Sweat is normal when you are in pursuit of pertness

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Mutiny Festival 2017 Picture: Paul Windsor

Keep children safe – but beware the nanny state

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During the summer holidays I travelled through France on one of their marvellous high-speed trains.

Pulling into a station every now and again revealed two things – rail travel over there is much nicer than it is here and their women must really want pert bottoms.

At just about every stop we made there was at least half a dozen giant posters for Reebok’s EasyTone trainers.

By the end of the journey I’d convinced myself my life would be poorer (well, my backside would be saggier) without a pair of these little beauties in it.

You might have heard about these shoes because the company has just found itself in hot water over some of the claims it had been making.

Reebok said these trainers could strengthen calves, hamstrings and buttocks – just by walking in them.

Including a picture of a peachy-looking bum on all the billboards clearly implied you’d be giving Pippa Middleton a run for her money if you bought them. Without even needing to run. Bonus, hey?

Sadly not. Reebok might find it now has to hand out refunds after a US watchdog ruled there was no such thing as a no-work, no-sweat way to a fit and healthy body. Spoilsports.

It’s not the first time this kind of shoe has faced these kind of questions though.

I didn’t part with any money so I’m not that devastated to learn that my legs probably won’t be looking nicer any time soon.

But isn’t it amazing to think that so many people clearly think there is a quick fix to getting the body of their dreams?

Whether it’s the latest anti-ageing face cream, a sports bra that promises to make the dreaded ‘boob bounce’ a thing of the past, or shoes that will do much of the hard work for you, we’re prepared to pay handsomely for this stuff.

It all feels a bit like desperation.

Our diets and lifestyles have become so poor that the only option we think we have left is the crash diet, or the clothing gadget that will make hulking ourselves out onto the streets to exercise that little bit easier.

I suppose you can’t really blame sports companies for cashing in on our gullibility when we’re not even prepared to break into a sweat ourselves.