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 26

  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. BBC News – 26 February 2018
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-43195977

    Millennials are set to be the fattest generation as they are on track with being the most overweight since records began.

    This is old news but well worth reporting to expand this blog.

    70% born between early 1980s and mid 1990s will be obese by the time they reach middle age.

    Cancer Research UK carried out the analysis saying being fat as an adult is linked to 13 different types of cancer.

    Britain is the most obese nation in Western Europe with rates rising faster than in any other developed nation.

    “There is a danger that being overweight is becoming normalized as we know that many people struggle to recognise obesity in themselves and often are unable to see when their child is overweight.”
    Professor Russell Viner | Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health

    So we have a professor – a bigwig we could say and kingpin on his subject matter telling us that there is a blind spot in us as adults to recognise something if we have it.

    In other words, if we are overweight and we have somehow made it our new normal then it is likely we will not see it in our child.
    ADD to that the media campaigns, where we see obesity being something that we need to be proud of and so we get confirmed that it must be ok.

    At what cost is this to our health?

    What makes us disregard and neglect the human frame?

    WHY are we not taught from day dot about the value and importance of our body?

    WHY are we at this point in our evolution where we have a whole generation heading towards major illness and dis-ease in their body as they become adults?

    What will the cost be to society if this continues?
    How will our health systems, which are already full of exhausted, overworked medical staff going to cope in the future?

    What are we allowing to continue that keeps us on the ill road of Obesity?

    We have a world giving out mixed messages on this subject of being fat.

    We have one country saying 7 out of 10 millennials are going to be fat and the trend comes from the fact there is obesity among this generation right now and it is linked to lifestyle choices.

    How do we re-educate, bring awareness and understanding and support these youth to ensure things do not turn out as predicted?

    Can websites like this offer another way because it has been lived and therefore this is not theory or hot talk but real and alive?

    In other words, the author walks the talk AND is not perfect, never claims to be perfect and has no intent on trying to be perfect.

    Could this be the much needed game-changer that would turn the tides for generations to come?

    In other words, someone presenting what they live and know is possible and that means it’s not unattainable or only for a chosen few.

    It is all encompassing and others feel that because the body presenting is living the words expressed.

  3. 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?

  4. 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?

  5. Science Magazine – 30 October 2018
    https://scienmag.com/economic-impact-of-excess-weight-now-exceeds-1-7-trillion/

    Economic Impact of Excess Weight now Exceeds $1.7 Trillion

    We reported this news story on our End of 2018 news blog.
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/2018-news/

    However, this blog would benefit from the details of what this news headline is telling us.

    The impact of obesity and overweight on the U.S. economy has gone to $1.7 trillion which amounts to 9.3 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. GDP

    The study draws on research that shows how overweight and obesity elevate the risk of diseases such as heart disease, breast cancer and osteoarthritis and estimates the cost of medical treatment and lost productivity for each disease.

    Obesity and Overweight are linked to the following cases:

    75% Osteoarthritis
    73% Kidney Disease
    64% Type 2 Diabetes

    “Despite the billions of dollars spent each year on public health programs and consumer weight-loss products, the situation is not improving.
    A new approach is needed”.
    Hugh Waters – Director of Health Economics Research | Milken Institute

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 40% of Americans were obese and 33% were overweight in 2016.

    So let’s wake up and read what this kingpin of health economics research is saying.

    We need another approach because our bodies are telling us so.

    Billions of dollars spent on fix its and other solutions have failed us and we are not advancing or getting on the front foot when it comes to obesity and being overweight.

    What if another approach is real education simply by bringing awareness and we start at small children and take it across the ages to older generations?

    US is one large nation with excess weight costing $1.7 trillion and we still have not stopped to get to the root cause of WHY we overeat in the first place or put on weight which is not our natural state.

    We can easily blame those fast food outlets, those who profit from our lazy lifestyles and the rest, OR we can take matters into our own hands with a dose of real honesty but it means taking Responsibility.

    Are we ready?

    Have we actually made the call to say Yes we want the truth of why we are currently x y z over our normal weight?

    Have we aligned to the vibration of truly wanting to learn and know and get to the truth or is this a game we play with little effort and just lips moving and no true action?

    There is zero purpose in making real change unless we truly want it and that means getting off our surpluses and doing something about it.

    Doing nothing or jumping on the bandwagon of another fad diet or some pill that is suddenly going to reverse obesity is not going to work – WHY?

    Because we have been there, done it and realised it does not work that way.

    Small steps have to be taken and that means changing our movements in daily life and sticking to it and building on those steps.

    Example – making sure we go for a walk every day with no excuses whatsoever.

    Add to that early nights consistently and just these 2 steps would start to bring in some much needed change.

    Each movement adds up and before we know it there is a momentum and in this case – going in the right direction.

    That momentum is our pattern now and we can deepen that with more self care.

    On that note and to stop going any further – this website is full of everyday support including self care, how to build a foundation, keeping things simple and awareness on important topics that affect us all in life.

    Finally, imagine what is possible for a nation to not have to waste 1.7 trillion dollars on something that is preventable.

    As this blog states in big bold red writing – OBESITY IS PREVENTABLE.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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?

  9. 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?

  10. The Telegraph – 2 April 2019

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2019/04/02/tiny-spheres-herald-breakthrough-new-weight-loss-procedure/

    A new treatment which is deemed to be ‘minimally invasive’ is hailed as a new way to deal with obesity. It slows the flow of blood to the stomach promising to reduce reliance on gastric band operations.

    A trial of 20 patients by John Hopkins University, USA found that participants sustained significant weight loss and suppressed hunger whilst enjoying an improved quality of life for at least a year.

    The treatment is known as bariatric embolization and involves introducing microscopic spheres into the arteries using a catheter that restrict the blood supply to the stomach.

    The spheres do not restrict blood flow enough to cause tissue damage, however the blockage is sufficient to suppress the production of hunger-stimulating hormones.

    All of the patients were Obese and showed an early increase in satiety – the feeling of being full and satisfied. Their metabolism showed improvement and they displayed increased levels of high-density lipoprotein, the so-called “good” cholesterol.

    Could we stop and ask –
    Is this new kind of treatment really needed?

    Why have we not chosen to delve deep and earnestly ask why we have this disease named Obesity?

    Would that questioning alone stop us inventing new solutions for quick weight loss that do nothing about getting to the root cause of WHY someone is Obese?

    Would we be wise to read the case study of Tim Bowyer, a man who was morbidly obese and now is no longer.

    See photos and case study on this link
    https://simplelivingglobal.com/do-diets-work/

    Without bariatric surgery or any weight loss treatment this man has made truly supportive lifestyle choices that have lead to the weight loss.

    Is this a case study to be inspired by?

    Do we have the answers right here?

    Is this more real, relatable and accessible than any treatment we can create?

    Is this man showing us that there is another way – but we first have to be willing to be accountable for the choices we are making?

  11. The Telegraph – 2 April 2019

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/04/02/record-numbers-amputations-nhs-amid-warnings-1-10-will-soon/

    UK Statistics

    Britain’s Obesity levels are the highest in Western Europe. They are rising faster than those in the USA.

    2 in 3 adults are overweight or obese

    Reading these statistics from just one nation we have to ask – What is going on?

    Have we really stopped to ask some important questions on this topic of Obesity like –

    What is our relationship with food and enmasse why is it so unhealthy?

    What leads us to eating in excess and is there more behind it rather than just saying that we eat too much?

    Have we questioned at all what actually leads us to eat certain foods?

    Is it possible that there is a reason WHY we might reach for foods that are not good for us?

    Is it more than just comfort eating?

    Is it possible that if we just leave it at comfort eating we are reducing the scale of the problem and our propensity to understand more?

    What if asking these types of questions and more will open us up to the answer as to WHY Obesity exists and WHY we have this deadly disease rapidly rising throughout our world today?

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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?

  15. BBC News – 17 June 2019

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-48664323

    Children whose parents are divorced, are more likely to get fat than those whose parents stay together, according to a new study.

    The weight gain is particularly marked in children whose parents divorce before they are six.

    Reasons include both economic and non-economic.

    Is it really less money for fresh fruit and vegetables?

    Is it because parents are working longer hours, leaving less time to prepare nutritious food?

    Is it because parents have less time and energy to establish healthy eating habits in their children?

    Is it because of emotional problems, parents overfeed and children eat too much sugary and fatty food?

    What we could all agree on is that a child would have something at a foundational level disturbed, if the 2 people they know to be taking care of them are no longer united as a team.

    How they cope and get through this time is not straight forward and each child would have different issues.

    What would be wise is to observe their eating behaviours and see what changes when divorce is happening, but if we are too caught up as adults in the emotional aspects of our own issues, there is little or no room for real connection with our kids, let alone support with eating proper food that would nourish their body.

    The other thing that we need to note is that many young children have become used to eating a high sugar, salt and fat combo, which is known in junk foods.

    https://simplelivingglobal.com/fast-food-junk-food/

    If a child is not going to express how they truly feel when things happen to their parents, then their relationship with food may be a way to comfort and numb the feelings of hurt or pain that are coming up.

    What we need to do is be honest and up front about what is going on, but if our kids were raised to keep quiet and not express how they truly feel, chances are when things are bad, they are not suddenly going to be talkative.

    We have a global obesity epidemic and this blog is telling us the facts.

    A wise move would be to read it again and consider ALL the questions being presented and then move on to ALL the other stupendous blogs on this website and answer ALL those questions and see where it leads to…

  16. Daily Mail – 10th August 2019

    Tackling Obesity is All in the Mind.

    A radio presenter caused a stir on his program by saying that obese people should be allowed to eat what they want so they die early and save the NHS money.

    He also said that obesity shouldn’t be considered a disease and everyone must take responsibility for their diet.

    The Daily Mail’s columnist, who is a NHS doctor, says while the radio presenter was being provocative, he understands what he is saying but disagrees with the presenter on several points.

    Obese people may die sooner, but they are more likely to suffer from illnesses such as cancer, stroke and diabetes, which are huge costs to the NHS.

    He goes on to say that the majority of overweight people are ‘emotional eaters’ so food helps them deal with anxiety or depression in the same way that others use alcohol and drugs.

    While psychological support for people with anorexia or bulimia is readily available, there is no limited support for those that are obese. One of the reasons for this is that obesity is still seen as a lifestyle choice rather than a consequence of multiple psychological factors.

    The answer lies not simply in what obese people eat, but WHY they overeat.

    This last line is very important. The psychological impact of obesity cannot be underestimated and for anyone going through that, it is hard to break free from but as someone who has been there, I weighed close to 30 stone and I know it can be done and it can be done a lot easier than we think.

    Taking away those that are obese due to medical reasons, obesity IS a lifestyle choice and because of the very nature that it is a lifestyle choice means we can simply change our lifestyle.

    That may sound overly simplistic, but that is exactly what I did.

    Once we have that understanding of how foods affect us, why and when we eat certain foods, it simply becomes a choice as to whether we instigate the necessary changes.

    Of course, that will not be easy if we truly do not want to change.

    Like everything in life, it all starts with a choice and whatever situation we find ourselves in, whether or not that choice is the one we want, we will always have a choice.

  17. WebMD – 19th September 2019

    Scientists Discover New Way Fat Harms Your Arteries
    https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20190919/scientists-discover-new-way-fat-harms-your-arteries#1

    Scientists may have found a way that obesity directly damages the arteries and contributes to heart disease – a discovery that they say could eventually lead to new treatments.

    The researchers found that in heart disease patients who are obese, body fat surrounding the arteries tends to secrete high amounts of a protein called WNT5A. The protein, in turn, appears to have “toxic” effects within the blood vessels.

    According to the lead researcher, the findings are an early step, but they suggest that WNT5A is a good target for new drugs aimed at treating or preventing heart disease. He said: “If we develop a treatment to ‘switch off’ the production of WNT5A from fat cells, or block its effects on the blood vessel wall, then we may be able to ‘neutralise’ Obesity and prevent heart attacks or stroke.”

    Many studies have shown that obese people have a higher risk of developing heart disease compared to thinner people. The American College of Cardiology (ACC) says that’s partly due to “indirect” reasons: Obesity promotes conditions that can lead to heart problems – such as Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

    The lead researcher said the new findings shed light on how obesity directly damages the blood vessels. For the study, he and his colleagues analysed blood and tissue samples from about 1,000 heart disease patients who had undergone cardiac surgery. Overall, they found obese patients had much higher levels of WNT5A in their blood. The protein was specifically released in large amounts from fat around the blood vessels.

    In addition, patients with higher WNT5A levels tended to show a faster progression of “plaque” buildup in their arteries in the next three to five years. Plaques are deposits of fat, calcium and other substances that clog the arteries and can trigger a heart attack or stroke.

    Those findings alone do not pinpoint WNT5A as a culprit in causing heart disease, but researchers did find more direct evidence in the lab. It turns out that when blood vessel cells are exposed to the protein, they churn out more “toxic products” and enter a state that promotes plaque buildup.

    What if the way to ‘neutralise’ Obesity is to educate people that if we eat food that is laden with calories and do not do enough exercise to burn those excess calories off, then we will start to become overweight and when we start to become overweight, we start to lose any motivation to exercise and are drawn to foods that will increase our weight – a cycle that is easy to get into, but difficult to get out off?

    This study is showing the increased levels of WNT5A and the effect on the blood cells in obese people, so is it possible we should be looking at ways to prevent Obesity in the first place?

    Although overweight or obese people are generally more predisposed to contracting heart disease, weight is certainly no barrier, as evidenced by the many healthy and fit people that do get heart disease. Indeed, even athletes suffer from it.

    Apart from those that have a medical reason for weight gain, Obesity is a self-made problem.

    So, with that in mind, is it possible that all we have is just another solution – just another way to treat an illness without truly looking at the root cause?

  18. The Telegraph – 24 September 2019

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/global-health/science-and-disease/fatty-liver-disease-could-next-public-health-crisis/

    Fatty Liver Disease could be the next Public Health Crisis.

    This news story talks about a famous singer who died and the coroner’s report had listed fatty liver disease as one of the causes of death and it was probably the first time many of us in the world would have heard of this disease.

    As the name suggests, fatty liver disease is telling us there is an increased build up of fat inside the liver. The main 2 causes are alcohol and obesity.

    Most of us are familiar about the fact that drinking alcohol can lead to cirrhosis of the liver but how many of us link it to obesity?

    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) refers to the accumulation of fat in the liver of people who do not consume high levels of alcohol but commonly seen in those who are overweight, obese and/or have Type 2 Diabetes.

    Over years of damage, significant liver scar tissue builds up because the number of liver cells declines. The advanced stage of this is known as liver cirrhosis. It is at this stage that symptoms develop such as jaundice, liquid collecting in the abdomen (ascites) bleeding from prominent veins in the gullet (oesophageal varices) and confusion hepatic encephalopathy).

    UK – 1 in 5 estimated to have early stages of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, yet most have no idea that they are even at risk.

    NAFLD accounts for one in seven liver transplants.

    Liver disease is now the most common cause of premature mortality and notably is the only one of the top five causes of mortality.

    Experts are saying this condition could soon become a serious problem – almost an epidemic.

    Europe – more than half of adults and one third of children are now classified as being overweight or obese.

    The annual cost of NAFLD estimated to be greater than €35 billion in direct costs to the health systems and a further €200 billion by way of wider costs to society.

    So despite these 911 statistics saying SOMETHING IS NOT RIGHT, awareness that Obesity and Diabetes can contribute to significant liver disease is low amongst the healthcare community, as is knowledge of appropriate and effective everyday life changes that can help or even reverse liver disease.

    The causes of obesity and NAFLD are sendentary behaviour and unhealthy diets which confirm this is a preventable epidemic.

    An urgent expansion of knowledge and skills is needed.

    So how do we engage patients in “appropriate behavior change initiatives”?

    If it is preventable and avoidable – how come we have not nailed it yet?

    If “public discussion of obesity places great emphasis on personal responsibility, yet this approach has manifestly failed to reduce the problem” can we at least ask WHY?

    Is it possible that educating the public is not going to be an overnight thing but the most important element is to have real role models to educate?

    This means those who are free of any conditions relating to what they are advocating, presenting or teaching.

    In other words, they walk the talk – their lifestyle choices on a daily basis include taking full Responsibility for their diet and exercise and they show no signs of obesity, pre-diabetes or being overweight for at least a decade.

    Example – the author of this blog on Obesity who is a living science and shows no symptoms of the above and is a prolific writer and researcher on health and well being topics. ADD to that this monumental website and all the facts, stats, questions and awareness that is being presented.

    Would they then have the Authority and the Power to deliver from that lived body that is claiming – there is another way?

    Would people listen or would they at least consider it as the person presenting holds a quality, a vibration so to speak that is clear of the dis-ease they are expressing about?

    In simple words – are we more likely to listen up and pay attention to someone who we can see and feel is not overweight or tired or in need of unhealthy foods, than an obese educator who has the theory and facts but are not LIVING what they are trying to tell us to do and not do?

    Is this where society needs to re-think, so that a real impact can be made?

  19. BBC News – 24th September 2019

    Obesity Not Caused by Lack of Willpower – Psychologists
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-49795808

    A report by top psychologists say Obesity is not a choice and making people feel ashamed results only in them feeling worse about themselves.

    It calls for changes in language to reduce stigma, such as saying “a person with obesity” rather than an “obese person”.

    The report says health professionals should be trained to talk about weight loss in a more supportive way.

    Obesity levels rose by 18% in England between 2005 and 2017 and by similar amounts in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    This means just over one in four adults is obese while nearly two-thirds are overweight or obese.

    The psychologists say that these increases cannot be explained by a sudden loss of motivation, it is a lot more complicated than that.

    A spokesperson from the British Psychological Society said: “The people who are most likely to be an unhealthy weight are those who have a high genetic risk of developing obesity and whose lives are also shaped by work, school and social environments that promote overeating and inactivity.”

    The report says that psychological experiences also play a big role, with up to half of adults attending specialist obesity services having experienced difficulties in childhood.

    Stress caused by fat shaming – being made to feel bad about one’s weight – by public health campaigns, GPs, nurses, and policymakers, often leads to increased eating and more weight gain.

    Apart from those that have a medical pre-disposition to gaining weight, I feel that obesity is most certainly a choice.

    We can choose to blame our childhood psychological experiences or blame work, schools and social environments all day but, although these factors may come into the equation, we still have a choice.

    Is it possible that we still have a choice to go for that fast food takeaway or cook something that is a lot healthier?

    Is it possible that these factors do not promote overeating as we choose to overeat?

    Is it possible that these factors do not promote inactivity as we choose to be inactive?

    If we choose to listen to the psychologists, if we believe it is genetics, if we believe it is work, schools or our social environment, is it possible that we are choosing to not take any responsibility for ourselves?

    At one point in my life I weighed almost 30 stone and this was due to me eating the wrong foods, eating at the wrong time, eating more food than I should and not getting adequate exercise.

    Yes, I could use my childhood experiences, work or my social environment as a reason why I was overweight and why I would overeat, and not exercise.

    The fact is, I was choosing to live this way and a consequence of my lifestyle choices was that I became obese.

    Once I started to eat the right foods, eat at the correct times, eat sensible amounts and started to exercise more, the weight gradually came off.

    Is it possible that, in everything we do in life we will always have a choice?

  20. The Times – 11th October 2019

    Obesity epidemic takes heavy toll on taxpayers.

    Economic calculations suggest the average British person’s tax bill is £409 a year higher because the nation has an obesity problem.

    Official figures released on 10 October 2019 showed that a record 20.2 per cent of youngsters were obese by the time they left primary school and that the gap between rich and poor children who were overweight is widening.

    The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) laid bare the financial cost of obesity after the outgoing chief medical officer called for a ban on eating and drinking on public transport.

    Britain is among the heaviest of wealthiest countries. The OECD said that this shortens lives by an average of 2.7 years and cuts GDP by 3.4 per cent.

    Lost economic output, equivalent to 944,000 missing full-time workers, and the cost of the NHS treating obesity means that every person in the UK pays an extra £409 in taxes.

    The OECD cites effective measures such as the sugar tax but suggests that tougher action would pay economic dividends.

    The OECD secretary-general said: “There is an urgent economic and social case to scale up investments and tackle obesity. By investing in prevention, policy makers can halt the rise of obesity for future generations and benefit economies.”

    The calculation comes as NHS Digital statistics showed that obesity rates in reception-age children, rose to 9.7 per cent in 2018-19, up 0.2 per cent on the year before.

    Among pupils leaving school, 20.2 per cent were obese, up from 17.5 per cent in 2006-07.

    The figures also showed that 34.3 per cent of ten and eleven year-olds were too heavy, equivalent to 206,000 children in this age group.

    The head of NHS England said: “Obesity is a dangerous public health threat for our children leading to a string of serious illnesses. As a country we are clearly not on track to meet the government’s sensible goal of halving childhood obesity by 2030.”

    The public health minister said: This problem has been decades in the making but we can turn this around.”

    The chief nutritionist at Public Health England said that officials were working with industry to improve children’s food. She added: “However, we know more action is needed.”

    As this article states, this problem has been around for a long time and there have been many measures and actions put in place but nothing has truly worked.

    Is it possible we are looking in the wrong place for answers?

    The figures quoted by the OECD are aimed at reception-age children, 10-11 year olds and pupils leaving school.

    These are young people that can’t or don’t cook for themselves, or earn money, so where do they get the type of food that has the potential to make them obese?

    Do we need to be looking at what the parents are feeding them or the money they give to their children?

    Is it possible that as parents we need to take responsibility for the nutritional content of what our children are eating?

    As history has shown us many times, we sometimes don’t listen to what is truly needed. A great example of this is evidenced in the media spectacle of a well-known TV chef and celebrity who introduced a healthy-eating campaign to promote better school meals in 2006 and ended up with several mums pushing burgers and chips through the school railings to give to their children because they didn’t want to eat the healthy, nutritious food that was being provided.

    If the parents themselves don’t want to nourish themselves properly, is it possible that the children are going to follow their parents’ lead?

    Is it possible that, whatever measures or actions the government can come up with, they will only be as successful as parents want them to be?

  21. The Guardian – 2 October 2019

    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/oct/02/250-million-children-worldwide-forecast-to-be-obese-by-2030

    Childhood obesity is rising exponentially worldwide as the relentless marketing of junk foods reaches around the globe and governments do too little to protect their children’s health, according to data shared with The Guardian.

    The number of obese children globally is predicted to reach 250 million by 2030 an increase from the current figure of 150 million.

    Up to 1 in 5 of the 250 million children will suffer with severe obesity.

    Only 1 in 10 countries have a 50% chance of meeting the World Health Organization target of no rise in child obesity from 2010 – 2025.

    The chances of 156 of the 191 countries studied achieving the target are less than 10% according to the World Obesity Federation which has compiled the data in the first Childhood Obesity Atlas

    https://www.worldobesity.org/nlsegmentation/global-atlas-on-childhood-obesity

    In 2030 the world population of obese children and adolescents is predicted to grow to 254 million – an increase of more than 60%.

    Children who are obese often become adults with obesity and are likely to develop serious health problems that will shorten their lives, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

    “The continuing increase in childhood obesity will overwhelm the health services of many countries…”
    Donna Ryan – President and Johanna Ralston – Chief Executive, World Obesity Federation

    Some countries have low levels of obesity but will not escape the global surge without drastic action. Other countries have moderate or high levels and are not doing enough to stem the tide.

    2030

    Children aged 5 – 19

    China – 62 million obese children

    India – 27 million

    US – 17 million

    Democratic Republic of Congo – 2.4 million

    Tanzania – 2 million

    Vietnam – 2 million

    UK – 1.3 million

    Even though the UK are doing better than most, with policies to restrict marketing of junk food to children and to tackle inactivity and healthy diets, it’s chances of meeting the World Health Organization target of no rise from 2010 – 2025 is 37% – which is at the high end.

    Many countries have zero chance of reaching the World Health Organization target.

    US – 17% chance of meeting the target

    South Africa and China are expected to have the largest increase in the number of obese children between 2017 and 2030.

    Cook Islands (South Pacific Island) and Palau (Western Pacific Island), Puerto Rico (Caribbean) and Eswatini (South Africa) are the countries noted as having the highest risk of an obesity crisis.

    Cook Islands 40.7% of children aged 5 – 19 are obese.

    Ukraine has the highest proportion of overweight infants at 26%.

    US is in the top 20 with 25% children obese and 20% adolescents.

    Children with obesity may need medical help such as bariatric surgery and are at risk of Type 2 Diabetes, which used to be an entirely adult disease. They will also be at risk as adults from cancers and heart disease.

    “In many countries the systems won’t cope. There may be a certain fatigue from listening to these figures getting worse and worse, but doing nothing is going to cost an awful lot more than making serious interventions in the marketplace to reduce the global marketing of soft drinks and ultra processed foods. Multinational companies worldwide are making cheap food in bulk that has pushed out more nutritious foods from the market place.”
    Tim Lobstein – Policy Director, World Obesity Federation

    Louise Baur – Consultant Paediatrician and Head of Child and Adolescent Health, University of Sydney and Child Obesity Ambassador at World Obesity Federation has said that no-one thing is responsible for the rise in Childhood obesity which began in the mid-1980s.

    Baur states –
    “What we were seeing was the rise of more convenience foods, more motorised and less active transport, fewer kids biking and walking, the rise of sedentary pursuits and the use of screens by children…”

    So here we have it – even more stats and facts about Childhood obesity and the very dire and serious state we are in.

    Across the globe this epidemic is far reaching and although we have multiple remedies, solutions and strategies that are being adopted globally to address this, can we be honest in saying that we have clear evidence that none are effective if 156 of the 191 countries studied have less than a 10% chance of reaching the World Health Organization target.

    We have a very serious problem on our hands and is the answer in blaming the food manufactures or do we need to look at something else here?

    No market can exists without there being a demand, a call from consumer for it.

    Therefore is it possible that we are asking for more convenience foods?

    Is it possible that we have demanded the cheap low nutrition meals and if so the next question needs to be WHY?

    Perhaps then this will leads us all to an honesty in establishing our part in this rising epidemic and what can truly be done to change this.

  22. Thank you Simple Living Global for this first instalment on what is a very much-needed topic to be discussed.

    As someone that was close to 30 stone in weight, I know something of being both overweight and obese.

    At one point in my life, I weighed just over 15 stone and was quite fit due to all the sports activities I was doing. I wasn’t eating particularly healthily but my continued exercise helped maintain a decent weight. Then one-day things started to change. I gradually reduced my sporting activities and started to eat more and started to drink more alcohol.

    The more I carried on like this, the more the weight went on and so the lack of motivation increased until I got to the point of weighing nearly 30 stone.

    It all started to change when I began attending the presentations of Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon. He presented how certain foods react in our body and how we eat food depending on how we are feeling at that moment. He presented that all of our everyday choices go into our choice of what we will eat, when we eat and why we are choosing the type of food we eat.

    I would like to point out that Serge Benhayon never told me to NOT eat any types of food but simply presented the effect it has on our bodies and left me to make my own choices in what I eat.

    With these presentations, I was able to start to change my eating habits. With the understanding I now had, I adapted my diet and in no time things started to change for me.

    Losing weight was never a driving factor for me. It just happened to be a very welcome consequence of my new choices around food.

    I know there are some medical reasons and diseases as to why people can’t lose weight, but the majority of cases where obesity is involved, is exactly the same reason as to why I was obese and that is simply eating too much food, eating too often, eating the wrong types of food and a lack of physical exercise.

    Once we start down that road of overweight/obesity we get into a vicious cycle which is not easy to get out of. We start to eat a lot more comfort foods because we are unhappy about our weight and that then puts more weight on and we get even more miserable and the cycle starts to compound.

    We start to eat more sugar because we need the energy, but in truth sugar is just a false energy, so we end up doing nothing but watching TV/DVD’s or playing computer games.

    But, it certainly doesn’t have to be that way. I made the choices to change which means anyone can make those same choices – it all depends on whether we truly want to change or not.

    I was always like, yeah I will start dieting next week but as much as I told myself I wanted to lose weight, I really didn’t want to come out of my comfort and make those choices. It was easier to stay where I was and make excuses and blame everyone and everything else for where I was at.

    This paragraph from this blog says it all –

    “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.”

    Through our choices of what to eat, we are the ones that put the weight on so therefore, we and only we are the ones that can take the weight off – if we are willing.

  23. The Telegraph – 13th November 2019

    Rise in Number of Obese Dogs and Cats Force Vets to Bring in Lifting Gear to Treat Over-Sized Pets.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/11/12/rise-number-obese-dogs-force-vets-bring-heavy-lifting-gear-treat/

    The number of overweight pet dogs has risen by 50 per cent in two years. One in eight (12%) dog owners say they have been told this year by their vets that their pets are overweight, up from 8% two years ago.

    The extra weight is putting increased strain, not only on owners who are reporting pulled muscles or back, but also vets. More than half of whom say they are regularly concerned about injuring themselves when treating the heavier animals.

    According to a survey of 2,100 dog owners and vets, more than four in ten vets said they have invested in lifting equipment including hoists and electrically raised tables.

    A TV vet and animal welfare campaigner said the impact of obesity on the health of dogs was the primary concern, but it was also an issue for vets who repeatedly had to pick up animals sometimes weighing more than four and a half stone. He said: “It’s definitely an occupational hazard. A lot of vets do have back problems and slipped discs because of that. If owners are having problems picking their dogs up, then they should stop getting them into that state in the first place.”

    One in seven (13%) dog owners said they had suffered bruising or strained muscles from lifting overweight dogs.

    The British Veterinary Association (BVA) is so concerned, that this week it will hold a special session at its Congress, to focus on strategies to help owners reduce pet obesity.

    According to the PDSA vets charity, with the overweight and obese dogs that vets are seeing half of these are suffering consequent health-related problems, including increased risk of heart disease, arthritis and diabetes.

    The RSPCA said that obesity is a “serious welfare issue” that can cause suffering and be extremely disabling for pets. “Pet obesity can also cause serious health problems and make existing problems worse, which can reduce the length and quality of your pets life and weight problems can cause and contribute to diabetes, heart disease, respiratory distress, high blood pressure and cancer.”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/obese-pets-cats-dogs-overweight-vets-injury-study-a9200826.html

    As I write this, I realise something.

    Is it possible, that we do exactly the same to children?

    We let them eat what they want, however much they want and when they want and watch them getting bigger and bigger.

    I was frequenting a newsagents the other day, schools had just kicked out and there were several children all of various ages buying chocolate. Some bought more than one bar. A couple of children had their mothers with them. Next door was a takeaway and as I left the newsagent, again I saw several children in there, and one of the same children and mother walked out with a box of chips for the child.

    Just like humans our pets are not immune to putting on weight, if they are given the wrong type of food. Too much food and little or no exercise.

    The difference being although very rare, as humans can actually say no to the food we know we shouldn’t be eating, whereas our pets will eat whatever we give them.

    In the case of most dogs, if it is there, they will probably eat the food until they are sick.

    Our pets cannot and do not feed themselves, so we are the ones that are making them obese and just like humans, obesity in our pets comes with all the dangerous side effects.

    Just like our children, we claim that we love our pets – so why are we overfeeding them and subjecting them to a range of possible and needless illnesses and diseases?

    What are we doing with our responsibility here?

    The NHS spends approximately £6 billion a year on overweight and obesity related illnesses.

    How much money will our pets end up costing us?

  24. CNN – 19th December 2019

    Half of America will be Obese Within 10 years Unless We Work Together
    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/18/health/american-obesity-trends-wellness/index.html

    Over half the nation will be obese within 10 years if America does not collectively adopt healthier eating habits.

    Even worse, 1 in 4 Americans will be “severely obese” with a body mass index over 35, which means they will be more than 100 pounds overweight.

    The chair of Tufts University’s Public Health and Community Medicine, who was not involved in the study, said: “Given how notoriously difficult obesity is to treat once it’s established, you can see that we are in an untenable situation. The societal cost is high, both in terms of obesity-related health consequences and healthcare expenditures which could bring us to our knees.”

    The study found that 29 States, mostly in the South and Midwest, will be hit the hardest, with more than 50% of their residents considered obese. But no part of the country is spared – in all 50 States, at least 35% of the population will be obese.

    The lead author of this study who is an analyst at Harvard Chan School’s Centre for Health Decision Science said: “What’s even more concerning is the rise in severe obesity. Nationally, severe obesity – typically over 100 pounds of excess weight – will become the most common BMI category. Prevalence will be higher than 25% in 25 States.”

    Currently, only 18% of all Americans are severely obese.

    The chair of Tufts University said: Fifty years ago, obesity was a relatively rare condition. People who were poor were underweight, not overweight. But that has changed.”

    One reason is the rise of sugar sweetened beverages and ultra processed foods, which contribute calories but little nutrition. Another is that the price of food, including unhealthy fast food choices, has fallen in America.

    Other reasons given are limited options for physical activity and the stress of structural racism.

    Interventions to tackle the obesity crisis are bolstering local public transportation systems to encourage walking instead of driving, keeping schools open on weekends and during summers to allow access to gyms and swimming pools, farm-to-school and farm-to-work programs, farmers markets, calorie labelling on restaurant and drive-thru menus and replacing vending machines with smart snacks in schools.

    The most cost effective solution was the tax on sugar-sweetened beverages. The study found the tax saved $30 in health care costs for every dollar spent on the program. The chair of Tufts University said: “So much added sugar is delivered through sugar-sweetened beverages, and people do have other options for hydration. I think it’s an easy target.”

    In 2009 the program decreased the intake of foods and beverages associated with excess weight gain. By simply cutting the juice allowance in half, reducing cheese, requiring whole grain products and requiring low-fat or skim milk, a study found the program reduced the obesity rate in children between two and four years of age and boosted the intake of fruits and vegetables.

    THIS IS NOT JUST AN AMERICAN PROBLEM – IT IS A GLOBAL PROBLEM

    Some of these interventions may even have a limited effect.

    Is it possible that these are still only solutions – solutions that have been tried and tested for many years but are still not ultimately successful?

    Is it possible that nothing is being done to address the real reason as to why we are obese – why we are eating the wrong foods and why we are eating too much of the wrong foods?

    Losing weight is not rocket science as this 2009 study showed. It can be done quite easily if we reduce or cut out the foods that predispose us to obesity.

    The only thing stopping ourselves is – ourself?

    Have we asked the question WHY?

  25. BBC News – 16th December 2019

    Poorest Countries Facing Both Obesity and Malnutrition
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-50784281

    According to a report in The Lancet, a third of the poorest countries in the world are dealing with high levels of obesity as well as under-nourishment, which leaves people too thin.

    It says the problem is caused by global access to ultra-processed foods and people exercising less.

    Countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are most affected.

    The report estimates that nearly 2.3 billion children and adults on the planet are overweight, and more than 150 million children have stunted growth.

    And many low and middle-income countries are facing the two issues at once – known as the ‘double burden of malnutrition’.

    The report says, 45 out of 123 countries were affected by the burden in the 1990’s, and 48 out of 126 countries in the 2010’s.

    The report authors say action should be taken by governments, the United Nations and academics to address the problem, and it points the finger at changing diets.

    The way people eat, drink and move is changing. Increasing numbers of supermarkets, easy availability of less nutritious foods, as well as a decrease in physical activity, are leading to more people becoming overweight.

    These changes are affecting low and middle-income countries as well as high income ones.

    Although stunted growth of children in many countries is becoming less frequent, eating ultra-processed foods in life is linked to poor growth.

    The lead author, who is the director of the Department of Nutrition of Health and Development at the World Health Organization said: “We are facing a new nutrition reality. We can no longer characterise countries as low-income and undernourished or high-income and only concerned with obesity. All forms of malnutrition have a common denominator – food systems that fail to provide all people with healthy, safe, affordable, and sustainable diets.”

    He said changing this needed changes in food systems – from production and processing, through trade and distribution, pricing, marketing and labelling, to consumption and waste. “All relevant policies and investments must be radically re-examined.”

    A link in this article talks about how ultra-processed foods make us eat more.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-48280772

    A trial to assess the impact of these foods showed how volunteers ate 500 calories a day more than when they were given unprocessed meals.

    The US National Institutes of Health said ultra-processed foods may be affecting hunger hormones in the body, leading people to keep eating.

    It comes as no surprise that this trial showed that we eat more of this processed food as it comes laden with sugar, salt, flavourings and additives – everything that our taste buds like.

    As this report says, we cannot confine obesity and under-nourishment to country’s income levels anymore as we are seeing both in one country.

    I feel that the lead author is correct in saying an overhaul of the whole system is needed, but with the powerful lobby groups that abound to keep the manufacturers of these types of foods where they are, it is going to be a difficult challenge to meet.

    So what, if anything, can we do to help – because after all, we are the ones making the choice to buy this type of food?

    Are we willing to take Responsibility for our own health and do everything we can to nurture ourselves with healthy food?

    Or are we going to carry on as normal, eat this type of food and worry about the consequences later?

    Just like everything in life, we do, and always will, have a choice.

  26. The Telegraph – 5th January 2020

    NHS Chief Warns Lack of Gym Openings Undermining Obesity Epidemic
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/01/05/nhs-chief-has-warned-perverse-planning-rules-restricting-gyms/

    The chief of the NHS has warned that “perverse” planning rules restricting gyms from opening are undermining efforts to solve the Obesity epidemic.

    The chief spoke out after health and planning experts claimed it was easier to open a fast food outlet than get permission from councils to open a gym.

    Under planning laws, restaurants are given priority over leisure activities on high streets, meaning it is harder for permission to be gained.

    Public health doctors have called for restrictions on fast food outlets opening near schools, in a bid to combat Britain’s Obesity epidemic.

    Gym operators said they were struggling to open new sites on high streets due to “outdated planning regulations” that can see shop units sit derelict for “up to two years”.

    Fitness bosses are now calling on local planning authorities to overhaul their policies, in a bid to “improve public health” and reinvigorate Britain’s physical and mental health.

    The chief of the NHS said: “While exercise alone will not cure our national obesity epidemic, it undoubtedly improves both our physical and mental health. So at a time when there are around twice as many high street fast food outlets as there are public parks, it does seem perverse that gym operators report difficulty in being able to open new facilities.”

    Two in three adults are overweight or obese, and Britain’s obesity rates are the highest in Western Europe.

    The average Briton does less than 10 minutes exercise a day.

    With the planning rules as they are, favouring food outlets in town centres means that it would be easier for a shop selling gym equipment to change into a fast food restaurant than if they wanted to change to a gym.

    The chairman of the National Obesity Forum said: “This planning directive needs quickly revising. With today’s obesity epidemic in mind it is plainly ridiculous that outdated local bylaws make it easier to open a fast food outlet than a gym.”

    Is it possible that, when we hear stories like this one, we have to question the rules and regulations that govern our society?

    On one hand we have a national Obesity crisis and the government making all sorts of pledges to ‘solve’ it and then we come across situations like this where, one of the tools that could help us to lose weight has been made difficult, expensive and time consuming to achieve.

    We see on the news everyday how town centres are becoming ghost towns because all the shops are being boarded up.

    Wouldn’t it make more sense to fast track these gym applications so as to get more people into the town centres, get people becoming healthier and get people spending money in other shops rather than letting them stand empty and be of no use to anyone?

    It seems paradoxical to allow even more fast food restaurants to open and then complain about the obesity epidemic.

    Is it possible we need to look at our priority here?

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