Thursday, 18 April 2013

The FAT Debate

I have a somewhat morbid obsession with fat people. You know all of those programs 'supersize vs superskinny' 'embarrassing fat bodies' 'biggest loser' etc. I love them. I don't know what it is, maybe it's the validation I get in knowing I am not fat or maybe it's a slightly sick interest into how badly a person can distort and stretch the human body. Whatever it is, as a result of these programs I've been thinking about weight issues a lot recently. I have a friend who's very interested in health and fitness and as she studies nutrition we often meet for coffee and end up talking about issues such as obesity for hours on end. 

My Mum was always health conscious and brought us up knowing how to cook healthily, enjoy food as it should be enjoyed and encouraged us to indulge in small amounts so we still treated our body well. We ate healthy, balanced meals and because of this I now cook healthy, balanced meals. It is only in the past few months that I realise how lucky I am to have had this upbringing. 

In one recent episode of these aforementioned programs they profiled a man who didn't understand why he was overweight, it turned out he snacked on almost a loaf of bread every day. And guess what? He didn't know it was unhealthy. 

Then there's all the people doing Slimming World. Have you heard about slimming world? It encourages the consuming of 'low fat' foods and almost actively discourages a balanced, protein filled diet with good fats and wholesome carbs. 

As my friend often says; "since all of these low fat diets started the world has done nothing but get fatter". The thing is, it's all lies and misconceptions. Every diet is a bad idea but people are so lost in a field of mixed messages and conflicting information that they grab onto the first diet that makes sense and make it their mantra. 

Have you ever seen a mother feeding her child Ribena? I have.

Have you ever seen someone having a Venti Caramel Coffee Frappucino with a Skinny Blueberry Muffin for their lunch? I have.

Have you every seen someone ordering two burgers in McDonald's? I have.

My question is, where does it end? It seems society is slowly being divided into fat people and health freaks. I'm afraid I don't have a solution, or even a suggestion but this FAT debate gets me down every day. More and more people are spending their lives over weight and out of breath, and that's no way to live.

As my friend and I talked, we both disclosed an intense fear for the challenge of bringing up our kids with any sense of how to look after themselves, some respect for their bodies and knowledge of health and fitness. This challenge seems increasingly insurmountable to me. What can we do? Are we going to let this terrible trend continue for another generation?

R x

1 comment:

  1. This is a subject which interests me a lot too. I studied it a bit in my degree and as a personal trainer, but even before that I won an award for public speaking talking on the issue of obesity! I also worry about the people who think they're fit because they're thin when the two things aren't necessarily connected - you're fit because you do exercise and it's still possibly to have fat round internal organs and look thin.

    I think we need role models who are a healthy weight. Girls look at fashion models and either starve themselves or feel as if it's not worth trying to be slim because they could never look quite like that. It's fine for models to be thin, but we need other women to fill the gap in social perception. It's so hard to teach kids (and adults) how to love food and enjoy themselves and respect their bodies all at the same time, but it shouldn't be that hard! (I am shocked at the man who "snacks" on a whole loaf of bread!)

    My biggest hate with diets are the low-carb ones. Ridiculous, if not downright dangerous. Dr. Atkins has a lot to answer for.