The Looming Crisis of Obesity in the West


If you’re trying to lose weight, then you may have found that dieting is actually quite tough and requires a fair amount of willpower, dedication and determination to be fully successful. Every day, all around the world, thousands of people begin diets or consume diet pills because they want to re-sculpt their figures, become healthier, have more energy in their daily lives or because they are concerned about the long term effects of being overweight.

There is a crisis of obesity looming in some Western countries – particularly the USA, Britain and Australia – where up to a quarter of adults and (in some areas) up to a third of young people are clinically obese. This could have a profound effect not only upon the health of these nations’ peoples, but also their economies in coming years. People who struggle with obesity often suffer with additional problems in their lives, such as anxiety or depression about their condition, difficulty with mobility and personal care, and of course the complications of weight-related conditions such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancers, the treatment of which drain enormous resources from the public purses of these countries.

The strains that severely overweight people put upon their own lives and the health and welfare systems of their countries could have a profound effect upon the productivity and overall health of these nations as we move forward into the future, and government agencies in these countries are trying to improve the health of their citizens, with limited success, through public education. The major problems seem to be that many parents do not know what kind of foods to feed their children (or indeed, themselves) or even how much they should be eating, and the ease of choosing fatty, salty, and usually nutritionally almost worthless microwave dinners, fast food or takeaways over home-cooked food appeals to many, to the detriment of them, their children, and their societies at large.

Of course one of the least helpful ways of convincing severely overweight people that they need to change their lifestyles immediately is to keep on at them about the disastrous effects of eating too much of the wrong foods. Harping on at people who nearly always already know that their lifestyles are likely to knock years off their lives usually makes them just switch off, but, other than shock, what methods can be successful?

As with almost any problem of this sort (let us think of alcohol or drug addiction as analogies) a patient must want treatment, and must want the treatment to work, if a cure is to be effective. An obese individual will only lose weight if they want to, whether they choose to do so by willpower, gastric band, lipo-suction or diet pills. After all, a horse must be thirsty to drink, even if we have dragged him all the way to the river.

Source by David K Jackson