Obese Britain

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Skinnybitch, 10 June 2008 Social URL.

  1. Skinnybitch

    Skinnybitch Full Member

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    Hi not sure where to post this thread.

    I know there has been alot of Media coverage of the Obesity Epidemic during the last year or so. I live in Lincolnshire and I can honestly say I have never seen so many obese people in my life. We are all on this forum to do something about our weight so please do not be offended about what I say, I am aiming it at people who do nothing about it.

    I see morbidly obese people who are too fat to walk around the supermarket, they have to have one of those electric scooter things. Yet their baskets are always full of microwave meals, biscuits etc basically foods to make you fat - and yes I am so nosey I do look in peoples trolleys and baskets and I cringe if they are fat and buying crap foods.

    Today in Asda I saw Morbidly Obese Dad and Mum and Obese child (approx 11 years old).. Do these people not realise what they are doing to their kids? How can they be so ignorant?

    When I was at school we maybe had 1 fat kid in the class now they are everywhere.

    I appreciate people can gain weight if they have an illness, are on medication etc but this seems like such an easy excuse for alot of people.

    Where were the fat people during the rationing during the war? Exactly there werent any because the couldnt over eat.

    I have an underactive thyroid which is always a good excuse for some however I have had this problem for years and used to be a size 10 weighing 9.5 stone. I have only put on weight through eating too much of the wrong food and not enough exercising - that has now changed.

    I personally think Obese people should not get treatment on the NHS if their illness is proved to be related to their weight. Harsh as it sounds but people hate paying out money and it might make people think.

    All this 'im too busy' is a load of rubbish. We are all in control of our lives and if people havent got enough time it is because they do not make enough time or they are unorganised.

    Rant over
     
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  3. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Quite a harsh post for our gentle forum, but a good one anyway:cool:

    A guy on the TV a while ago was saying something about our society being spoilt when it comes to food. That people expect to be able to eat what they want, just because they want it.

    I was a bit shocked, but he is right. We are like that. We (as a nation) assume that we have a right to 'treat' ourselves.

    Mind you, I do hate the word 'treat' when it comes to food.:mad:

    I was watching a thread on another forum a while ago, where they were talking about childrens' lunchboxes. Some school had banned certain foods (chocolate, crisps etc). Some parents were up in arms. Kiddo should be able to have a treat each day. Truth is, they probably had a 'treat' for lunch, another when getting home, and maybe even more in the evening.....every day.

    Why?

    I remember when I was young, a 'treat' was some icecream or cake Sunday teatime....not umpteen times a day.

    I know children and adults that wouldn't consider a meal finished unless it had at least one 'unhealthy' food item in it. I was like that myself:eek: It's stopped being a treat, and has turned into something that is automatically assumed to be part of the meal.

    I'm fortunate (or maybe because of the way I've brought up my children?) that neither of my boys expect 'treats'. Some chocolate or crisps might be there or not. The expectation isn't there. It's no big deal. They have a very healthy attitude to food. There is no good or bad and are now perfectly happy with a wholesome meal without the having to follow it with something less nutritious.

    I think what I'm trying to say is that just because less nutritious foods are around, and we want them, we have a responsibility to ourselves to just say no. Not all the time, but not to assume that just because we want something, then we should have it IYKWIM
     
  4. Jennyonaplate

    Jennyonaplate Gold Member

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    When i was a kid a treat was just that - a treat. It wasn't something we had every day, more likely once a week.

    Years ago i used to work in a pub with a playbarn type thing (same as wacky warehouse) and i think the saddest thing i saw was when a girl who was about 10, who was vastly overweight, desperately wanted to play with the rest of the kids at the party, but she was physically incapable of getting up the steps to the rest of the activity barn because she was so large. So what did her mum do to cheer her up as she couldn't play? Did she go and play with her on the ground floor of the barn thing, or help her up further into the barn? Oh no, she bought her two huge grab-bag packets of crisps and a king sized mars bar. It was all i could do not to go and batter the mum over the head with mars bars.

    England has got too used to large american style portions, so people simply do not understand that what they're feeding their kids is too much. I saw on a programme recently a woman who was feeding her 4 year old the same as a 13 year old boy simply because she thought that was a correct portion.

    England does have a huge problem with obesity, yet it's going to take a huge amount of re-educating, government initiatives, a massive price hike in 'treats' to make them just that, and a reduction in the amount of choice available to make people realise.
     
  5. sonban

    sonban Addicted to Minimins

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    I think all these fast food places cropping up everywhere don't help either. Over the last month I have received 12 fast food for delivery leaflets all from different places trying to compete with each other for custom. I know they are only trying to make a living but it in no way helps in making a healthier Britain it just contributes to a more obese Britain.
     
  6. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    And then the government will be accused of trying to be Big Brother, a Nanny state and all that.

    It must be difficult to re-educate sublimely, though I'm sure they could if they tried ;)

    More programmes that teach healthy eating and portion sizes, in a humourous manner, rather than documentary type programmes that tend to attract the attention of people who don't need it perhaps.

    I just wish that food items like crisps and biscuits weren't so darn cheap compared to fresh natural foods.

    I'm not sure what the answer is, but I am certain that whatever happens, half the country will object :rolleyes:
     
  7. oxoxallyoxox

    oxoxallyoxox Full Member

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    This is a fantastic thread
    I live in Ireland and we have as big a problem as the UK with obesity. Firstly I think its not 100% an obese persons fault that they are obese. Yes we are all in control of what we eat and what we put in our shopping baskets, however in saying that in Ireland there is no education about nutrition and food available. When I embarked on my weight loss journey I tried and tried to find help. Somebody who would educate me about what I should be putting into my body, needless to say my search was not successful. Eventually I had to buy lots of books - which at best were hard to understand but i perservered and I like to think now I no the basics.
    I got fat when I moved out of home - no education about food and limited money meant buying high fat content meat, no fruit of veg and lots of ready made meals. Everything I made was done in the deep fat fryer. This was my fault and I take responsibility for that
    When I had my daughter that changed. I wanted her to eat healthy and be healthy. In order to that I needed to get myself healthy and lead by example. That is where I am now. I eat healthy now everyday and I feed my daughter very well. Although she hasnt gotten her head around vegetables yet - she will get a healthy meal every day and if she doesnt eat it - well thats her choice I cant shove it down her neck but I will not give in and give her unhealthy foods - one of these days the novelty of throwing it away will wear off and she will enjoy the meals that we enjoy now.
    Where im going with this is - its one thing to pollute your own body, make yourself obese and ultimatly make yourself sick. But to make a child obese?? Well to me this is the most selfish thing a parent can do to a child. Think of the long term aspects! Your childs health, bullying in school, no friends because they cant keep up.
    Its really upsets me when I see obese children!
     
  8. Taronga Leela

    Taronga Leela Full Member

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    What people need to remember that a majority of people who fall into the obese category also fall into lower socio economic classes too.

    NOT generalising here but going on what I've learnt through the various A levels and degrees I've done is that it can also boil down to a very political stance. People within the lower socio economic groups generally do have lower academic abilities, therefore their income is generally less than fruitful. This means that they have less money to spend on food, and the money they do have for groceries has to stretch a long way. This is where junk food (have you see Iceland? Their crap junk food is so cheap!) comes into handy. What would someone who has to feed a family of 5 prefer? A bag of apples costing £1.99 or a packet of frozen chicken nuggets which could feed the family for a week or so. A lot of people are put off by the rate at which fresh producec perishes, therefore may preferr to spend their money on food which will last a while, such as frozen of tinned. I find the cost of fresh food, veg, fruit, chicken etc excruciatingly high which usually leads me to reach for a pot noodle and chocolate!

    This is a very crude and basic explanation, but it does come down to stretching what avaliable money and things. There are lots of other contributing factors which make healthy food less accessable for people in lower groups and in no way am I sticking up for people who choose to live this way, afterall everyone does have a choice but sometimes choices are limited. I think its very easy to judge someone based on what you see and stereotypes but things are not always as they seem. In my job I see very few obese women from higher classes, most women with weight issues are from lower classes. I've also noticed that on postnatal and antenatal wards the foods which their partners bring in are dependant upon which class they possibly belong to. Upper middle tend to snack on healthy, whole foods, while women from a lower group tend to snack on sugary drinks, crisps chocolate etc.

    The area which I live has an appauling breastfeeding rate, and there is a link between breastfeeding and obesity in later life. I've seen more women from higher groups breastfeed and continue to breastfeed longer than women in lower groups. Again, this is down to personal choice but a piece of research my Supervisor of Midwives undertook found that more women in lower classes were less educated toward breastfeeding, how to do it, how it works etc and the benefits to mother and baby and I've also seen in the trust I trained with my own eyes how women in lower classes are segregated and have less time dedicated to them to help establish breastfeeding that women in a higher class.

    I for one have come from a very unprivaliged background and recall eating very poorly when I was younger and I'm paying the price for it now. I'm also ensuring that my daughter does not eat rubbish food and has a healthy attitude towards nutrition.

    And just to say in NO shape of form am I calling anyone on this forum thick or stupid, or that anyone belongs to lower social groups or anything like that. I'm not particularily well off myself and I'm obese, ass is my husband! I'm purely demonstrating how easy it can be to judge people on these assumptions, where there are so many contributing factors that lead families to unhealthy weight habits.

    I could go on forever about this topic and I'm sorry this post is long!
     
  9. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    Interesting NurseBex

    I think a lot of the problems comes down to it being just so darn difficult to get it right.

    Junk food ie crisps, biscuits etc are cheap compared to the alternatives, but healthy food can be relatively cheap too....just takes much more planning and imagination.

    And it's easy to slip that empty packet of crisps into your pocket compared to a banana skin :D

    As for parents who feed their children junk. I do have some sympathy there. It doesn't take long to find that a bar of choc or packet of crisps make kiddo happy, and keeps them quiet for a while. It's so easy to use that to get that bit of peace and quiet.

    It's hard work turning off that TV and explaining why they should go out for a play in the garden, especially if they have a 'lazy' child.

    It's easier to get a takeaway than cook a meal from scratch. As kiddo gets more and more miserable as their 'friends' are judging them on their size, the parent knows that the quickest and less time consuming way (time consuming for the parent), is to buy them another computer game and a bar of choc.

    They aren't purposely trying to damage their children...they want their kids to be happy, and feeding junk gets the results prompto.

    Of course, some parents know it's not the answer, but it'll do for now... they will try harder to do the right thing...'tomorrow'.


     
  10. abz

    abz Gold Member

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    this is fascinating. i can see all points of view. and although i hold myself responsible for my weight gain, i remember 'sneaking' food when i was really small and shouldn't really know the difference between right and wrong food, so something obviously is wrong with my head, ha. but we used to have 'treats'. my grandma would have a box in her fridge, and every time i went to visit i got to have 1 biscuit. and it was exciting because it was in my special box in the fridge. there wasn't a packet waiting for me to help myself. i see kids in the supermarket just taking things off the shelves and sticking them in the trolley and mum going 'oh well, alright then' and this kid is heading for problems. the biggest shock i got was in ikea when two morbidly obese parents were walking around with a child that can't have been older than two and this little boy was HUGE. i don't know how much you'd have to feed a baby to get it that big, but assuming there were no other problems (and juding by what they were feeding him in ikea, the problem seemed evident) it was sickening behaviour.

    i'm ranting now, ha.

    abz xx
     
  11. ang

    ang Full Member

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    i agree every day i get some sort of leaflet through the door .when i was younger i dont think my parents ever brought us take aways we always had a good healthy dinners. my weight started to go up when i left school and started work and went to fast food places and now 24 years later i find myself with 10 stone to lose .i know i am the only one to blame but i am trying to do something about it now xx
     
  12. abz

    abz Gold Member

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    i just found it ridiculous when those people tried to sue macdonalds for making them fat!! i can't remember if they won or not, or even if the case is done with, but really!! talk about trying to make a fast buck. i mean, i know they should be more blatent about content but really!!

    abz xx
     
  13. Taz

    Taz Spam Hunter

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    I blame no one but myself for my weight, I am the one who decides what I eat and when I eat it. I agree that buying good food can be more expensive than buying crap but I actually spend less on the good stuff now than I did on all the non-filling, barely-satisfying junk that I used to shove in my mouth.

    With what the health service spends on treating the effects of obesity they could easily put more money into solving the root of the problem rather than the ailments that arise from it. More vouchers for slimming clubs, fruit and veg vouchers, free gym memberships.

    I think it's a bit harsh to say that obese people should be charged for treatment, I think that people who present with obesity related ailments should be offered help to lose weight.
     
  14. toller-girl

    toller-girl constantly confused

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    Ok, as long as you also refuse to treat anyone for smoking/drinking related injuries, car crashes that are the drivers fault, any sports injuries (particularly those associated in extreme sports) etc.

    In fact, why not have a questionnare at A&E and if you are in any way to blame for your illness/injury, you have to pay for your treatment? Defeats the object of having the NHS!

    People can become obese for a lot of reasons. Sometimes it's due to lack of education, sometimes it's due to a poor lifestyle, sometimes it's an emotional problem.

    People are hugely influenced by advertising (which is why it's a multi million pound industry) and everywhere we go we're surrounded by adverts telling us we deserve a treat and that it will make us feel good. Food is a socially acceptable way to deal with emotion really. If you came home from work every day and said 'ooh what a day, I need some wine!' quite quickly people would start to worry. If you came home and said 'ooh what a day, I need some chocolate' then nobody would bat an eyelid. Of course the bigger you get, the more bad days you get, the less there is to cheer you up and the more you eat.

    Food can be an addiction, in the same way that gambling, exercise, shopping, sex etc can be. I know someone who had an addiction to exercise. She was exercising vigourously very late into her pregnancy, and very nearly lost her child. Had her emotional crutch been unhealthy food rather than exercise, I think people would react very differently to her.

    Also, so many people equate food with love, it's part of the reason we are seeing so many overweight children and pets. People want to nurture, care and love their children (and pets) and see giving them lots of nice food as a good way of doing that.

    I think we need to stop the stigma attached with obesity, and help people get their lives back. I do think the stigma is part of the problem. Because obesity is associated with fundamental character flaws (3 of the 7 deadly sins!) people have to find a way to explain it. Parents will decide they have the fat gene, so it stands to reason little Tommy will also be plump. If we can get through to them that it's nothing to be ashamed of, then they can admit their lifetyle needs improving.

    If you attack people, they will either become defensive 'who cares if I'm fat?' or defeatest 'I'm useless and worthless' and neither approach is going to make any long term difference.

    Very few people deliberately harm their children, the question isn't 'how can these people do it to their kids' the question should be 'how can we help them make their kids healthy?'

    Sorry, went off on a rant a bit then! :rolleyes:
     
  15. abz

    abz Gold Member

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    have you seen the news this morning? the plan in some county somewhere to pay parents to feed their children healthy food and get them innoculated and things? same as paying people to stop smoking. the people who don't smoke already don't get paid to stop, so why are others paid to not smoke? those that already feed their children properly don't get paid a couple of hundred quid? so why would people that don't? i'm not saying something doesn't need to be done, but rewarding people for not keeping their kids healthy seems insane to me!!

    abz xx
     
  16. Taz

    Taz Spam Hunter

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    I totally agree with you there Abz, they would be better off putting the money into education so that parents will feed their kids healthy food from the start. Parents who persistently feed their kids junk should be treated as neglectful
     
  17. abz

    abz Gold Member

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    maybe not treated as neglectful, but undereducated perhaps. and given a little boost. i understand that food is insanely expensive. especially good food. and if you don't have much it's much easier to pop to iceland and get the cheapest ready meals going, so help with food money perhaps i can get, or some such thing... i don't know... i've been awake too long... zzzzzzzzzzzzz ha

    abz xx
     
  18. toller-girl

    toller-girl constantly confused

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    What about vouchers that can be used for food (in place of or as well as benefits) but that can only be used on healthier options?
     
  19. jennikay

    jennikay Gold Member

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    I don't believe in a 'fat gene', it's a load of rubbish from people who want to feel better about their weight.

    I'm intrigued to see if my kids will be fat.
    My guess is no, since I was skinny until I quit swimming twice a week/was given money for lunch instead of the set meal you have at primary school.
    Cause as soon as that happened, I was in the shop buying coke and chocolate before school and having rubbish for lunch (Rice and spaghetti hoops was 50p, I was given £1.50).

    I absolutely cannot blame my parents, they brought me up to think cereal was junk food! (Which alot of it is!) But I mean, I thought rice crispies were junk, I was like 'what's this?' when I stayed at my friend's house and was fed coco pops :p
    Chocolate was once a month at most!

    I remember my first cheeseburger too, I was fed it by a friend and I remember it tasting absolutely disgusting :p hence why I gave up McD's a few years ago.

    And now I'm 'withdrawn' from real food I can see good choices/bad choices. Such as, I went to the shop today with my friend (who's thin) and she bought a bottle of water.
    A few weeks ago I would've bought a few chocolate bars and maybe a can of coke (crisps were never my thing; too much salt).


    Anyways. The point I'm making is, it's all about healthy choices, and if made from an early age then a child will remain slim until/unless they start to eat badly.
    So adult obesity is not necessarily the parents' fault, but child obesity is.
     
  20. Taz

    Taz Spam Hunter

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    It has been proved that there is a gene that has a tendency to obesity - a fat gene - but it can also be found in stick thin people. It will only play a part if you let it and if other elements work with it to pre-dispose you to obesity but it is certainly not an excuse for being overweight, it doesn't mean you will always be overweight and there's nothing you can do about it
     
  21. KD

    KD Gone fishing

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    As Taz says, there is a fat gene.

    Watching a programme the other day where they got hundreds of people together in a shopping centre. Tested them. Those with the fat gene were mainly the slightly overweight and skinny ones :D

    One in six people have the gene, have 15% more body fat, and weigh an average of 6-7 pounds more because of it. Yes, that's right folks. 6-7 pounds, not 6-7 stone :D

    Good post there jennikay. It really has got me thinking. My sons have been raised to eat healthily. Having said that, I have tried desperately hard to teach them about what we need to eat to keep strong and healthy. Hopefully I haven't taught them that this food is bad and that food is good.

    I wanted them to grow without food issues. To know the score, but not to be scared of chocolate, or go to chocolate if they felt like rebelling against me :eek:

    I wanted food to be 'issueless'.

    They are now aged 20 and 16. So far, so good. They are both slim and very healthy. They will pick at healthy foods to fill a gap, but at other times will go and buy themselves a bar of choc (which will sometimes stay in their pockets for days:rolleyes:).

    I told the 16 year old what a calorie was the other day. That's probably the one thing that I've been more hesitant about teaching them.

    Even then, I was scared. I didn't really want them to know what a calorie was. I don't want them to watch calories. I want them to do what they are doing now. Eating what they need to stop them being hungry. No thought of weight, no thought of overeating. No fear of getting overweight, just eating to live. It's perfect. I love to watch them and see what a fantastically healthy attitude they have to food. Leaving half a favourite meal without a bat of an eyelid because they've had enough.

    Ramble, ramble....reading your message though jennikay has made me wonder if they will always be like this. I think I might cry if they aren't:cry: I've worked so damn hard on trying to get it right!

    I think that's a great idea!

    I love this thread, but I think I'll do a separate one as I'll be interested in people's ideas as to what the answer is. Can leave this one to continue discussing who's in the wrong etc :)
     
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