I rather suspect the majority of my fans will be feeling a bit guilty because of all the eating and drinking they’ve indulged in over the so-called Festive Season. The upside to this is that you’re in good company.

If you live in London or Brumingham, the chances are you were pretty naughty. A pre-Christmas survey (I’ll come back to who carried it out in a bit) suggested that one in five people in those cities expected to overdo things. Me? I think that’s a gross underestimate, or what market researchers call ‘lying. Also I flat out refuse to believe that in the Southwest they’re all Goodie Two Shoes with a mere 8% admitting they might be a bit of a tinker. That’s so patently untrue it hardly bears consideration.

Now, who carried out this bit of spurious nonsense, where a survey of a mere 2000 people was taken to be representative of the entire UK population, which reports overall likelihood of difficulties maintaining healthy eating of 75%? You’d better brace yourselves for this bit.

It was no less a body than that well known organisation the Natural Hydration Council. You might just suspect some investigator or subject/questionnaire bias from them, don’t you think?

Best bit about this twaddle. The general manager of the NHC, the rather dodgy sounding Kinvara Carey, is on record as saying the following. ‘Water is one of the healthiest ways to hydrate…

(Pause for the ‘No shit, Sherlock’ moment for my readers, since ‘hydration’ has its origins in the Greek word for water, hydor)

as it contains no sugar or calories.’ Reminds me of those memes about ‘Diet Water’ that were flying around Facebook a while ago.

On the subject of spurious nonsense, sales of ‘free from’ products have increased by 19% in value. Since it’s value, bear in mind you can hike the prices as far as you like and the gullible people will just dig deeper. ‘Free from’ sales have actually outstripped the sales of tea, which will doubtless delight the NHC; I expect they have a downer on tea.

The NHC will also be delighted to know that bottled water was the fourth fastest growing sector of the food and drink market in 2016. They’ll be delighted because they’re an offshoot of the UK Bottled Water Association, and the relationship is made very clear on their website.

I don’t suppose the world’s oceanic wildlife is too chuffed about the increase, but hey, that’s market forces, isn’t it?

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