Forget the data, I have seen the evidence!

Government statistics and the mass media tell us we are getting fatter. Actually, they are right…

    First and foremost, this website is about fitness and nutrition. This blog is a chance for me to interact with you all in a light-hearted way and give you some insight into my psyche. I tend to use this to talk about non-health related issues. Occasionally, the boundaries between the blog and the health content of the site are blurred. Today is one such occasion.
    According to the mass media, Britain is getting fatter. We are made more than aware of this fact by the almost daily news reports on the subject, government figures being released, Jamie Oliver making chunky kids eat vegetables and a whole host of other sources letting us know we are what we eat and what joys lie inside a fat mans’ digestive system.
    To me, like most others I assume, these government figures are just numbers that do not really affect me or my day to day life. I suppose to some extent they are interesting, but unless there is a massive shift in either government policy on Obesity or a change in public attitude to healthy living, I cannot see these numbers changing much. The programmes on obese people are entertaining, but the sheer abundance of them means they have well and truly lost their shock value.
    I live in the tourist capital of the UK, Cornwall. Here we are home to many of the best beaches in the country and during the summer months we see an influx of visitors. In line with usual practice, many of these visitors take off some of their clothes, trying to get a tan. I chuckle to myself as I see lobster-coloured people patting themselves dry after the mother of all tanning sessions has turned into sunburn.
    So where am I going with this?
    I love the beach, so spend as much of my time off down there as possible. This puts me in and amongst those in various states of undress. Being the observant sort, I have noticed over the years that the population is getting fatter. Much fatter. I have seen the data in real life, before my very own eyes. The thing that I have noticed though, is that we don’t really seem to care about the fact we are a fat country.
    I was at my local beach last week, and in the café queue I counted 23 people. Of these, 17 were obese. Generally speaking, it doesn’t matter what method of measuring obesity you use, you are going to draw the same conclusion- the person you are measuring is overweight. If you are testing for obesity and not just simply measuring body composition, it has gone past the ‘You’re a bit tubby’ stage. The 17 in the queue were not just a tad heavy, they were fat, yet they were all queuing for food at an establishment where the closest option to a fruit or vegetable is the raspberry syrup you can have squirted on your ice cream. Surely if they cared about their size they would be eating from the restaurant literally yards down the road which offers healthy options?
    It made me wonder whether or not we can do anything about the increase of weight-related issues?
    We live in an age where fitness and nutritional advice is at our fingertips. The information and opportunity to get fit has never been so abundant. All foods are marked with their nutritional information, there are NHS schemes to help people get started with exercise, there are soon to be bans on certain junk food adverts, but yet the obesity figures continue to rise.
    Should we just live and let live, or should we try to fight the continuing trend towards XXXL sized clothing? Right now, it seems to me if there is a battle against obesity, it is being lost.
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