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Obesity Epidemic - Who's To Blame

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11. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Quoting wotthefiqh

Some responsibility must be borne by TP members who start threads with the subject -

How do you like your chocolate?

OR

Favourite Food Destinations

OR

Have you ever eaten fish head or fish bones?

Moderation in everything except travel.

Yeah, where is the moderation?
Isadora delete those bad threads Wotthefuqh has just reported.
(just joking before anybody accuses me of taking too much responsibility for the moderation)

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 19, 2007, at 7:14 AM by Mel. ]

12. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 9y

Quoting Mel.

Quoting wotthefiqh

Some responsibility must be borne by TP members who start threads with the subject -

How do you like your chocolate?

OR

Favourite Food Destinations

OR

Have you ever eaten fish head or fish bones?

Moderation in everything except travel.

Yeah, where is the moderation?
Isadora delete those bad threads Wotthefuqh has just reported.
(just joking before anybody accuses me of taking too much responsibility for the moderation)

I see you have the same opinion as I have

Mal,
You don't delete the message, it has been a constant throughout human history to kill the messenger.

More chocolate for uz!!!

13. Posted by kezin (Budding Member 104 posts) 9y

Quoting Utrecht

I guess stupidity is the main cause of this problem, as it seems that smarter people are much less likely to be a real fat person. Junk food and all other sorts of bad and fat food are mostly cheaper and therefore more eaten in poor families. Also I don't understand why people find that food more delicious...good chocolate and red wine is just as delicious... No seriously, why don't people like brussels sprouts...or durians... Ok, seriously....it is stupidity.

- Wealthier, more ' affluent ' family members tend to be more educated- in the formal sense of the word- and thus more informed ( generally ) about current and conflicting issues re: nutrition. Individuals within ' poorer ' family networks are not less intelligent than individuals within more affluent ones.

14. Posted by Clarabell (Travel Guru 1696 posts) 9y

Quoting kezin

Quoting Utrecht

I guess stupidity is the main cause of this problem, as it seems that smarter people are much less likely to be a real fat person. Junk food and all other sorts of bad and fat food are mostly cheaper and therefore more eaten in poor families. Also I don't understand why people find that food more delicious...good chocolate and red wine is just as delicious... No seriously, why don't people like brussels sprouts...or durians... Ok, seriously....it is stupidity.

- Wealthier, more ' affluent ' family members tend to be more educated- in the formal sense of the word- and thus more informed ( generally ) about current and conflicting issues re: nutrition. Individuals within ' poorer ' family networks are not less intelligent than individuals within more affluent ones.

Thankyou Kezin. I also felt a bit uncomfortable with Utrechts desription of overweight people as "stupid". Its not very helpful and rather insensitive. Although its true that statistically, the people who are obese are most likely to be those in poor communcities with less education, I don't think it is simply lack of education, I am sure it is more complex than that. Everyone knows eating too many chips/burger/pizza/pies etc and not doing enough exersize will make you fat.

I think that there is no single reason for the "obesity epidemic" I think it is the result of a whole load of problems. Lets have a look at some of the popular arguments.

"People exersize less". Well, its my guess that this is the biggest reason, more than anything else. Why do people exercize less? My guesses: Jobs tend to be more sedentary, people don't walk places, children aren't made to do as much sport in schools, leisure pursuits are based around movies, computers, drinking etc. I would also argue that people have less leisure time, they work longer hours etc. Many people don't believe they have time for exercise.

"Junk food is cheap, fresh veg etc is expensive.... " A lot of people will argue with this, and say no, that actually you can make really cheap healthy vegetable dishes. And yes, thats sort of true. You have to knoow how though. But actually, if you go to somewhere like Jack Fulton or Iceland and see how cheap the frozen pizzas and readymeals are, I think plate for plate it is cheaper to eat rubbish...........This leads me onto the second point... many people don't know how to cook anymore.

"Junk food advertising and fast food chains etc" Well, of course you have a choice, but lets face it they are evrywhere. They wouldn't spend all that money on advertising if it didn't persuade people to eat their food.


"Stress"
Are people more stressed and less happy than they were, say, 50 years ago? Food and alcohol is so much available, so maybe comfort eating and drinking are more prevalent? And while some people use exersise as way of coping with stress, for others, stress means feeling tired and lying on the sofa with crisps and wine.

"We give young kids too much choice". Like many people my age and older, when I was little, I ate what was put on my plate or I went hungry. I was fed proper food. I did not get re-constituted chicken in the shape of a teddy bear, or sweets/candy pretending to be breakfast cereal. I watch all these programmes, like Supernanny or Jamie oliver, where there are kids that will only eat one thing, like white bread. And its because their parents let them.

Other theories I have on the obesity problems:
Something about the way PE is taught in schools puts kids off exersice later in life.
Kids don't play outside so much because there are not enough safe places to play, and the media has parents convinced there are predatory paedophiles behind every tree, or they are worried about anti-social behaviour.
Computers.
And don't get me started on the thing about families not eating together and everything, because that's probably the cause of half the western world's troubles....

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 19, 2007, at 9:26 AM by Clarabell ]

15. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4136 posts) 9y

Excellent points there Clarabell.

I raised this topic for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I committed myself to an exercise and diet regime back in January as my new year resolution. Although not obese by any stretch of the imagination, I've watched myself put on a kilogram per year for the past number of years and decided that enough was enough. Through a mixture of running and light weight lifiting, I've lost these kilograms now and have gained a lot of muscle mass, mostly in my legs from running, and I haven't been fitter for many, many years. On the diet front, I always ate quite well - not too much junk - but the portion sizes I ate were largish and when I really examined my diet I realised that I could eat less junk food.

Secondly, I realised how insidious the marketing of junk food was when I took my kids shopping. The strategically placed packets of sweets, crisps, soft drink, etc. aimed at children really made me angry. But then, this is also aimed at adults. Every petrol station is a junk food shop where you have to walk past literally hundreds of packets of crisps and bars of cholocate and other associated rubbish, only to be asked if you want "two chocolate bars for the price of one" by the cashier. Go and buy your newspaper from the newsagent and again, the tiered counter is littered with chocolate bars and other junk, together with gambling lottery/scratch tickets. Supermarkets, especially "Woolworths" in Australia, who market themselves as the "Fresh Food People", are nothing more than the "Junk Food People" and are the country's largest retailer of fat laden snacks, sugary soft drinks, and addictive tobacco products. Over the past decade every retail outlet has morphed into a de facto chocolate shop.

So, as Clarabell said I believe it's more than just a matter of self-control. Yet the message from the general public, through discussion forums and in the general media, is one of "parents need to take responsibility and say no to their children" and "no one if forcing you to eat junk food". Yet this lets the corporates of the hook way too easily. To my mind, this predatory, in-your-face advertising, promotion and saturation-sellling of junk food is no different from prostitutes plying their trade in the shops, in the petrol stations, and throughout society and expecting people to simply say "no". This may seem like a silly analogy, but it's very much the same as it's about temptation and availability.

Last weekend, I went to a surf carnival at Cronulla (in Sydney). The kids were all slim, tanned and fit and were actively running around, swimming and enjoying themselves. Yet almost every male adult member of the club was sporting two things; a surf club shirt and a large, disgusting beer gut. Once the activities were over, these disgusting, overweight men rewarded the kids with a grease-laden sausage BBQ and a large carton of chocolate milk.

Is it any wonder the average person is fat?

16. Posted by kombizz (Full Member 1416 posts) 9y

rich Hollywood stars

17. Posted by Erik85 (Respected Member 274 posts) 9y

I'd say it's the multitude of things that have already been mentioned.

I'd also like to add that a lot of this can be seen through what is called a consumption culture. We are basically bombarded with advertising (a lot of which is for food), promotions, deals, in which junk food has appealed to many people because if it's taste. And of course now that society is recognising the need for a healthy lifestyle, mass marketing is switching towards "healthy" products for a premium price (fad diets, etc) and the belief of having to consume products with a "healthy" label in order to be healthy. Eg. Heres a bag of sugar, it's 99.9% fat free! or Hey look at this [insert flashy food/exercise machine name], all you need to do is do this 3 times a week with diet and exercise (well duh, diet and exercuse will do this anyway)

It's a pity that such a large portion of the world is starving and malnourished, yet in developed countries so many are obese at the same time, just doesn't make sense to me!

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 19, 2007, at 10:48 PM by Erik85 ]

18. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Quoting james

I've watched myself put on a kilogram per year for the past number of years and decided that enough was enough.

After I had the baby I had put on quite a few kilos.
With a baby there was not time to go to gyms etc.
It was then I started looking into health and fitness.
I wanted it to be not time consuming and maintainable.
I am now several kilos lighter and fairly well toned all the time. I also weigh less than before I was pregnant.
I dont go on any diets.
I do eat some junk food(meaning things like french fries, pizzas, cookies etc), but it is only around 10 to 20% of what I eat. My body seems to be able to deal with that much without putting on weight.
For the other 80% I avoid white sugar and make sure meals are a balance of fat, protein and carbohydrate. I think this balance and the avoidance of white sugar which plays havoc with blood sugar levels is the secret to my staying in shape.
I also do some very moderate exercise. Around 20 minutes of aerobic exercise and yoga per day. Also I dont need a lot of time at once for this exercise. I do it for 5 minutes 4 times per day so it fits in between other things I am doing.
I was very surprised to discover that an adult only needs 800 calories per day. Most health reports say 2000 to 3000 per day. 800 may seem like very little. Well it would be if u try to only eat 800 calories worth of processd food.
I wish I knew all this when I was 20 and then I would not have had to wait until I was over 30 to have the body I want.

Mel

19. Posted by mikeyBoab (Travel Guru 5077 posts) 9y

Quoting Mel.


I was very surprised to discover that an adult only needs 800 calories per day.

That is ridiculously low Mel.

During the Second World War, Ancel Keys at the University of Minnesota conducted experiments in semi-starvation - volunteers had their caloric intake reduced from 3200 calories a day to 1800 calories a day - well above the 800 that you suggest.

Where did you get the figure of 800 from? Perhaps 800 would get you by for a couple of days but you couldn't live on a sustained intake of only 800 calories.

20. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 9y

Having just lost almost 2.5 stone in weight (since 1 year ago) this thread has been very interesting. I agree with everything Clara & James have said there are so many factors in why people can become obsese (me l blamed my glands and l wasnt obsese!!). Personally it was laziness - l like good food, l also drink way too much alcohol than recommended, and as a cop out factor l have a busy job which means l grab a bar of chocolate out of a machine and sit at my desk during lunch instead of getting up getting away from it all and going for a walk.

I lost the weight by firstly going to weight watchers to get my self on a controlled path of diet and portion size, then the weight just fell off literally - lm in now 2 dress sizes smaller than this time last year.

But its not easy - sticking a micro meal in (esp when you live alone) after a hard days work is so much easier than starting to cook from scratch for one. Still it was worth it (bar the expense of a new wardrobe!) and lve learnt good habits.

Another side to this question is the fascination with body weight and size and when is enough enough, you read daily about the size 0 issue and how females are starving themselves to become this ideal shape and size - that has to be considered too. Remember Marilyn Monroe was a UK size 14 and looked amazing. Anyone any thoughts on this side of the debate?