Yes, it really is World Obesity Day.
If you’ve not already got membership, drive on down to your local fast food store and join up today, by buying a burger and fries and a sugar-laden drink. Make sure to ask the colleague to supersize you.
But seriously, what exactly are we celebrating?
Answer – The cost of treating obesity in the UK (and worldwide).
The World Obesity Federation estimates that worldwide there will be 2.7 billion overweight and obese people by 2025. The UK will have its fair share of that figure, and it is likely that the costs of treating them will rise from today’s 19 billion pounds to 31 billion pounds by 2025. Some jump, yes?
It’s going to take some real solid eating and drinking to get to that level. But I think we have the people to do it. Trouble is the NHS is struggling now, and cannot see how they can generate that much money to treat the growing masses that will be filling the treatment rooms in only a few years time.
World Obesity Day was started on 11th October 2015, to raise awareness of the growing need to tackle what has become a worldwide epidemic. It didn’t seem to get too much publicity at the time, or maybe I was just looking the other way that day.
World Obesity Day 2016 majored on childhood obesity. Children overweight are more likely to have emotional or psychological problems caused by bullying and peer or family pressures.
But childhood obesity can also lead to more physical conditions including blood pressure problems, sleep disorders, and even cancer, heart or diabetes issues. Overweight children are also more likely to grow up to be overweight adults.
World Obesity Day 2017 is themed as “Treat obesity now, and avoid the consequences later”. Not really a very inspiring message. It won’t win many awards.
The Federation wants to try and help create a global community of organisations dedicated to solving the problems of obesity. Well, good luck with that.
The drug companies are unlikely to want to get on board. They want to carry on supplying large volumes of drugs to the bulging masses. Doctors just want to prescribe the drugs, because that’s what they’ve been taught.
The biggest killers in our world today are cancer, heart attacks, strokes and diabetes. All connected with the rapidly worsening slide into obesity. Add to that the secondary issues of joint replacements and back trouble, and you have a major (and costly) epidemic.
In real terms, poor food and drink choices are at the core of this epidemic. Fast and additive laden foods, sugary drinks and alcohol – all contribute.
Initiatives like “red for danger” food labeling, and education in schools are small steps forward, but really a lot more has to be done. Food manufacturers and retailers have to help, and governments have to make rules.
While we don’t want a nanny state, we also can’t afford to have whole sectors of the population waddling around out of breath and waiting for the next heart attack.
So maybe it’s down to you and me to make a start. Throw the ketchup back in the cupboard and start to work out some new healthy eating plans for you and your family. Just small steps, nothing drastic.
Why not take a look at the Paleo Diet. It is not specifically Vegan or Vegetarian, but it is a positive way of moving away from unhealthy eating habits. Check it here
You could do worse than using this as a starting point. Take a look and let me know what you think.
Look forward to hearing from you.
Best wishes for now, Chris