Are we creating a health pariah class?

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 06 May 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:1141
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner (
  1. Glasgow

    When I was a boy my parents smoked—as did most adults who I knew. People lived and then they died. I lived in a council house and went to a comprehensive school. I ate pies, cakes, and pastries, all washed down with full fat milk. When we could afford it we ate butter, but most of the time it was Stork Special Blend margarine. We had free school dinners and I loved spam fritters, sausage pie, stew, corned beef, or meat loaf, followed by pink custard and sponge. I loved our dinner ladies, and I often had third helpings. All my spare money went on Cabana bars, crisps, and a “quarter” of boiled sweets. My first McDonald's burger sent me delirious with its flavour.

    I found that my nagging was patronising and pointless

    Regardless of the weather, we fought and played …

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