The Real Truth about Obesity

This is a vast topic and one that will need many chapters, by way of blogs in the future to cover the detail about Obesity.

For National Obesity Awareness Week, Simple Living Global is presenting a small snapshot for those who are ready to consider….

 

National Obesity Awareness Week   14 – 20 January 2019

National New Year’s resolution to help improve the nation’s health

Worldwide Obesity – triple since 1975

2016

1.9 billion adults overweight

650 million obese

39% adults over age 18 overweight

Most of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight

41 million children under age 5 overweight or obese

340 million children and adolescents age 5-19 overweight or obese (1)

Obesity is preventable

Malnutrition can arise in –

Hunger and undernourishment

defined as dietary energy intakes below the minimum levels necessary to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Micronutrient deficiency

defined as a lack of essential vitamins and minerals required in small amounts by the body for proper growth and development.

Obesity or overnourishment

defined as dietary energy intake which exceeds requirements for maintenance of a healthy body weight. (2)

 

What are Obesity and Overweight

Overweight and Obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.

What is BMI

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters (kg/m2).

World Health Organization
for adults defines overweight and obesity as follows

Overweight is a BMI greater than or equal to 25

Obesity is a BMI greater than or equal to 30 (1)

Children and Adolescents – measuring overweight and obesity

It is difficult to develop one simple index for the measurement of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents because their bodies undergo a number of physiological changes as they grow.

Depending on the age, different methods to measure a body’s healthy weight are available. (3)

 

Childhood Obesity and Child Well-being

Childhood obesity has immediate and long-term effects on physical, social and emotional health.

Children with obesity are at higher risk of having other chronic health conditions and diseases that influence physical health.  These include –

Asthma | Sleep apnea | Type 2 Diabetes | Bone and Joint problems | Risk factors for Heart disease

It is well known that children with obesity are bullied and teased more than their normal weight peers and are more likely to suffer from social isolation, Depression and lower self-esteem.

In the long term, a child with obesity is more likely to have obesity as an adult.

An adult with obesity has a higher risk of developing –

Heart disease | Type 2 Diabetes | Metabolic syndrome | Many types Cancer

USA

Percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s

2015 – 2016 data shows –

1 in 5 school age children and young people age 6 – 19 years has obesity (4)

World Health Organization latest data shows Southern European countries – highest rate of childhood obesity
2015-2017 data from WHO Childhood Obesity Surveillance Initiative (COSI) (5)

 

Removing sweets from checkouts to help tackle obesity

Positioning of snacks near supermarket tills increases their sales, research shows.

Removing sweets and crisps from supermarket checkouts could dramatically cut the amount of unhealthy snacks bought to eat on the go, say researchers.

Under pressure to act because of rising childhood obesity, some supermarkets have moved snacks away from the till, where people queuing – often with children, are tempted to put them in the shopping basket as they wait their turn.

The government funded study, published in the journal Plos Medicine found –

76% fewer annual purchases of sugary confectionary and crisps were bought and eaten on the go from supermarkets that do not stock them at checkouts than at those that do.

7,500 shoppers commercially held data used, who recorded food bought and eaten on the go during 2016-17 from supermarkets with and without checkout food policies.

On the go purchases are often impulsive and can be the result of children pestering their parents.

eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain and being overweight or obese increases the risk of 12 different types of cancer.
Dr Jean Adams – Senior Lecturer
Dietary Public Health Research – University of Cambridge (6)

 

Junk Food – 2 for 1 deals targeted in fight against obesity 

The Department of Health and Social Care have launched a consultation on a proposed ban on two-for-one deals and celebrity endorsements of junk food.

The consultations, which will end on 6 April 2019 will seek opinions from the public and industry on the potential measures as well as whether exemptions should be made for small businesses.

As part of the campaign against Obesity, the government is seeking to prohibit –

multi-buy offers at checkouts on foods high in fat, sugar and salt | unlimited refills of sugary soft drinks in restaurants | make it illegal to sell energy drinks to under 16s

The proposed move would also require retailers to ensure that at least 80% of their sales from promotions are for healthier products. (7)

According to the NHS

1 in 4 children are obese or overweight by the time they start primary school

1 in 3 children obese or overweight by the time they reach 11 years old (8)

It would be worth reading our forensic blog on Fast Food, Junk Food with the stats and the facts.

The combination of sugar, fat and salt in unhealthy foods is the real concern as suppliers know what we want and what hooks us in.

Let’s remind ourselves that junk foods are no different to Drugs – it gives us something and we want more of the same to get the feeling, as the regular dose won’t cut it.

What we seem to have conveniently forgotten is it comes down to our own personal choices.

The very fact that obesity is preventable tells us it has something to do with our own lifestyle choices.

We can bang on and Blame the government, suppliers and all those who profit from our bad habits but in the end only we, the individual can make changes to turn the tides once and for all.

Next –

Should these changes have taken place a long time ago when we could sense where obesity was going

Would it be wise for us to question how on earth did we allow for any celebrity to endorse junk foods

Without Blame – do we need to consider why most of us Sit on the Fence, Do Nothing and expect changes to take place

Are any Solutions really going to work in the long-term

Do we think the government are on the front foot

Removing the candy at the supermarket tills – will it really work

How corrupt is our mind and how imaginative is it when it comes to getting what it really wants, at any cost

In other words, like a drug addict – do we find other ways if one way is stopped for us to get what we want in that moment

Do we as individual citizens need to adjust, step up and make changes that others can see by way of reflection

Do we need to look at our Priorities in life
Do we need to change our Focus when it comes to Eating
Do we need to be sensible and Real about our lifestyle choices
Do we need to become real role models for all generations

£154 million raised from new sugar tax on soft drinks (9)

So this confirms we are on track to raise the estimated proceeds of £240 million for the full year.

Does this success mean we have nailed it

Who is winning and who really benefits

Is this tax the answer to a very serious problem called Obesity

Will our fighting, campaigning, tackling, banning or other solutions get us to stop the rise in obesity, which is now a global epidemic

Public Health England have been working to cut sugar and calories in everyday foods, such as breakfast cereals, yoghurts, pizzas and ready meals by 20%.

90% of the public have said in the latest survey that they supported the government working with industry to make food and drinks healthier.

Most think the responsibility for tackling obesity lies primarily with individuals themselves and families. (9)

Dear World

Have we considered other factors when it comes to obesity and not just the obvious – cut out fat, sugar and salt combo foods

WHY do we eat What We Eat
WHY are our kids piling on the weight
WHY do we drink heaps of sugary drinks

How many of us are eating for comfort
How many of us eat because we are lonely
How many of us eat to fill a void we feel

How many of us are highly sensitive and overeating helps to numb that sensitivity

How many of us eat to not feel the pain and misery we feel every single day

How many of us use comfort foods that we know have no nutritional value to get through life

How many of us just give up as the world is designed to simply tempt and distract us

How many of us eat the wrong foods and live on a high sugar diet simply because we need the energy to get through the day

How many of us feel way too tired to be cooking real meals to support ourselves and our children

Dear World

Is it time to ask some real Questions

What is the root cause of Obesity

What is missing for a child that they crave the foods that harm them the most

WHY are we not having real education at every school level about what foods and drinks harm us and why

What if we could educate children and parents that a typical energy drink 500ml contains 13 cubes of sugar
Cola has 9 cubes sugar
Juice pouch 5 cubes sugar
(9)

Then show them what happens to the body inside when a false stimulant is given

Then show them those who are ill and what it does to their body, because they consume excess sugar daily

Get dentists involved and ask them to talk to school children about what they see happening to the teeth of those who consume sugar daily

WHY are we waiting for governments, parents and teachers to lead the way, when each and every one of us on this planet can start by taking individual responsibility

Could it be that Simple?

 
References

(1) (2018, February 16). Obesity and Overweight. World Health Organization (WHO). Retrieved January 16, 2019 from
https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/obesity-and-overweight

(2) Ritchie, H., & Roser, M. (2018). Obesity. Our World in Data. Retrieved January 16, 2019 from
https://ourworldindata.org/obesity

(3) (n.d). What is Overweight and Obesity? World Health Organization (WHO). Retrieved January 16, 2019 from
https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/childhood_what/en/

(4) (2018, January 29). Childhood Obesity Facts. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Retrieved January 16, 2019 from
https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/obesity/facts.htm

(5) (2018, May 25). Latest Data Shows Southern European Countries Have Highest Rate of Childhood Obesity. World Health Organization (WHO). Retrieved January 16. 2019 from
http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/disease-prevention/nutrition/news/news/2018/5/latest-data-shows-southern-european-countries-have-highest-rate-of-childhood-obesity

(6) Boseley, S. (2018, December 18). Removing Sweets from Checkouts Could Help Tackle Obesity – Study. The Guardian. Retrieved January 16, 2019 from
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/dec/18/removing-sweets-from-checkouts-could-help-tackle-obesity-study

(7) Owoseje, T. (2019, January 13). Junk Food ‘Two-for-One’ Deals Targeted in Fight Against Obesity. Independent.  Retrieved January 16, 2019 from
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/junk-food-two-for-one-deals-obesity-a8724476.html

(8) (n.d). Childhood Obesity Continues to Rise. St Mary’s NHS Treatment Centre. Retrieved January 16, 2019 from
http://www.stmarystreatmentcentre.nhs.uk/news/childhood-obesity-continues-to-rise/

(9) (2018, November 20). Sugar Tax on Soft Drinks Raises £154 m. BBC News. Retrieved January 16, 2019 from
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46279224

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Comments 10

  1. Thank you for writing on this topic Simple Living Global. I look forward to reading more.

    Obesity is now another modern day epidemic that man is suffering from and raising questions as to why we have got to this place are very very important.

    Reading in this article from Independent

    https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/obesity-awareness-week-workplace-discrimination-fat-overweight-health-ecj-a8726651.html

    Obesity is one of the UK’s most urgent public health challenges with an estimated 16 million sickness days each year being attributed to obesity.

    With obese people less likely to be recruited, the article discusses discrimination in the workplace and the resulting impact of people who are obese being less likely to be regarded as leaders or have career potential and that they are likely to experience more bullying and harassment.

    We are wise to question why the obesity rates are rising especially with our children.

    Whilst we may employ all sorts of methods and solutions to help people take more exercise and eat ‘properly’ is this enough and will we see any true change?

    Is it possible that there is a root cause to obesity that we have not yet acknowledged?

    Are there particular lifestyle choices yet to be identified?

    Could this be the reason why more and more people are being diagnosed with this dis-ease?

  2. Thank you Simple Living Global, this blog spells it out loud and clear in simple terms.. it is down to us to make the changes. Brilliant suggestion to get children actively involved in conversation with dentists about the effects of sugar, on teeth, and health helping them to understand fully how detrimental this poisonous stuff is to their sensitive bodies, the impact it has on a healthy body.

    How hugely beneficial would this be to our growing generations if this was part of their curriculum?

    To educate children from a young age would help prevent the rapidly growing statistics given above.
    Do we need to look deeper as to why we go for the sugar, fast foods?

  3. My parents talk about obesity a lot.

    They live in the north of England and have noticed over the years the huge increase in obesity in their town.

    Their observation is that ‘people just don’t seem to care’.

    This was an interesting angle to consider.

    Have we got to a place where obesity is getting normal and society starts to accept it.

    Make the doors wider in hospitals.
    Make aeroplane seats more roomy.
    Offer more all you can eat in restaurants.
    Pile the kitchen at work, high with fizzy drinks.

    Or is the truth that there is more going on?

    Do people really not care or is there something deeper about why they are obese and choosing the same eating habits?

    Would we be better placed to act if we looked into the root cause and got a sense of what is really going on?

  4. Note – a comment on this news story has been published on our Fast Food blog.

    The Times – 24 May 2018

    This is now old news but nevertheless it feels important to comment, as it relates to Obesity.

    Mediterranean children are growing fat on fast food.

    The place where the Mediterranean diet originated has the fattest children on the continent.

    Southern Europe wants burgers, chips and fizzy drinks and rejects the fish, olive oil, fresh fruit and vegetables, known in the Mediterranean diet.

    250,000 measurements of children | 38 countries

    Study found Cyprus | Spain | Greece | Italy
    High rates of Obesity | 40% boys | Age 6 – 9 over weight

    Is this ironic – the world is banging on about the healthy Mediterranean diet but if we look at the children who live there and what their diets are telling us, it would be true to say SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT

    These kids are born in a country where the sunshine means olive oil and fresh fruit and vegetables are just there and research studies have shown it is a healthy diet.

    So WHY are these children – who will soon be our adult generation seeking and choosing junk foods, that we all know are unhealthy?

    What is missing in their lives and how are they being raised?
    Are these pertinent questions we need to be asking?

    WHY is this not making sense – something the world wants is to be healthy and yet one such place in the world where they could be real role models, it is not happening?

    We need to get to the root cause of Obesity and stop blaming governments, policymakers, the food industry and all those who profit.

    What if we can put a stop to it all by taking personal Responsibility?

    Once upon a time I was a little fattie and called myself a ‘heffer’ and my husband was morbidly obese – FACT.

    Today we do not have a food or weight problem to speak of and our health and well-being have changed since we started looking at all aspects of our life and bringing that word RESPONSIBILITY into our daily choices.

    I would say it is people like us who are real life role models, simply because we have not subscribed or aligned to ANY diet whatsoever but made choices every single day by taking Responsibility and asking questions.

  5. Thank you for this superb blog and the Wisdom contained within it.

    Reading the blog has left me pondering the question, why do people become obese?

    As the author states, obesity is a vast topic and there are many reasons why people become obese. But, in partial answer to the question, I found myself reflecting on some experiences from my life.

    I have never been obese but there was a time in my life when I was overweight for a period of couple of years in my thirties. Back then, my waist measurement was roughly 4 inches greater than it is now.

    Looking back now, I can see that I became overweight at that time because, rather than eating to live, I was eating for comfort and to be numb.

    During that period, I found life to be very difficult and I felt empty and miserable. Along with reading self help book after self help book, I did whatever I could to obtain some kind of comfort and push down the everyday pain and misery I felt.

    So, typically, after a day at work, I would sit in front of the TV and eat and eat to push down what I was feeling after dragging myself though a Joyless and purpose-less day. I would eat until I felt sleepy enough to go up to bed in a kind of stupor brought about by overeating and over-indulgence.

    At that time, I ate and drank a lot of dairy products. Cheese in particular. Cheese on pizza, cheese on toast, cheese on almost everything. Having now not consumed dairy products in over a decade, I now understand that what I sought in dairy products back then was comfort. A comfort to try and overwrite the misery I felt that I was not willing to deal with.

    Like I said, I have never been obese. But I do understand that people eat for all kinds of reasons other than to support and nourish their bodies.

  6. Harvard T.H. Chan

    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/childhood-obesity-china-economic-growth/

    Spike in Childhood Obesity in China May be Due to Economic Growth

    1 in 5 children overweight or obese, up from just 1 in 20 in 1995.

    The nation’s booming economy might be driving the increase. As family incomes grow, children are spending more time in front of the computer, TV and eating junk food.

    Something is clearly not right when a nation who are not known for being obese and overweight are now suffering with both.

    This microcosm – one country is reflective of the soaring global obesity rates which have tripled since 1975, as detailed in this blog.

    Are the solutions that we have employed like removing sweets from checkouts and stopping 2 for 1 deals, going to help us get to the root of why the obesity rates are rapidly rising?

    Are the questions asked by Simple Living Global in this blog worth us all considering?

    Could these questions and the answers we are then presented with provide the key to understanding this worldwide epidemic?

  7. Have we asked why obesity is growing exponentially out of control, to the point where plus plus plus size knickers at size 50, need to be produced for women?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6917779/Business-blooming-UK-firm-demand-increases-worlds-biggest-size-50-knickers.html

    Measuring 6ft on the waist and 7ft on the hips, a company specialising in larger size underwear have started to make the larger size knickers due to calls from customers that they needed a bigger size.

    More than 1,000 pairs of the size 50 pants have been sold. The company have said that the market for super plus size underwear is growing.

    Whilst on a practical level we do need to provide underwear for people of all shapes and sizes as basic human decency, can we admit that something is not right here?

    Why is it that there is a market for super plus size underwear and why is this market growing?

    Are there additional questions that we need to be asking about how we have gotten to this place where larger and larger size clothing is needed?

    Whilst we can flaunt our body regardless of its size and make changes in society like, having plus size models on the front of fashion magazines – can we admit that for many this is not our natural size and that there may be a serious reason why this trend is growing out of control?

    As the worldwide obesity rates have tripled since 1975 – something clearly is not right.

    We can continue to come up with more solutions to enable the situation to seem more acceptable – but do we have a deeper responsibility to understand what obesity is actually about and what is the root cause, if we have any interest in seeing the obesity rates decrease?

  8. The Times – 9 May 2019

    Hospital admissions related to Obesity have increased.

    Last year there was an increase in children and teenagers needing weight-loss surgery.

    10,660 admissions where obesity was judged as the main cause which is twice the number a decade ago.

    75% of these patients were women in the age group 45 – 54.

    100,000 more hospitalisations in just one year were obesity-related, this is the latest evidence that obesity is causing deadly diseases including –

    13 types of Cancer
    Heart Attacks
    Strokes
    Type 2 Diabetes

    This has come from Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England.

    He is calling on manufacturers and retailers to protect children by making more cuts to “junk calories and excess sugar and salt that is quietly being added to processed food and drink”.

    64% of adults nationally are overweight.

    What is now clear is things are getting worse and we could start with reading the blog on this website called SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT.
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/something-is-not-right/

    Something is missing and we need to get smart, use our common sense and join the dots.

    Calling manufacturers to protect our children when business is about profits before people may not actually work, because they have the shareholders wanting their money and who is going to do business if it is not about making big profits?
    A complete change of mindset is needed and that may not happen overnight.

    What we need to look at is the basic economic factor here of supply and demand.

    There would be no business if we as individuals in our own homes started turning the tides by not overeating or eating foods and beverages we know harm the human body.

    We, the customers need to take accountability for what we are doing in the supply chain before we point fingers at anyone.

    We each have a responsibility to put an end to this over consumption when it comes to food and drink and look at WHY we need to live this way in the first place.

    Our lifestyle choices are killing us and yet we seem to be ok just bopping along and relying on our health systems to sort us out when the time comes.

    But what if we could get on the front foot, so to speak and take action now?

    What if this proposal below is a real start that could work and is very cost effective and can support the masses?

    The author of this website is saying – let’s get on the front foot and do something.

    We need to get real education on the school curriculum from day dot.

    At the same time all parents and would be parents need proper education and information, so everyone has the opportunity to learn what sugar, fat and salt added to our food is doing to us inside our mind and body.
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/fast-food-junk-food/

    Instead of putting even more pressure on our kids, what if we brought in well-being masters and experts in their field, like the author of this website to present on topics and inform the kids, teachers and parents of what is and what is not going to work.

    Note – claiming to be a master or expert is not about knowledge and theory or even the current intelligence we call academia.

    It is about someone who actually lives what they are presenting and that means they walk the talk.

    They hold a living quality that comes from how they choose to live, day in and day out without perfection, that holds them steady and gives them the authority to express what is needed from their body, as it lives what they are talking about.

    It is this vibration, this quality that others feel when one presents from a body that walks the talk.

    We need to take the steps and not wait for governments and policymakers to tell us what they will and will not do.

    A great step would be to read through every single blog and comment on this website and answer the questions that are being presented.

    If we do not educate our kids and learn as parents what is needed and what is not, then we will for sure continue to be the statistics on health conditions including Obesity.

  9. The Independent – 10 May 2019

    https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/free-bikes-nhs-prescription-obesity-nhs-patients-doctors-a8906236.html

    Is providing bicycles or prescribing any type of exercise for someone going to make a difference if they have obesity?

    Is the root cause of the obesity epidemic more than just a need for healthy eating and keeping fit?

    Have we looked or even contemplated why people are obese?

    In a comment on the Fast Food, Junk Food blog on this website by Bina Pattel posted on 9th May 2019
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/fast-food-junk-food/
    we would be wise to consider what the author is presenting –
    ‘…before we judge those who are overweight and obese, there could be a genuine reason why they choose food to comfort and bury their emotions and hurts from the past.’

    What if there is pain or unresolved emotional trauma that a person is finding too difficult to deal with?

    Public Health England (PHE) have just launched the latest edition of Health Matters which focuses on Obesity and the Food Environment.

    Here are some statistics from PHE –

    2015 –

    66% of adults in the UK were classed as overweight or obese

    1 in 4 adults were classed as obese

    33% of 10 – 11 year olds and over 20% of 4 – 5 years olds were overweight or obese

    At the current rates, it is projected that 60% of adult men and 50% of adult women will be obese by 2050 along with 25% of all our children.

    2014 – 2015 NHS England spent £6.1 billion in overweight and obesity related ill health

    The increasing consumption of out of home meals has been identified as one of the key factors contributing to the rising levels of obesity.

    20% children eat food from out of home outlets at least once per week with the highest density of takeaways in areas with the highest deprivation.

    In addition a new report by the NHS published week beginning 6th May 2019 revealed there has been a 15% increase in the number of UK hospital admissions where obesity is the main or secondary reason.

    Of the total number of admissions recorded in 2017/18, 10,660 had a primary diagnosis of obesity and 74% of these were women.

    Something clearly is not right and are we wise to consider the questions posed by Simple Living Global in this blog as the way that we are currently dealing with obesity and all of the solutions that we are coming up with, clearly are not working.

  10. The Times – 9 May 2019
    p.16

    Surgery for Children as Hospitals Tackle Rising Obesity

    Dozens of children and teenagers needed weight-loss surgery in the year 2017/2018 as hospital admissions related to obesity increased.

    Of the 6,627 people who had bariatric surgery in 2017/18 –

    2 were under 16
    153 were aged 16 – 24

    Calls are being made to manufacturers and retailers to protect children by making more cuts to “junk calories and excess sugar and salt that is quietly being added to processed food and drink”.

    Is this really going to make a difference or do we need to be looking at why as consumers we are calling for empty calories, excess sugar and salt in our foods?

    Could we have something to do with this and it is not the manufacturers to blame?

    How has it got to this point where we are resorting to the need for surgery to aid our children and teens with weight-loss?

    WHY are we not establishing the root cause of this illness and WHY any of us are overweight in the first place – before we seek any remedies or quick fixes?

    Have we considered the high likelihood that the weight lost will just return as the root cause has not been established?

    Are these current methods a waste of time and resources as they do nothing to empower society about why we have made the choices we have to reach a point where we are obese or overweight?

    Does our current way of living enable us on all accounts to avoid any responsibility for the positions we find ourselves in?

    Is there another way?

    Could this other way if lived enable us as adults to be true role models for our children?

    Is it possible that if we were, our children would not need bariatric surgery as we would be equipped to help them deal with and understand what they may be finding difficult in life, before the need to become overweight or obese to not deal with it?

    We know that obesity is preventable.

    Are we honestly doing all we can to prevent it or have we given up because we don’t want to look at the root cause and accept that the power is in our hands?

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