The Obesity Crisis – what can be done about it?

With the recent news that ‘obesity’ is going to be deemed as a disability, to some this has caused an outcry, what do you think?

According to the American Medical Association in their annual meeting in 2013 it was declared that the ‘obesity disease’ will be requiring many medical interventions.  It is a fact that obesity is reaching epidemic proportions when you consider that in the UK for example a government study in 2012 found that 66.6% of men and 57.2% of women were overweight.  I have no doubt that those numbers have increased over the course of the last two years.

Concerns about ‘fat’ are also fuelled in terms of the economic and health burden created by hordes of people who refuse to take responsibility for their own weight gain and continue to get bigger!  In terms of it becoming a burden, the cost to the NHS is huge when you consider what the consequence of being overweight creates; conditions such as Type II diabetes, early onset of heart disease such as high blood pressure, as well as high cholesterol.  Obesity also creates musculoskeletal, circulatory, metabolic and endocrine reproductive and urological, respiratory and gastrointestinal problems as well as liver disease and some cancers.

So, what can be done about it?  Personally, I believe people who are morbidly obese need to seek psychological help, as obeseity is very often linked to emotional difficulties/psychological problems.  People will often comfort eat and drink to excess rather than face upto the problems they are experiencing in life.  Lack of exercise is also key. With more people isolating themselves socially, preferring to play computer games or talk to friends and family via social media, rather than going out to physically meet people, could be part of the problem?

Despite the likes of Jamie Oliver, who pioneered school dinners, raising people’s awareness about eating healthier meals and going back to basics; despite regular media coverage via reality programmes and documentaries about the hazards of being overweight and eating unhealthily, the problem only seems to be getting worse rather than better.

Perhaps we need to get back to basics?  Introduce more physical activity in schools and within the community?  What more could the government do to encourage people to take up regular physical activity and promote good health?  I would be interested to hear what you think about it, so do get in touch and let me know…..

(Statistics taken from the BACP Journal (December 2014)

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