So when I was a child, my Grandad would always get me a mars bar whenever he’d take me to a school event or sports practice. One day when we stopped off at the local spar while he was getting his lottery ticket I picked up the Mars bar myself, not knowing he’d already picked one up for me.

After he’d chosen his numbers I walked up to him holding the mars bar grinning away. He said “TWO!?” and chuckled, “that’s greedy” he said. I explained to him I didn’t know he’d already got me one so I put it back and off we went.

Fast forward a few years, and he still hadn’t dropped his tradition. This particular time I was waiting in the car and as he got in he dropped a ‘Mars Duo’ on my lap. At the time neither of us were phased… Why? Because it had long since been acceptable to purchase these, whereas years earlier it would be considered greedy.

In just a few years, marketing experts had brainwashed us into thinking buying a ‘duo’ chocolate bar was acceptable by reducing the size of them slightly, and adjusting the price slightly so that purchasing one was a no-brainer because you were getting more for your money. That 260 calorie snack just turned into a 386 calorie snack, and nobody batted an eyelid.

They are now available as part of meal deals in supermarkets, along with other oversized products such as ‘big bag’ crisps, sandwich triples and ‘more to share’ bags.

Take home message:

* Be mindful of ‘more for your money’ deals and offers. You’re likely purchasing more food and consuming more calories than you would usually eat!

* READ THE LABEL! Check the calories, and ask yourself if what you’re eating is worth the hard work you have to put in to burn it off.

* Before you pick something off the shelf remember, what would your Grandad think?

Sam Austin

The Better Body Group, Sevenoaks