Remember the glory days of Spangles, Sherbert Dib Dabs and Drumsticks? – Dad’s Diary

There they were, in mid-March, in full view of everyone walking into Morrisons in Anchorage Park, Portsmouth.

Saturday, 30th March 2019, 5:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 10:40 am
Easter Eggs

Rows and rows of them, like a Giant’s Causeway of chocolate. Easter eggs, available to buy … way before Easter.

Remember when you could only buy Creme Eggs around the annual festival of Jesus’ resurrection? Seriously, you could. Now they’re an ever-present in the supermarket chocolate aisles.

Because we live in the times we live in, somebody has got to be annoyed by this. And they are.

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David Wheeler in action during Pompey's first EFL Trophy tie of 2018/19 against Gillingham at a sparse Fratton Park. There will be a few more supporters at the club's final EFL Trophy tie this season ...

A health charity has urged retailers to stop selling Easter eggs too early in the year to help tackle the obesity crisis.

Royal Society for Public Health chief executive Shirley Cramer said: "We recognise that special occasions such as Easter are a time for indulgence and treats. However, it is clear that many shops and supermarkets are pushing products way too early.

"Our research suggests that the public find this mildly irritating and it is just putting unnecessary temptation out there, particularly for children.’

Yes, it’s ‘mildly irritating’, but those who market Easter eggs are hardly alone in this. It’s also irritating - and more than mildly - to see Valentine’s Day cards in early January and Mother’s Day cards appearing as soon as February 14 is over.

And don’t get me started on Christmas, with shops now regularly decking aisles with bows of holly and tinsel weeks and weeks before the big day. Ditto Halloween.

That’s capitalism for you. That’s marketing also.

Yes, it is temptation for children. But here’s a thing, parents - if someone small in your family asks/pleads/demands a choccy egg in Morrisons … you can say ‘no’. You can. Try it.

I know this much - I ate far more chocolate when I was a kid than my two children have ever done. Same with sweets.

I’m now 50 and, to be honest, am amazed all my teeth haven’t fallen out by now.

The amount of chewing gum sticks I used to wolf down in the late 70s and early 80s - they were ‘free’ with certain packs of football cards* - was incredible.

Same with ‘sweet cigarettes’. Now, of course, it is inconceivable sweet companies would make such products - let alone target them at kids. Well, they did in the 70s. And guess what? They didn’t turn me into a teenage or adult smoker (the same rule didn’t apply to cider apple lollies …)

I used to hoover down Sherbert Dip Dabs, Spangles (RIP), Pacers - blooming nice they were! - Drumsticks, Toffos, Spacedust (see previous comment re own teeth), Fry’s 5 Centre, Munchies and Jelly Tots, and enough fizzy Corona (cherryade was a perennial favourite) to sink a ship (even a large one, like HMS Queen Elizabeth).

God, they were great days.

Asterisk And packs didn’t cost £1 EACH, like the Match Attax cards do today (insert angry face emoji).

Poor Jamie, he never had a chance

Talking of temptation, it’s a cheap shot to have a go at supermarket chains for early placement of egg-shaped chocolate treats.

After all, they are hardly alone in encouraging this increasingly obese society we live in.

I moved to Portsmouth six months ago and have never received so many kebab shop takeaway menus through my letter box.

Such leaflet drops work, though. To my eternal shame, I ordered a takeaway kebab for the first time in my life a few weeks ago!

I turn on the radio, I hear McDonald’s adverts (I’m always amazed a truly global company like Maccy Ds feels the need to advertise, but there you go ...)

Drive around this city and you’ll quickly see a fastfood delivery car/van or cyclist.

A recent story on The News’ website about McDonald’s in the Fratton Centre now being available on Deliveroo attracted more page views than ‘serious’ items like crime stories or Pompey FC updates did on the same day.

And I know full well that would have been replicated in many towns and cities in the UK.

Remember Jamie Oliver attempting to introduce Rotherham schoolchildren to healthier meals? He didn’t stand a chance, poor bugger. And I’m not sure he would in any similar inner city environment either ....