Why are not we able to tackle the obesity problem in this country. We are not the only ones. America, Mexico, New Zealand, Hungary and Australia are equal or behind the United Kingdom in the obesity struggle. Obesity and the illnesses it causes is well documented on TV and online. Why isn’t the message coming through. The info is there.
Culture shifts toward fast foods has had a massive effect on our eating habits. 30 to 40 years ago, speedy food was only available in fish and chip shops. McDonald’s was only starting out in the united kingdom then.
‘Apps’ like’Hungary House’ make it so simple to order food. One click of this button on your mobile, and your done. You only need to make the effort to get off the couch and walk into the front door. Such hard work!
It begins from the day you are born. What food your parents introduce to you sets up your eating habits for life. If you’ve got a balanced diet of fruit, meat and vegetables early on, you become accustomed to that. Going the other way, if you’re introduced to plenty of sweet high sugar foods at a young age, this becomes your norm. Sugar, of course has that additional attraction for kids. The sugar rush as well the sweet flavor are too hard to resist. The food markets know this and go out of their way to tempt everyone, especially kids. The sweets are always near the checkout, at a height where it right under the noses of kids.
What can be achieved?
We’re creatures of habit. It is in our nature. Changing addictive habits like sugar or smoking are difficult to do. Adverts focused on the damaging effects of smoking changed people’s outlook. Stark pictures of blood clotting from the end of a cigarette brought the unhealthy effects home.
This kind of advert applied to high salt and sugar intake could be strong… but it has to be a sustained effort. The campaign against smoking has gone on for over 20 years. The’truth’ campaign aimed at removing adolescent smoking in the United States started in 1999. The teen smoking rate was 23% back then. In 2016 the number was down to 6 percent.
The Government needs to invest in the anti-sugar campaign. The NHS face even more pressure handling patients with food related illness.
With the people’s steady increase, the next 50 years could be a nightmare for health care.
Obesity increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, cancers, depression and anxiety. Severely obese individuals are 3 times more likely to require social care than those with normal weight. This includes hospitalisation and the associated health and social care costs.
The NHS estimated that the cost of obesity for 2006/7 to be #5.1 billion. The costs account for obesity drugs, increasing use of bariatric surgery and new equipment to accommodate larger people.
Education Is Essential
My son is a personal trainer. He conducts what are known as’Weight Change Classes’.
He says”We like to keep an assortment of exercises to keep the interest there. 1 week, it will be pull ups and press ups, shoulder press and leg press exercises. The next week more cardio based with a few free weights like dumb bells and pot bells. It is still weight established, but you keep the intensity up, and keep the heart-rate high.
He says about diet,”I really try to educate them about how bad sugar is, and too much’carby’ foods..to much rice, pasta, chocolate sweets, fizzy drinks. I don’t monitor and measure what they eat, but give them an understanding of what they put into their body. Whether they change their diet or not is up to them.
Do you measure their weight loss?
Yeah, we do weigh-ins regularly. Typically, the customers that do see improvements are the ones that stick to the program. I have customers that have listened to what I have advised and they have seen good results. At precisely the exact same time I have given advice to other customers, and they have found it harder to stick to.
How long does it take to lose weight?
Some customers lose up to 2 pounds per week. Some can even lose 4-5 pounds per week.
A basic target of 2 pounds weekly over a period of 3-4 months is a massive loss. Approximately 13/4 stones.
Do you look at their fat percentage?
Yes, very important to look at fat percentage, not simply losing body weight. If you weigh 60 kilograms, you have got to ask the question, 60 kilograms of what? We can quantify all that, so you actually see all the parts which make up the entire body weight. So we focus much more on the body fat, as you might get rid of muscle mass. That would be unhealthy. That is why we concentrate on the weight training to continue to the muscle mass. . That and promote high protein intake to maintain muscle mass.
So after say 6 months, certainly your customers need to be able to go out on their own with no assistance?
Sure, 6 months down the line, you’d have learnt so much, experimented with different exercises, listed the exercises, so you have them to follow. Over 6 months you’d have done these exercises so many times, it would be like second nature..So after this much time you do not have to be babied any more, you know what to do, you can go out on your own, so it’s sort of like a lesson for life.
So that you don’t encourage people to starve themselves to lose weight?
“Oh no, starving yourself is like a quick fix but is quite damaging to the body. You have to look at food like it’s fuel. It is like putting wood on a fire. It is going to keep your blood glucose burning. The flame burns , your metabolism dies down. Keep the metabolism high and you’ll be burning calories daily. Look at body builders, they’re constantly burning calories, but they are never hungry, but they have hardly any body fat”.
To keep weight down is something that takes dedication, self-determination and self-discipline.
With a little help from educated professionals, it is very doable. It takes self drive to achieve weight loss objectives. Today there’s so much help from places like YouTube and internet articles. You never have to feel like your in your own with weight loss. To keep healthy into old age is well worth it. We are much happier. We have never been so informed about health as we are now. There should be less obesity than was 30 years ago, not more!