Are Petrol Stations Making You Fat?

Wed 9th May 2018

The UK’s network of petrol stations are certainly lightening the load of your wallet with rising fuel prices, but now Government ministers are worried that we might be refuelling too much and making ourselves fat!

It’s one of the most tempting journeys we can make. We’ve just put more than £100 of petrol or diesel in our motor and then when we get to the counter, we load up on chocolate, crisps and snacks aplenty. More often than not these can be consumed before we’ve even completed our final journey.

It’s a problem which has become such an issue that the concern is now being discussed in Parliament.

Public Health England (PHE) advisors have spoken before a commons health select committee this week and their advice is that motorists wanting to avoid obesity should pay at the pump.

Susan Jebb, an Oxford University professor, who advises PHE said: “What we’re trying to do is change the food environment. One of the things that really strikes me is the sheer availability of food everywhere: DIY shops, clothes shops, goodness knows what, that now have sweets on the checkout. I think those impulse purchases do matter . . . when I do talks on obesity, one of my top ten tips is pay at the pump, don’t go into the kiosk, and people really get that.”

A recent BBC documentary series, ‘Britain’s Fat Fight’ recently revealed that the UK public is being bombarded with a ‘wall of confectionary’ when faced with paying for purchases, and how one high-street chain sells almost 900 chocolate bars every 45 seconds in the UK.

The payment choices for UK motorists are becoming more diverse on petrol station forecourts. For a number of years now, supermarket chains such as Sainsbury, Tesco and Morrisons have all offered opportunities to pay using chip and pin at the pump.

We have also seen major fuel retailers such as BP, Esso and Shell allow drivers to pay for their fuel via a smartphone app.

Jaguar Land Rover meanwhile have announced that their in-car technology will now allow drivers to pay for their fuel at Shell stations from the comfort of their own car.

The PHE advice does not seem to account for the calories which are burnt off when we take the walk to the kiosk to pay for the petrol.