Between a sop and a lard place

30th June 2000 at 01:00
WHO would be Evan Harris's stomach? Judging by last week's debate at Westminster on school dinners, it's a rather turbulent place to be.

The boyish Lib Dem education spokesman outlined his own particular approach to healthy eating while proudly claiming to be the number one customer of a Leading Burger Chain.

"Whenever I consume a burger product," he told appalled MPs, "I try to eat several tangerines on the same day. It makes me feel better, and full." Members of the healthy eating lobby listening in started to look a little green.

Alarmingly for a former medic, Harris then explained: "There is no such thing as bad food, only a bad die." Trust him, he's a doctor.

Evan's hearty plugs for this particular burger (also sponsoring a breakfast club in his constituency "without any wish for publicity", so we won't give it any) were followed by his namedropping a fizzy drink whose challenge he has clearly passed.

Even its non-diet version was low in sugar, he said. Great timing in the week a government survey named fizzy drinks as the main culprit for endemic tooth decay in children. (It's the acid, not just the sugar).

The Diary wonders if the Lib Dems are embracing sponsorship a little too closely. Meanwhile, anyone invited by Evan to lunch might think twice...

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