Controversial commentator (or “walking headline”, if you prefer) Katie Hopkins has raised eyebrows with yet another outlandish piece of social commentary.
This time, the British mum of 3 – you know, the one who banned playdates with kids who have “working-class names” and said red-haired children are “harder to love” – has turned her attention to the issue of childhood allergies.
Although current research estimates one in ten children in Australia alone exhibits an allergy to food, Katie’s not convinced every claim is authentic. During an interview about children and birthdays on Channel 9’s Mornings program yesterday she suggested children who cry “allergic” are just really picky eaters.
We’ve heard of climate change skeptics; who knew there were allergy skeptics too?
“There’s nothing wrong with these kids, really, but suddenly they’re wheat free, they’re dairy free, they’re lactose intolerant. They can’t stand this, they can’t stand that,” she said. “If you ask me, it’s just another word for fussy. And we have an expression in our house – ‘We don’t do fussy.'”
Katie’s rant was sparked by a question from host David Campbell about Aussie schools asking parents not to send their kids in with birthday cakes, just in case their classmates have allergies.
Katie labelled this as an over-the-top move by “fun hydrants” – that is, health and safety authorities – desperate to complicate things. When co-host Angela Mollard pointed out that some kids do have potentially life-threatening allergies, Katie clarified that she was referring to those who claim to have allergies to avoid eating things they don’t like.
“What I’m talking about is the guy that goes, ‘Oh strawberries, I’m allergic to strawberries’. What that kid’s really saying is, ‘I don’t really like strawberries because I’ve been brought up fussy’,” she explained, before adding that only children tend to be the ones with allergies because “if you have more than one child, they tend to be less fussy”.
Oh boy. You can watch the interview in full on the Channel 9 website – the topic of allergies is raised at the 2.54 minute mark.
What do you think – is there a grain of truth in what Katie says? Or are her comments simplifying a serious issue?