Last night ITV aired a 'Tonight' special report entitled 'The Obesity Time bomb'. It was aimed at highlighting the massive problem we have in this country with obesity but more importantly the even more massive problem we will have in the future if we don't do something NOW!
I say we because everyone has an obligation to take action against this 'disease' which will kill more people than smoking ever did. Currently 1 in 4 adults are clinically obese, that means if it isnt you then look at the next three people, its one of them. Look at your family, look at your workplace, I bet you know someone who is clinicly obese. This doesnt make any sense to me, I grew up in the 70s and 80s, I spent vast amounts of my childhood out....doesnt matter what I was doing, I was out, playing football, riding my bike, playing 40-40, whatever, doesnt matter, what does matter is I was active. I really cannot remember ever having a take away, once or twice my dad brought in fish from the fish and chip shop, not the chips though. There wasn't an Indian take away or a Pizza delivery in the area, you just didnt have such things. When I think about the other kids at my school, even though there was hundreds, I could probably count the number of kids I knew as fat on one hand. So why has this generation grown up to be fat adults?
Here are some statistics from the show
In 1952 the average weight for a man was 10st and for a woman 9st. In 2012 the average weight for a man is 13st and for a woman 11st. By 2062 the avarage weight for a man is projected to be 17st and for a women 13st - 60% of the adult population will be clinicly obese.
Why is this happening? One girl on the show, who was about to have a gastric band operation, explained that she could buy a salad for lunch when at work, but for the same price she could have 3 chicken burgers, she also drank energy drinks because they were almost half the price of a bottle of water. This is a major issue, the availability of fast food has increased massively over the past 30 years, the generation that I referred to earlier could definately be called the Take Away or Fast Food generation. The cost of such food is very appealing, you can buy a ready meal shepherds pie from the supermarket to feed a family of four for less than it costs to make from scratch and you dont have the hassle of having to make it. It will though contain more calories, more fat and less valuable nutrition. Buying Take Away is a treat, someone is bringing food ready to eat to your door I totally understand its appeal, try finding a healthy Take Away, that isnt vastly overloaded with fat and calories and invariably is a larger portion that you should eat anyway.
The show conducted a survey of 2000 adults, they found:-
Now these figures need a bit of clarification, which the show didn't do, what is regular exercise, what constitutes a healthy diet.....But more than 6 instances of fast food a week, come on, what is wrong with people. I love the fact that 75% don't eat 5 portions of fruit and veg a day, now I hear this a lot, a common problem is people complain that they don't know what a portion is. WHO CARES just get eating it, eat fruit and eat vegetables and lots of them or definitely MORE than you currently do.It makes me laugh that people seek clarification on how much a portion is and as a result blame that ignorance for their under consumption, yet everyone knows that a Pizza is essentially bad for you but the same people do not hesitate to gobble these up. I guess drinking water should be included at this point, most people I meet know roughly how much water it is recommended they should consume on a daily basis, do they do it?, NO, why? beacause essentialy they are lazy or prefer the taste of a sugary energy drink.
The show mentioned that some of our European neighbours had instilled taxes to tackle their obesity problems, Denmark has a tax on fat in food, France a tax on sugar, Hungary has a tax on ready meals. This is all very well and we can sit back and say that the Government should be doing more but what exactly could they do? There has been awareness programme's for healthy eating, 5 a day, the Change 4 life campaign, Jamie Oliver's school dinner improvement campaign, food labelling has improved massively. Yet still the obesity figures and the cost of obesity expands.
You all need to wake up, stop pretending that none of this applies to you or anyone you know and take responsibility. You need to improve your diet, eat fresh food, cook more food from scratch, eat less take away's and ready meals, eat less cakes and biscuits. Get more exercise, use the car less.
If you don't the effects on your health, your childrens health, the NHS and the UK economy as a whole are going to be devastating.