DUNCAN BARKES This tie-up really isn’t a winning combination...

We are becoming a nation of fatties. Indeed, I myself am in danger of becoming a stand-in for the Michelin Man. But will a ‘fat-tax’ really see us shunning the sugar and reaching for the Ryvita?

The idea, which the Prime Minister said he was currently studying following its introduction in Denmark, will see a surcharge added to food with a significant fat content.

This means butter, cheese, meat, oil, pizza, processed foods, sweeties and crisps would increase in price, intentionally driving consumers towards food that is cheaper and healthier.

My immediate reaction is to dig my heels in and oppose the idea, as I believe in as little interference from the state as possible. I concede something needs to be done, but I am not sure taxing families who are already struggling to pay for the weekly shop is the answer. I think the solution lies elsewhere.

The UK was sold the idea of the London 2012 Olympics on the basis it would be good for the economy (tell that to the London cabbies who will not be allowed to use many of the roads in the capital during the event). We were also encouraged to support the bid on the basis a UK Olympics would inspire us to become actively engaged in sport, thus improving the health of the nation.

Have you noticed who one of the main sponsors is for the London Olympics? If you haven’t, you might guess it is a sportswear company, or perhaps a company that produces health food. Nope. It’s McDonalds. Yes, the fast food chain has its logo proudly displayed alongside the official Olympics logo pretty much everywhere you look. You really couldn’t make it up.

I also learn with interest that Ronald McDonald and his chums are planning to open the biggest McDonalds restaurant in the world as part of the Olympics Park in East London.

There will be four outlets in total, including one in the athlete’s village. Of course a Big Mac with fries and an apple pie is exactly what Usain Bolt tucks into before he has a crack at the 100 metres.

I find it perverse that a fast-food chain, to which many owe their increasingly large guts, is sponsoring the biggest sporting event this country has seen in decades.

And while the McDonalds logo is slapped on pretty much everything associated with the 2012 Olympics, we are being told the prime minister is considering taxing high fat food. I know money talks, but this is a ridiculously confusing message.

Effectively hailed as the food of champions, is it any wonder junk food is seen by many as a perfectly acceptable daily menu?

Burgers and fries should be an occasional treat. Having them linked with a sporting event, especially one of such enormous significance, is lunacy.

Whoever thought this was a good idea is as thick a McDonald’s milkshake.

* Building up to a great cook-up

Staying with food, a fab event to be aware of is the Big Builders Cook Off. Taking place on Wednesday, October 19, at the Gribble Inn, Oving, three local builders will each cook a three-course meal, with all proceeds from their bookings going to three brilliant charities – The Chestnut Treehouse Children’s Hospice, The British Legion, and St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

To reserve a table please call the Gribble on 01243 786893.

* Join the debate and let Duncan Barkes know YOUR thoughts.