Just came across an article at the BBC called Obesity ‘not individuals’ fault’. It references a UK government-backed study that, basically, claims that it is not an individual’s fault for being obese but rather that it was the fault of society, and that both society and government needed to be involved to reduce obesity.
I can see some merit in that argument but it is not going to be easy. Take cigarettes as an example. Despite decades of health warning there are still a substantial number of people who continue smoking. It’s good that there is legislation here in the UK restricting smoking in public enclosed areas (and protecting people like me from second-hand smoke) but a lot of people have not stopped smoking; they’ve just moved elsewhere. Now, outside the main entrance to Paddington Station, there is a gauntlet of smokers and it is a real pain-in-the-rear getting passed the dense smoke (hold breath, walk fast!). What I’m trying to say is that legislation and many years of health warnings haven’t made our society smoke-free. Sure, it has made a difference but not much compared to all the effort that has been put in.
Now, when it comes to obesity, how can we change society? What can government do? Yes, it will be a challenge but I do not expect to see anything change much in my lifetime…obesity, or the lack of recognition of obesity, is too well entrenched and accepted in society. A lot of people who consider themselves “fit” may be surprised at being classed as “obese” according to the stand BMI. And they can now excuse themselves “knowing” that being fat isn’t their fault (although perhaps these people would also likely also blame there “genes” and their “metabolism”). The projections showing obesity numbers increase over time are shocking.
The problem with the study is that it can be used as an excuse by individuals for being obese. Individuals need to take responsibility for their actions, but they won’t as this society is lazy and blaming society or the government is easy.
Those who really, really want to lose weight will succeed…through mental strength and determination. Those with even a minuscule of doubt may succeed in the short term but will ultimately fail. There are no short-cuts or easy ways of losing weight; I would recommend this Singletrack article on one way of keeping fit.
I think that we’re all in trouble if people are generally lazy. I don’t really know. Perhaps I’m totally wrong on all this.
Copyright © 2007 Kulvinder Singh Matharu – All Rights Reserved