I ruffled a few feathers with my post on obesity. I knew I would; I expected it. I want to respond to everyone who has commented and emailed to support, criticise or threaten me (yes, there are still a few idiots out there), just because my professional viewpoint doesn't suit them.
First of all, as I clearly stated in that post, I understand that not all obesity is the result of self-abuse and excess. I have crossed comments with individuals who have taken drugs that have fat-gaining side-effects, or those with other significant issues. But I have to stress that gaining weight is a physical thing. Those who pile it on surely know they are getting far too big for their own good. Too may calories and not enough burning.
I watched an episode of Supersize vs Superskinny, in which doctor Jessen exposes some horrific facts when he visits the USA. Statistically, a third of this nation's population is now obese. Click on this link and look at the map as it shows trends for obesity across every state. It is truly shocking.
One woman, weighing 50 stone, that's over 300Kg, complained about how unwell she was and how she hated the way she looked. She bemoaned the fact that her son's life was ruined by her excesses because he now had to take care of her. He fed her, bathed her and helped her get dressed.
This lady was so heavy that she often damaged the lift system on the bus she needed to travel in to get places.
But while she did all this complaining, she still took herself down to the local restaurant, in her over-sized mobility chair, and she still shovelled in more food than most of us could possibly eat in a day, never mind one sitting. She did that and then went home to lie down. She loaded on calories and spent very little energy getting rid of them.
When Dr Jessen exposed her on TV, showing us the crammed contents of her fridge and the snacks and unhealthy food she had been eating, the lady giggled and rolled her eyes like a naughty child. She had just been told that she would die if she did not stop, yet there she was, mocking the very serious nature of what she herself talked about and agreed upon, moments before.
Getting too fat to live is more than just about eating, whatever the excuse. It is about other issues; emotional, psychological, self-esteem, lack of confidence. Sometimes it's about greed and mostly I believe, sheer laziness. It's just too easy to eat rubbish and do no exercsie these days.
We must address this now. We must be frank, open and honest. We need to face the problem and deal with it, without judgment or criticism where possible. But if those who need help simply don't want it, then there is no solution and things will become steadily worse as time goes on.
Go back to the CDC link and look at their map again... and again. Tell yourself I'm a liar and that it isn't happening. Convince yourself that you are different and that it's everyone else who's to blame. And while you watch the map staining red across those states, copy the pattern in your mind and transpose it for the UK and Europe... and in time, the rest of the world.
If a third of the entire adult population of a continent is obese and cannot function fully as a result, what becomes of a nation trying to defend it's borders when, as time goes by and we ignore the problem, more than half of it is populated by fat soldiers?