Why are not we able to tackle the obesity problem in this country. We’re 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 is not the message coming through. The information is there.
Culture shifts toward fast foods has had a huge impact on our eating habits. 30 to 40 years ago, speedy food was only accessible in fish and chip shops. McDonald’s was only starting out in the united kingdom then.
‘Programs’ like’Hungary House’ make it so easy to order food. One click of the button on your mobile, and your done. You only have to make the effort to get off the sofa and walk to the front door. Such hard work!
Eating habits are the key to healthy diets. It starts from the day you’re born. What meals your parents present to you sets up your eating habits for life. In case you have a balanced diet of fruit, meat and vegetables early on, you become accustomed to that. Going the other way, if you’re introduced to lots of sweet high sugar foods in a young age, this becomes your standard. Sugar, of course has that added 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’s 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 images of blood clotting from the end of a cigarette brought the unhealthy effects dwelling.
This kind of advertising applied to high sugar and salt intake could be powerful… but it must be a sustained effort. The campaign against smoking has gone on for over 20 years. The’truth’ campaign aimed at removing adolescent smoking in america started in 1999. In 2016 the number was down to 6%.
The Government should invest in the anti-sugar campaign. The NHS face even more pressure dealing with patients with food related illness.
With the people’s steady increase, the next 50 years could be a nightmare for healthcare. It might be averted, but only with the will to do something about it.
Obesity increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, cancers, depression and anxiety. Severely obese individuals are three times more likely to need social care than those with normal weight. Including hospitalisation and the associated health and social care costs.
The NHS estimated the cost of obesity for 2006/7 to be #5.1 billion. The prices account for obesity medication, 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’. It is interesting what he has to say from his experience delivering these classes.
He says”We like to keep a variety of exercises to keep the interest there. The next week more cardio based with a few free weights like dumb bells and kettle bells. It is still weight established, but you keep the intensity up, and keep the heart-rate high.
He says about diet,”I actually try to educate them about how bad sugar is, and too much’carby’ foods..to much pasta, rice, chocolate sweets, fizzy drinks. I don’t track and measure what they consume, but give them an understanding of what they put into their body. I just plant the seed in their mind, give them the knowledge they want, so that they have a choice to either follow it or not”.
Do you quantify their weight loss?
We do weigh-ins regularly. Typically, the customers that do see improvements would be those that stick to the program. I have clients that have listened to what I’ve advised and they’ve seen good results. At precisely the same time I’ve given advice to other customers, and they have found it more challenging to stick to.
How long does it take to lose weight?
Some clients lose up to two pounds per week. Some may even lose 4-5 pounds weekly.
A basic target of 2 pounds weekly over a period of 3-4 weeks is a huge loss. Approximately 13/4 stones.
Do you look at their fat percentage?
Yes, extremely important to look at fat percentage, not just losing body weight. If you weigh 60 kilograms, you’ve got to ask the question, 60 kilograms of what? We can quantify all that, so you actually see all the parts that make up the whole body weight. So we focus much more on the body fat, because you might get rid of muscle mass. That would be unhealthy. That is why we focus on the weight training to hold on to the muscle mass. . That and promote high protein intake to keep muscle mass.
So after say 6 months, certainly your customers need to be able to go out on their own without your assistance?
Sure, 6 months down the line, you would have learnt so much, experimented with different exercises, listed the exercises, so you have them to follow. Over 6 months you would have done these exercises so frequently, it would be like instant nature..So after this time you don’t have to be babied any more, you know what to do, you can go out on your own, so it is sort of like a lesson for life.
So you do not 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 check at food like it is fuel. It’s like putting wood on a fire. It is going to maintain your blood glucose burning. The fire burns out, your metabolism dies down. Keep the metabolism high and you’ll be burning calories all day. Look at body builders, they’re constantly burning calories, but they’re 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’s very doable. It takes self drive to achieve weight loss objectives. Today there is so much help from places like YouTube and online articles. You never need to feel like your on your own with weight reduction. To maintain healthy into old age is well worth it. We are much happier. We have never been informed about health as we are today. There should be less obesity than was 30 years back, not more!