Obesity Crisis! Solution?

@GemmaR (8526)
May 31, 2012 6:32am CST
As you all know, the world is in the middle of an obesity crisis. It is always on the news about people who are overweight, and the things that can go wrong with your body if you're one of the people who is overweight. However, have you ever stopped to think about who is to blame? A lot of fast food is easier to get at and a lot cheaper than healthy foods, and because of this there is a huge difference between obesity levels in the richest and the poorest members of the community. Should we be doing more to prevent this, maybe by making healthy food cheaper or unhealthy food more expensive? Another thing that you have to be aware of is the fact that there are now more children than ever who are overweight. Do you think that there should be parenting classes for people who have children so that they know what they should be giving them to eat, and what exercise they should be doing? Personally, I was overweight for a long time in my life. I was a big baby when I was born, and right from that point I continued to be overweight and was never "normal". When I was 20, I realised that I was going to have to do something soon, or I was going to be overweight forever. I started dieting and doing more exercise, and in the past year and a half I have managed to lose six and a half stone by doing just this. I feel a lot better, have dropped down a large number of dress sizes, and am a lot healthier because of it. I got no help from my doctor, and no support from any dieticians or anything like that. I think that if a doctor had told me how to lose weight earlier, then it wouldn't have been as much of an issue, but nothing was ever done about it. Even now, my doctor has not made a single comment about my weight, and there has been no mention of the fact that I have made the effort to lose the weight. So, have your say now! Have you ever been affected by obesity? What do you think the problem is, and how do you think the government should be dealing with the issue to ensure that people don't just remain unhealthy for the rest of their lives?
4 people like this
9 responses
@sheen13 (567)
• India
31 May 12
There's certainly no doubt that obesity isn't a topic which is not being spoken about everywhere! Nowadays, every person we see around is either talking about obesity or himself is obese! Well, we cannot blame an individual completely because it is not his/her fault alone! I think it is also the fault of the technology we have presently. Earlier, when most of the people were slim or I must say healthy, was because they did a lot of activities themselves without the help of any machine! But today, when we turn around, we get to see that every single thing is being done with the help of machines. Machines are made for people to enjoy ease but it doesn't mean that we completely make ourselves dependent on those machines. We need to make our body work as well! Anyways, talking about myself, I am not 'obese' but a little overweight. And this isn't because of eating too much of junk food or anything like that. I play a lot and do many physical activities, and that is the reason I am obese. Thank God! But as I am overweight now, later on when I get to reach 20s or some age like that, I might face obesity, that is why right now I am going for aerobic classes. And it has been a month since I have joined. And my gym mates have been telling me that I have lost a lot in this month! And I am extremely happy about it. My school is about to start in a few days, and so I'll be going to the classes just a month more and hope that in that one month I lose more weight! But I have decided that even after I leave the classes, I'll exercise at home. Well, the government has to take proper measures certainly because nowadays more people are dying due to these conditions rather than other health conditions. They should try increasing the prices of junk food in few places or make them less available. But I think that it will be much better if we people realize ourselves that eating too much of junk food and working out less will be fatal. So, even if we prefer eating those kind of food, we should exercise more and stay healthy!
@GemmaR (8526)
31 May 12
I don't think that people can be blamed at all, because it is very hard to lose weight when you have got into the habit of eating so much food and not doing any exercise. It is a little bit like giving up smoking, because you will be used to going into the kitchen and getting a snack, and then eating it whilst watching television, and it is very hard to stop that habit and break the cycle. You can convince yourself that you're hungry when you're just bored, so you will get something to eat when there is no need for you to do so really. There are so many machines that we now use which mean that we don't have to do all that much exercise. One is the car, and now that everybody has one, hardly anybody will walk anywhere. In the past, before machines would take over, everyone would have to walk to the shops and then carry the heavy shopping bags home with them. Now, when we want some shopping, we either go in the car, or we don't even bother doing this and we just order it on the internet and get somebody else to deliver it to us. There aren't many physical jobs in this country now, and the majority of people will work at a desk using a computer, which has meant that literally hardly anyone is having to move to do their work. Well done for you joining the gym. It is great that you have decided to make the change, because you will feel a lot better when you start to see the changes in your body that will be so positive. I can never decide whether it would be a good idea to increase the price of junk food or not. Part of me thinks that this is a good idea as people would no longer think that it is the cheapest option, but then another part of me just thinks that if people have the choice, they would rather spend the extra money on the junk food and then cut out the little cash that they would have previously spent on healthy food. Also, I'm not sure whether it is fair on the people who eat healthily most of the time and then would like a treat every so often. If they have to pay more money for junk food that they're having as a treat then this might mean that they don't have as much money as they might like, which is obviously not a good thing. But certainly something does have to be done to make sure that more people can get hold of healthy food if they wish to.
@sheen13 (567)
• India
31 May 12
Yes, what all you just said is absolutely right! Well, even when I am bored and have nothing to do, even I move out to the kitchen in search for something to eat. Lol! I shouldn't do that but as you said, we really can't help it. I definitely don't hog on stuff, but when I am BORED, I can't stop myself. But you know what, I actually think that even if we are a foodie, we should do more exercise along with having all kind of food. Once we eat up something, let it be anything, especially any unhealthy food, then we should certainly go and do some kind of heavy physical activity that can burn up all the calories we took in. And thank you! I certainly feel a lot better after joining the gym. Everyday after I am done with my exercise, I feel so active and energetic. I think that even an healthy person who doesn't have to lose any weight should do some kind of exercise to stay fit! I have come across many people who are slim but are not able to stretch properly and are really weak! I sometimes wonder that we people think a lot about what has to be done but the government who actually has to take all the initiatives, doesn't do anything about it, sadly. But one day or the other, they'll surely have to do something about it!
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
31 May 12
I do not like the government interfering. Right now it would be sort of doing what the government does and that would be tyranny. However, many of us have a genetic disposition for being overweight, such as putting the fat in our stomach area and have a love for sweet things. I do think that healthy food should be made cheaper. And that more information could be given mainly by those of the medical profession rather then by bureaucrats. Doctors and health professionals would be able to give more information as long as it is not that all fat people get diabetes 2. I do think that many do not obey health rules because rather then being told, that they have a genetic disposition to their problem, like I suppose that you have, they are told that it is because they are piggy, etc. As for parenting classes, it should be discreet and if they have parenting classes for people who eat too much or eat the wrong food, when will they offer parenting classes for people who are slobs and people who spend too much money?
@GemmaR (8526)
31 May 12
There are very few people who have genes that make them overweight. The only reason that you will get entire families who have a weight problem is because it is all of them who eat too much food. If anything, I think that people who talk about genetic dispositions are causing even more problems, because you will then get people who are overweight and think that they can do nothing about it so therefore just don't even bother trying. I love chocolate and crisps, and fast food, but I learned that if I want a healthy body, there are things that you just can't eat all of the time. Food can be an addiction just like anything else, but it is perfectly possible to overcome that addiction and then live in a healthy way for the rest of your life. You make a good point about parenting classes for people who have other problems, and I think that everyone should be given help to overcome issues that they have. And, actually, there are classes that you can go to if you're an obsessive spender, and I believe that they can be very useful.
1 person likes this
@GemmaR (8526)
9 Jun 12
The thing is though, people only need to eat enough food so that they can carry out their daily activities. If your body is storing fat, then it means you're eating too much food as simple as that. If you have intolerances then that's another matter and obviously you need to cut those things out of your diet for your own health. We need education about what we can and can't eat in order to keep our bodies healthy. Everyone needs different things, so the same diet won't work for everyone, it's all about finding what is healthy for you, not what is okay for everyone else.
@viji_v2 (727)
• India
31 May 12
More food and less work is the prime reason for obesity to even child. As there is more science advancements, they tend to build new gadgets which make people to addict to it and make us sedentary or just reduce our physical work to a great extent. Thus we store calories inside. Then in foods, to add taste they tend to add more and more chemicals even it is not named. It is harm and change our internal systems totally to bring many diseases. If we revert back to ages before we can either prevent or stop more diseases in future.
@GemmaR (8526)
31 May 12
I agree that children are nowhere near as active as they might have been in the past. One thing that people don't seem to realise about food is that if they're not going to be doing as much physical work during the course of a day, then they don't need that same amount of food. Back in the past, when a lot of people would be doing physical work, obesity wasn't very much of an issue, and this is something that I think the government should be looking at. Children should be outside playing games rather than being stuck inside and playing games on the computer like a lot of people seem to be these days.
@viji_v2 (727)
• India
31 May 12
Every citizen in the country should be taught with it. Even they become parents or not with family it will helpful. Also it will build a healthy future society in that country.
@dorannmwin (36698)
• United States
6 Jun 12
I've been a big girl all of my life and the same is actually true of my daughter. However, I do have to say that a part of the problem that my daughter and myself have is a very slow metabolism. The reason that I believe that this is the case is because of the fact that my entire family is on the bigger side. In addition to that, my son is very small for his age and his father has never been a big man. My sister has also been diagnosed with thyroid problems, as has my brother and that can mess with your body weight as well. I do think that the easy of getting fast food can be attributed to obesity. But more than that I think that there is a certain ignorance among people that is causing the obesity epidemic to swell.
@GemmaR (8526)
7 Jun 12
A lot of people say that they are larger because of genetics reasons, because their family are all on the large side, however it is more likely due to the fact that you all eat the same foods rather than that you're predisposed to be overweight. The fact is that we should only eat enough food to be able to power our own bodies, and if we are storing food as fat then the simple fact is that we don't need to be eating as much food. This is something that people don't seem to understand, and not everybody does need to be eating the same amount of food in order to keep themselves healthy.
@ptrikha_2 (7353)
• India
1 Jun 12
I think the problems of obesity are best tackled by people themselves by adopting a healthy diet, full of nutritious and fibrous foods instead of unhealthy junk food. The government can on its part keep lower taxes on some of the healthy food options, or perhaps no taxes at all.
@GemmaR (8526)
7 Jun 12
Yes, something certainly does have to happen about the prices of junk food. If something doesn't change now, we are going to end up with a world that just eats junk food and is unable to know how to cook foods that are good for us. This obviously isn't a good thing, but the government only seem to be worried about the things that are going to be making them money rather than things that might end up with them losing a little bit of money in the short term while they lower the prices of healthier foods in the shops.
@kun2349 (23475)
• Singapore
31 May 12
I'm lucky that i've never been on the obesity side. haha :D Since young till now, i've always been skinny till i reached my late teens when i started building up muscle mass till i get a solid lean body COupled with my cardio exercises, i felt fitter and healthier than before. Bur right now, due to work commitments, i've become skinny again, losing my muscle mass along the way When it comes to dealing with obesity, it all depends on each individual, how much they care about their life. If they refuse to budge, thinking it's alright to be fat, nobody can really help them much. There's only so much the government can do. In singapore, government has built numerous parks around singapore, and they are pretty much linked together, yet i can only see a handful of people using them. If people are not motivated, they shall remain the way they are.
@GemmaR (8526)
7 Jun 12
You are lucky that you have never had to experience being overweight, but I think that it gets harder to remain a healthy weight as you get older, and that means that you have to really be careful about how you approach things. When you say that you think that it depends on how much you care about your life, I think that it can be a bit more complicated than that. Because I always cared about my life very much, and I always hated what I was doing to my body, yet it never stopped me from eating foods that I knew were bad for me, and I just couldn't seem to break the cycle. Nobody seemed to care, there was nobody to support me, and that was one of the reasons I took so long to get a hold of my life.
@Pose123 (21667)
• Canada
31 May 12
Hi GemmaR, I agree that obesity is a big problem in today's world and more needs to be done to combat it. Many people cannot afford to eat healthy because it just costs too much. As you say too, it is very distributing to see so many children why are obese. I feel that governments waste a great deal of money on things that are not necessary, why not subsidise healthy foods to encourage everyone to eat right. Blessings.
@GemmaR (8526)
31 May 12
I can't even begin to think about the things that the government has spent too much money on when there should be better things to deal with. There have been so many campaigns for healthy eating, but yet they don't bother to take into account that people don't have the money to be buying these things. Something that they should think about are healthy ready meals. They have things that you can just put in the microwave; but why not put healthy food in there instead! They could also make small fruit pots with healthier options in them, but the thing is they need to think about the money. I think that a lot of people would be willing to eat better foods if they were more cheaply available.
@dragon54u (31607)
• United States
31 May 12
Congratulations on your weight loss!! I don't know why your doctor would not comment--mine does, even though my weight loss isn't as dramatic as yours and I fight hard for every pound I lose. In fact, I can do everything right and eat as I should and only lose a pound a month. It's a constant battle and I've pretty much resigned myself to maintaining my weight instead of losing. My body just doesn't want to cooperate and there's nothing wrong with my thyroid or anything else. The problem is complicated and goes back to the family. Parents both work now in most families and children are farmed out to sitters who let them sit glued to a television or video or computer games to keep them quiet. Even daycare centers are like this, although children usually get some outside playtime. When parents come home they bring fast food because they are too tired to cook and then they collapse on the couch too tired to play with their kids. Children learn that entertainment means sitting in front of some kind of machine and staring or using their thumbs on a controller. Physical education has been eliminated from most schools (as has music) and playground time has been reduced, too. Phones in every child's hands keep them off the swings and slides. When we become overweight adults on our own we are faced with budget problems. Faced with buying fruits and vegetables and lean meats or frozen dinners for $1 apiece, we naturally buy the frozen processed dinners so we can make ends meet. A box of macaroni and cheese feeds 2-4 for under $1 and fills empty bellies whereas a chicken costs around $7 and broccoli is as high as $1.69 per pound. The problem is not that people lack education, it's that they lack money. Look at all the people on food stamps and other government assistance and you'll see a disproportionate amount of them are overweight. It's a money problem, not mainly an education problem or a problem of laziness or preference for junk food.
@GemmaR (8526)
31 May 12
My doctor has never been particularly supportive with my weight loss. I think she's one of those people who believes the weight is a personal issue rather than a medical one, so she never even bothered to weigh me. Although I was very overweight, she never bothered to even broach the issue, and the only reason that I managed to lose the weight myself was because I'd noticed that it was having an effect on my overall health, not because she had noticed. I have noticed that a lot of people use the TV as a babysitter these days, and it makes me unhappy to see the number of children who are placed in front of the screen with junk food. They might not think that there is anything wrong with it, but children learn to get into very bad habits, and that is one of the things that is so wrong with the way this country works. Back when I was growing up, children would play outside in the street with other children, and parents would take them to the park. this is something that just doesn't happen now. My primary school has recently had to sell its field to a housing developer because it couldn't afford to keep it cut for the children. So there is no sport there, and because there is nowhere for the children to play, they make the school day a lot shorter and let the children go home early. It would be okay if the children could be able to play out when they get home, but we all know that it just doesn't happen that way anymore. When I go into my local supermarket, I too see that you can get a frozen meal that would feed four people for around £1, which is much less than you would have to pay if you chose to get fruit and vegetables and cook dishes from scratch. In my opinion, this is something that needs to be changed. Also, children aren't being taught how to cook properly. Parents are so busy now that they're coming home and cooking dinner quickly rather than taking the time to show their children how they should be cooking. So when children leave home and have to cook for themselves, the only thing that they know how to use is the microwave. This is something that really does have to be addressed, and I hope that the government are going to get around to it at some point because I don't like the way that the world is heading.
31 May 12
You made a very interesting discussions for all those people suffering from obesity. Well, I'm not one of them but I feel the need to share my ideas. I think the main problem of obesity is the lack of control in what we eat. Too much is always not good for our health. Apart from it, we all have different metabolism or the capacity of our body to digest what we eat. If we have high metabolism there is a low chance to have an obesity problem. I like the idea that you gave about how to control the obesity by increasing the price of unhealthy foods and making the healthy foods a lot more cheaper.. Sadly, this is not possible in our times for people are greedy of money. Sometimes, unhealthy foods still passed the Bureau of foods because of the connections of the owners of it or something like that. So in this regard, the government should have a strict rule in deciding or approving which foods are healthy and unhealthy.
@GemmaR (8526)
31 May 12
I think that there is a lot of information from people about metabolism that might not be entirely correct. Although some people might indeed digest their food quicker than others, I think that the effect that this might have on someone's weight has been largely over estimated in reports in the past. If you want to burn a pound of fat, you have to burn 3,500 calories more than you've eaten, and this is always going to be the case no matter how fast your metabolism is. Your body is like a machine like a car, it uses food for fuel, and the people who believe that they have a slower metabolism might be shocked to find that actually, they eat a lot more than they think they do, or they don't do as much exercise as they previously thought.