With concerns of there not being enough CCTV cameras on the London Underground, another issue that seems to be on the mind of commuters is the over excessive amount of food and drink being consumed on public transport, and how snacking on the train, bus or tube can lead to an increased level of obesity within the UK.
Whether it’s the lingering smell of a McDonalds Big Mac spreading across the aisle on the Northern Line, or the annoying chomping sound of the passenger sitting next to you as they snack on a M&S Cheese and Onion Mayonnaise sandwich, eating on public transport certainty leaves public opinion divided.
While those auguring against eating on public transport such as Chef Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies who claims in a new report that banning snacking on the tube will decrease obesity and lead to long-term health benefits, others point to diabetic passengers who need to eat to balance their blood sugar throughout the day, and may need to eat while travelling. Critics of the suggested food ban also highlighted workers who travel long distances who won’t have the opportunity to eat until they arrive at work which in some cases may not be for hours later, and parents with young children and babies who need to be fed and keep to a strict feeding routine.
Davies who also previously worked as clinician specialising in the treatment of diseases of the blood and bone marrow says that ‘’excess weight has slowly crept up on us all and is now often accepted as normal’’.
In the report, she went on to add that banning eating and drinking on public transport would curb children snacking and reduce clinical obesity which has seen an increase in recent years, with 28.7% of adults in England being classified as obese and a further 35.6% as overweight.
How would this affect transport security?
Public transport police are spread thin as it stands, with sexual harassment and assault incidents seeing an increase within the last few years, with 1,103 incidents of sexual assaults on the London Underground reported from 2017 to 2018 alone. If eating food on the tube was to become an offensive, this would mean more security procedures would have to be implemented to ensue commuters were abiding by the new measurements, including installing more CCTV cameras to catch out those sneaky snackers tucking into their Greggs Sausage Roll on the Victoria Line.
As it stands, there are 77,000 CCTV cameras currently in operation across London’s transport network, with 3,000 police and police community support officers dedicated to catching offenders on the tube. While watching your waistline is important, we think commuters and the public would travel much safer knowing that public transport police and security operatives were keeping guard against potential terrorist activity, as opposed to what passengers are putting into their mouths.
What do you think? Is banning food and drink on public transport a step in the right direction, or is making snacking a criminal offensive a step too far just to lose a few pounds?