Mark Andrews on Saturday: Hearty meals, hidden agendas and the fightback against sloppy syntax

New research from Oxford University suggests that 50g, that's a little under 2oz, of red meat a day increases the risk of heart disease by 18 per cent. This equates to approximately one supermarket sausage, two rashers of bacon, or two slices of ham.

Do you like hospital food?
Do you like hospital food?

And if you double that to two bangers or four slices of bacon or ham, the risk increased by 36 per cent.

Fair enough. I may have mentioned this before, but I recently suffered a heart attack and certainly don't want another. But while in hospital, guess what I was offered to eat? Er, two sausages and mash, ham sandwich and a mixed grill. It's amazing anyone came out alive.

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Perhaps some of my scepticism about this particular study is down to the summary by the co-author Anika Knüppel, who says: “We know that meat production is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and we need to reduce meat production and consumption to benefit the environment. Our study shows that a reduction in red and processed meat intake would bring personal health benefits too.”

Hmmm. People more cynical than myself might think that sounds like the health concerns were a bit of an afterthought to justify another agenda.

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It's good to hear that North Korea's Dear Respected Leader is doing his bit to maintain standards by getting to grips with the sloppy syntax of millennials.

Kim Jong-un has introduced a series of new laws which will see parents fined if their children use the slang phrases favoured by celebrities from South Korea.

And possession of K-Pop videos or reality television shows from the decadent capitalist south can now result in up to 15 years hard labour.

Kim Jong-un - leading the fightback against falling standards in spoken syntax

What I struggle to understand is why North Korean kids would want to watch this rubbish in the first place, particularly given the far superior programmes made by their own state broadcaster. Who in their right time would want to see a podgy little bloke doing Gangnam Style when they could tune into Korean Central's smash-hit series Let's Trim Our Hair in Accordance with the Socialist Lifestyle?

Let's Trim, as the show is affectionately known to its legions of fans, explains how growing your hair more than two inches can permanently reduce your IQ by draining the nutrients from your head. Whereas Gangnam Style features a man dancing like he wants the toilet while declaring "the perfect girlfriend knows when to be refined and when to get wild".

Now be honest, which would you rather watch?

The real question, though, is why our own government doesn't introduce similar measures to stamp out the dreadful vocabulary which has been seeping into our discourse over the past couple of decades. Surely a few years breaking rocks would make millennials think twice before referring to the railway station as the 'train station', or talking about 'cookies' when referring to digestives? A short, sharp shock would soon stop kids talking about 'candy' when they mean chocolate, or referring to the latest 'season' of their favourite TV programme. Which you can bet won't be Let's Trim.

And that's before we get to all the banal phrases they pick up from brain-dead television shows such as Love Island. I bet viewers of Let's Trim don't shrug their shoulders and grunt 'it is what it is'.

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