. A decent curry cancels out 14 pints of lager
2. If you don’t pick out the gherkins and lettuce, a Big Mac is meat and two veg
3. Anything fruit flavoured counts as fruit. Like strawberry bubblegum and Sunny Delight.
4. If your Auntie May lived till 100 smoking 40 a day, so will you.
5. You don’t have a drink problem if you can get to the Job Centre to sign on before lunchtime.
6. You get enough exercise just running round after the kids all day.
7. Antibiotics work. For everything.
8. If it’s healthy, it’s expensive.
9. A number 1 cut all over is the best way to tackle headlice.
10. Getting signed off sick for another 2 weeks is a medical emergency.
Health beliefs in Gloucestershire
1. You can drink as much wine as you like, so long as it’s older than you are.
2. If you’ve shot it yourself, it must be healthy.
3. Marmalade is the only fruit.
4. Cigars don’t count as smoking.
5. You don’t have a drink problem if you can get on your horse facing the right way round.
6. Exercise is for the little people. Anyway, what with the hunting , shooting, fishing and tramping across the moors menacing ramblers, you don’t get much time for exercise.
7. Nothing works. No sense complaining.
8. If Nanny says it’s healthy, then it is.
9. They don’t have headlice at Eton.
10. Having a horse land on top of you and crush your leg is a medical emergency. Maybe. Unless you can struggle back on again.