What is wrong with society? Yes, as a Dietitian I am the first to acknowledge the plethora of factors that can lead to weight gain, but it’s hard to look past overindulgence, immoderation and excess for many who seem to think nothing of choosing the wrong, unhealthy options. Obesity has recently been classified as a disease, and therefore I assert that I do have empathy for those who are largely immobilised because of this, but (and yes there’s a but), even a small amount of physical activity and some minor dietary amendments will in time help people on their way to a thinner version of themselves. I know it’s not easy and many will argue that until you’ve been obese you have no business commenting on it, but I’d say it’s a lifestyle thing, and if we as a nation have an obesity epidemic then we sure as hell owe it to ourselves to come up with some initiative to fix it.
Obese people don’t generally want to be obese, less mobile, at greater risk of acute and chronic health conditions, or scrutinised by the general public. A lot of the time they find themselves stuck in a rut and need support, not scrutiny to help them get out! So raising awareness is something that needs to improve, and a random post on the BBC News website is a good start…but by no means a resolution.
Today’s BBC News Health post explains how The Overseas Development Institute found there to be 1 in 3 people WORLDWIDE now in the overweight category, with 64% of the people in the UK now classified as overweight or obese! So the population is most definitely getting fatter, and so it seems, the world is getting fatter, particularly in the developing countries. Take this figure for example, 904 million people in developing countries are now classed as overweight or obese, this is up from 250 million from back in 1980. High income countries come in at 557 million people who are overweight or obese, this means that the global population (in the same time period) has doubled!
Socioeconomic factors – We earn more, so we eat more
The developing world is, well…developing, there’s no two ways about it, and consequently populations in countries such as Egypt and Mexico are now earning more and more money meaning the availability of food and luxuries is more and more prevalent. The increased availability means an increase in indulgence, human nature has a knack of exploiting being offered a little, and taking a lot. It doesn’t have to be this way though, there should be no correlation between earning more money and making stupid choices. Just because you have more money in developing countries, don’t spend it on poor nutrition and empty calories. I suppose priorities differ from person to person, especially in developing countries, but choices need to be better as a humans apparent inability to exercise discipline seems to be causing much more hassle than first thought.
BBC News Health, (2013). Obesity quadruples to nearly one billion in developing world. Retreived 3rd January, 2014, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25576400