By Tim Bean
Now I happen to love buffets, not because it’s “all you can eat”, but more because it’s “I get to choose” – an important discrimination.
At breakfast one morning I was seated in a position where I had a broad overview of the various food stations.
To the left of me was the bready section with toast, muffins, bagels, crumpets, pancakes and waffles. To the right I could see the continental section with a range of cereals, yoghurts, fruit and porridge.
And immediately in front of me was the hot food section, in the middle of which a rather jolly chef was busy juggling a selection of sizzling omelette pans.
Lining up were four pilots, as this is the hotel many airlines accommodate their crew when on stop-over. I could tell that two standing on the right were clearly more senior, mainly as they had steely grey hair and lots of stripes on their epaulettes. Both seemed in very good shape with strong defined jaw-lines and well-fitting tailored shirts.
On their plates they each sported similar fare to the other – omelette, salad, tomatoes, carrot and a small selection of dim-sum, as best I could tell.
The other two pilots stood to the left, and these were both younger, although vastly fatter, men. Both had bellies that stretched the seams of their shirts to the limit, and rather round and reddened faces, typical of men in poor physical shape.
On their plates they had loaded up a feast of sausages, hash browns, crispy bacon, French toast, spring rolls, somosa’s and chips.
It occurred to me that if I had to choose which pair of captains I would feel safer flying with, the decision would be clear and certain.
And in the same instant I also realised that when it comes to the choices we all make around food, obesity isn’t really a mystery. None at all.