Seeing a bloke with a missing leg caused by diabetes on a recent BBC documentary was both terrifying and depressing.

The following day on a train from York to Scarborough I sat next to three overweight teenagers and their very large mother. For the duration of the journey they dipped into a bulging carrier bag loaded with sweets and crisps.

It was one continuous graze fest and by the time they reached Malton they had enough combustible sugar inside them to launch skywards. Between snacking they sucked in mouthfuls of bright orange 50p ‘sports’ drinks with each sugar laden slurp making them ever thirstier, thus requiring ever more anti-elixir.

It was then that I received an epiphany. The food companies, with the blessing of successive governments, have created a nation of passive, malleable people that are easy to handle.

But as a result, for the first time in recent history the average mortality rate has fallen. It is time to grow up.

Brian McCusker,

Hartoft Street, York