The Mail has divulged a “fascinatingnew column. Lower-tier celebrities reveal their daily food consumption and a stern nutritionist assails them with shrill abuse. Here, Zoe Harcombe’s vessel-busting is, perhaps, indicative of steepling blood pressure (I recommend omega-3: try some mackerel or walnuts)…

…what is a professional dancer doing eating so much sugar and processed food? Special K is 17 per cent sugar, crunchy nut cornflakes 35 per cent – Flavia may as well dip every fourth tablespoon in the white sugar bowl – and then more at night!

Now, I’m a diet frea…er, aberration – even in these merry days where every Tommy Atkins has a food regime. Nonetheless, I truly loathe this moralising over calories. Throughout our lives we take decisions that can further harm or good: in diet alone there are questions of species, waste and exploitation. Yet, the preachers rain down fire on saturated fats and the lecterns ring with condemnation of the simple carb. Don’t misinterpret me, it’s right that people learn standards of health; but this should be guidance for them, not sacred moral codes. While urgent ethical crises raise neither brows nor pulses, stewing psyches are boiled into guilt-swept torment over petty habits: empty calories distressing good-as-empty minds.

I can’t be too righteous – many’s the time I’ve hung, wild-eyed, over a can’s nutritional information – but, then, it’s understandable that food arrests the egocentric. It puts flesh on the aggressive idée fixes of self-worth: complacence, discipline and mediocrity. While callous, marketeering sermonisers feed this rather shallow, often frantic introversion, consciousnesses are doomed to starve even if bodies remain.

It may be unfair to lump Ms Harcombe in with them. Still, Flavia Cacace’s an award-winning – and, yes, rather sylphlike – ballroom dancer. Why can’t she enjoy her goddamn cereal in peace?

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