We're told that Waitrose is to install health food police. In fact, they're going to train their shop assistants to be helpful:
Once trained up by qualified nutritionists, shop assistants will advise and direct customers who ask towards healthier choices on the shop floor free of charge.
For example a shopper deciding on a meal to cook for supper might be advised to buy quinoa instead of rice, Waitrose said.
They will also be trained to suggest recipes to shoppers, and advise them on how to read food labels and where they can find reliable sources of nutrition information.
It's entirely true that the British police are famed for what they'll do if asked - like tell the time. However, a fairly important point about police - as opposed to these assistants - is when they'll intervene if not asked. We're not, for example, being told that there will be barks of "Oi, you! Fattie! Step away from the ice cream, drop the frozen pizzas" which is what a police approach would entail.
However, what sparks our interest is this most stunning piece of research:
Research shows that shoppers tend to reach for unhealthy options in supermarkets if they do their shopping while hungry.
For example participants in a Cornell University who were hungry purchased more high-calorie products, the researchers found.
Well, yes, we rather think that's how hunger works isn't it? It's a signal to the body that it needs more calories. Time to go off and hunt or gather some more, the hungrier we are the more and denser the calories should be.
That is, this isn't an error, this is the point. We're more than a little worried at people not getting this. Not just about food and hunger, but more generally, people missing the point. For example, we're often told QE failed because it raised asset prices. But then the point of QE was to raise asset prices to make investing in making more assets more attractive. That is, raising asset prices was the point of QE.
We really do think we'd all be better off is rather more people got the basic point of what it is that we do. You know, like hunger prompts us to eat? It's a pretty useful little signal in fact....