This week is National Obesity Awareness week in the UK. According to the National Obesity Forum obesity is a big national issue. You don’t have to look far in town and cities across the country to see someone who is obese but where does the problem lie?
Is it the government that should do more? The health service? Us as individuals? Or maybe it is just the way life is now with fewer manual jobs and more technology? Here I thought I would share with you my thoughts. Do leave me a comment and let me know if you agree or disagree though.
As someone who has been a size 30 and a size 6 I guess I have experienced lots of different opinions from people. What I do know is that there are thousands of different reasons people are obese and no two people are the same.
Is obesity a national epidemic?
No, I don’t think it is! I think the issues we have in this country are far more linked to mental health and people being too opinionated! I know that my posting an article here about my opinion makes this seem a silly thing to say but you know what I mean.
I believe that many (but not all!) people with weight issues actually have an eating disorder of sorts. I am not saying anorexia or bulimia but another one that essentially is food addiction.
I believe that some people have a very addictive personality and like any addiction, it can be overcome but there will always be relapses. I have written a little about this before here.
Obesity and control
Not only do I believe some people have a genuine food addiction (I think I do!), but I also believe as humans we have a natural instinct to be in control of our lives.
I think when you have some problems in your life whether it be living in an abusive relationship (I’ve been there), being unhappy with your employment and feeling trapped in a job you do not enjoy, or maybe struggling with young children or a disability.
Whatever it is in your life you feel you can not control I strongly believe many people seek to regain some control by eating what they want and drinking what they want (hence alcoholism).
Am I saying then that anti-depressants, CBT, counselling etc could “cure” obesity? No, I am not but I do feel in some people maybe that is what is needed. Do you agree?
Obesity and greed
Some of the problems with obesity is pure greed. Now please don’t take that as me just criticising anyone who struggles with their weight because as you know that is me too. I do think though that greed has a big part to play in the growing size of the nation. Do you agree? Or maybe I will get slated for this?
Obesity and Education
When we teach children about rights and wrongs, not to hit, not to steal, why do we not teach them enough about greed and healthy living? Lessons about not eating your emotions and finding other ways to control boredom instead of eating? Maybe as parents, this is where we need to focus our energies.
Is banning foods the answer?
Maybe we should ban terribly unhealthy foods to take away temptation? Is this the answer? Or should companies take control and not offer things like freak-shakes which can often have more than our recommended daily sugar allowance in one drink/dessert? Is 30-40 teaspoons of sugar in one drink ever acceptable?
Epidemic or individual issues?
Personally, I think there is not an obesity epidemic in the way there may be a measles epidemic as obesity is a catch-many term. Obesity is a term used to describe people with a body mass index of 30 or more according to the NHS.
I think the problem lies in that the many causes of obesity that are not due to medical issues are overlooked and not tackled. Particularly those around mental health.
In writing this I wanted to get the opinion of someone else who has struggled with their weight in a different way. Sophie a blogger friend of mine says:
Eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. We associate eating disorders with being underweight which is only a minority. Often disordered eating can be part of many issues and mental health plays a huge part in this. I know myself having had anorexia and bulimia I have been underweight and a normal weight with a moderate to high BMI. I was most poorly with my eating disorder at the latter. It was hard enough getting the professionals to understand let alone those around me.
Do you struggle with your weight? What are your thoughts on the “obesity epidemic”? Do comment below and share them with me.
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