Home > Health, National Politics, Uncategorized > Obesity crisis: Logical solutions don’t solve emotional problems and responsible government would know better

Obesity crisis: Logical solutions don’t solve emotional problems and responsible government would know better

download (27)Depending on the circumstances and your relationship with the people concerned, the chances are that obesity will fill you with a variety of feelings. Media stories of the cost of the obesity epidemic probably fill you with outrage. Seeing an obese person buying food or a coffee when you are out may set your judgement processes ablaze and your inner critic wild. On a dating site, chunky pictures jumping out from the screen might precipitate an immediate run for the bin or block button. But why do we have such reactions when it’s probably very rare that we even think about the physical condition or size of people who we know and probably like very much already?

Strange but true; very few people wake up one day and consciously decide that they want to become fat (Unless we are talking about exceptions such as the Japanese Sumo Wrestlers).

Even stranger for those who are or have experienced significant weight gain is the lack of any cognisance of the process at a conscious level whilst it takes place, or the presence of perhaps some innate resistance to accept its happening until they themselves have noticed the change.

By then of course, what others may  fail to realise is that the process which led to that condition may well itself have precipitated an addiction, with all the problems that addictions can themselves then bring – all before you even begin to even attempt to connect with the issues that took the person suffering there in the first place. Connecting with and addressing the cause of the problem must therefore be a much more affective way of dealing with it.

As a Nation, we have an already massive problem with obesity, over-eating and non-healthy eating. But Government is not coming anywhere even close to recognising the issues which have created this growing crisis, instead focusing upon remedies such as food labelling; crowd teasers such as the possibility of mandatory school meals, or relying upon awareness campaigns to make people think about how to eat consciously when they aren’t even consciously aware that they have a problem with how much they eat in the first place.

Food itself has of course changed dramatically in recent decades through the significantly elaborate ways that processing and refinement now takes place. This not only ensures the best value – and therefore profitability – for manufacturers; but has also taken giant leaps to improve the taste – and therefore attractiveness – of the food itself for those who will ultimately consume it.

Attractiveness or likeability has a lot more to do with all of this than we might realise, because of what you might call the ‘treat mentality’ that often accompanies the decision to eat or drink such products.

For some, the very act of providing themselves with too much food – and particularly tasty or attractive food – makes them feel good as they eat – in a way that any of us could relate to when we are experiencing receiving a treat. And when they are feeling unhappy deep down and unconsciously, tasty treats and more food than they need doesn’t just fill them up physically; it becomes an emotionally dangerous crutch too, and one that all too often becomes addictive for them.

Like any social issue, obesity is talked of in various terms and usually in ways which suit the speaker, rather than those who are suffering from the problems, which are likely to be as little to do with the food as electricity prices are to do with the cost of water. Nonetheless, one of the greatest fallacies created about weight gain itself is this idea that if you eat fat-free, you won’t get fat. Put simply, if you eat or drink too much of anything, it isn’t going to do you any good.

The simple reality is that many of the people who overeat in the UK today are just very unhappy – often for reasons that we may never understand. They look to food – particularly tasty food and the kinds that are almost certainly the worst – to fill them up and give them a temporary  ‘fix’ which has the side effect of leaving them cloaked and wearing a semi-permanent and expanding suit of negativity that gives the subconscious message to the outside world that they are not very happy within. And who likes people who don’t like themselves – unless of course you know them better?

In today’s news, the threat to those with weight problems of suffering the more commonly age-related Osteoporosis has been highlighted and no doubt added to the many other conditions which can make an avoidable problem very permanent indeed.

Whilst this may well be used by some as a scare tactic in an attempt to solicit the desired result, the point is again being missed that escapism is a problem of the moment and the ‘possible’ long term side effects of taking a step which will definitely make you feel better right now doesn’t even come into it. Addictions after all are something that will be much easier to deal with if left until tomorrow for those experiencing them.

But when a society reaches the stage that one unhappy generation destroying itself through the processes of finding comfort or distraction of any kind is then conditioning the next one into adopting the same bad habits without the causes being present; that is the time that Government should know that it really has a problem to address. With the growth in the number of school-aged children suffering obesity, the warning is there now and plain for all to see that we may have already reached and exceeded that stage.

It would be wrong just to dismiss all that has and is being done to attempt to address the problems that this Country has with increasing obesity. But the solutions suggested so far work at a logical level only and very few people who eat themselves to death or disease are employing any form of logic as they do so.

When Government and the respective health organisations recognise that obesity is not just about food itself but is about the problems – and lifestyles – that people face; then they can start tackling the problem at its root cause.

Sadly, like every other real problem facing normal people in this Country that has the potential to be solved by responsible government, the biggest one of all is getting Politicians to understand what those problems really are first.

image thanks to http://www.telegraph.co.uk

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