When you have kids, you have these surreal conversations: "Dad", said my little one, "Wouldn't it be wierd if the things that are bad for you, were actually good for you? And the other way around - the things that were good for you were actually bad for you?"
That got me thinking...
The unhealthy effects of sport would need to be counteracted by, say, major sporting events being sponsored by healthy things like burgers and soft drinks.
You'd need a fleet of taxis to drive round the streets of central London, to top up the air with life-enhancing particulates, and save people from all that unhealthy walking around.
You wouldn't ban cycling just because it's unhealthy - after all, this is a democracy not a nanny state - but you'd do everything you could to make it as unpleasant and unattractive as possible - you'd make cyclists share the road with fast-moving motor vehicles, and you'd make sure there were as few dedicated places to cycle as possible. You'd want to scare cyclists into making healthier transport choices, by setting up major road junctions to cause as many 'near misses' as possible. And where there's a collision between a cyclist and a motorist, you
would want the law to favour the motorist. After all, if people will
indulge in unhealthy pursuits, it's their own look-out. You'd probably want a prime-time BBC TV show to promote motoring as a cool way to get around.
It would be the duty of the government to tackle the epidemic of emaciation caused by too little saturated fat and too much exercise. So you'd want to encourage people to use their cars as much as possible, to promote a healthy sedentary lifestyle. You'd reduce fuel duty, and make public transport more expensive - those walks to the bus stop and train station really add up to a considerable amount of dangerous exertion. You'd make sure parking was permitted whereever possible, and you'd allow parking in cycle lanes to reduce the amount of unhealthy cycling. You'd make sure there were plenty of fried food outlets on every high street so people can get enough fat in their diet. And you'd only want healthy food to be advertised, such as pizza, burgers, chips, ice cream and soft drinks.
That's what Britain would look like - if the things that were bad for you, were actually good for you.