We all know the answer, somewhere behind that wall of pride which has stiffened and thickened by my words we all know the answer – Ignorance and greed.
We have a world that is consuming more and more saturated fat and more and more hard fat meats and dairy products than we ever could have imagined 10 to 20 years ago. There are not just more obese people in the world than there are hungry people in the world now, there are actually more obese people in developing countries than there are hungry people in developing countries. It’s what we really see in the developing world is in the last two decades, exponential change in a vast array of courses that have led people to move less and eat a lot more and the resultant increase in overweight and obesity is unprecedented. We should all Walk less, lift less, sit more. But we don’t.
The rate of increase of overweight is much higher than the rate of decrease; underweight is decreasing and overweight is increasing. There are people that estimate it as double over underweight already. But the point is if you go to Egypt, you go to South Africa, you go to Mexico, you go to a large number of low- and middle-income countries, countries you think of as very poor like Egypt or countries you think of kind of lower-middle income like South Africa or Mexico, what you find are two thirds or three fourths of the men and women in the countries are overweight and obese.
Mexico, in 1989 had a very small proportion of adults overweight and no children overweight and all of a sudden, you fast forward to 15 or 16 more years and you have 71 percent of the women and 65 percent of the men overweight, but worse than that in Mexico is during that same period they’ve reached a level of diabetes that equaled to what we had around 10 to 20 years ago – this also applies to country’s like USA and UK.
Producer and director Andy Wells writes about the making of India’s Supersize Kids.
But as more of us become obese, the food manufacturers want us to think it’s our own fault, the politicians try to avoid the issue and the diet industry gets rich on the misery it creates. So where do we go from here?
In May 2012, fire engines, police and an ambulance were called to the family home of a teenager called Georgia Davis in Aberdare, south Wales, in order to get her out of it. Nobody could dream up a more horrifying and humiliating nightmare for a girl of her age – 19. Story’s like this that hit the headlines are sadly not one offs – A team of more than 40 people was involved in demolishing an upstairs wall – just to get her out. Georgia weighed 400kg (63 stone), said some reports. Nobody really knew – she was too heavy to get on the scales. She was covered by a sheet, because she could no longer get into any of her clothes. The 19-year-old was morbidly obese and her organs were failing …
Georgia is the extreme marker of a massive problem that has its roots in the way we live today and affects all of us. Two-thirds of us are overweight. A quarter of us are obese and in real danger of damaging our health and dying prematurely. But we are in denial. Her troubles were served up as entertainment in the tabloids. In photographs, her face, above the mountain of flesh, is curiously passive.
Obesity is not something to gawp at, and it is not a problem just for other people. It affects most of us. It’s not about the way we look, or the size of dress or trousers we wear. This is about a very real threat to our health. Obesity is a life-shortening condition. Life expectancy in the UK, which has risen steadily since records began, may for the first time be about to fall. Moderate obesity cuts life expectancy by two to four years, and severe obesity could wipe an entire decade off your life. Yet we all still pile the trolley full of sugary foods, high in calories instead of opting for fruit full of natural sugar and better for you. We can avoid being overweight by exercising personal responsibility. We choose what we put into our mouths. We ought to know what will make us fat and have the self-restraint to stop eating.
The worse you feel about yourself, the less likely you are to go out and actually exercise, and people do sit at home and comfort eat, and then they get bigger and their problems get worse.
Whatever excuse you make – It is your fault if you overeat and get fat.