Are you game to give your opinion?
Every Monday I plan to blog about a polarising topic which affects us all no matter where we live in the World. And I would love to know your thoughts.
I was inspired to choose my first, rather heavyweight topic, after reading Kay’s latest blog post about what Japan, the slimmest industrialised nation in the world, is doing to manage its rising obesity levels. As Kay says, it is a sensitive issue for a lot of us so we need to tread carefully.
In the interest of full disclosure, I am one of those people who has always struggled with my weight. Sometimes I feel like I am in some kind of Pudgy Purgatory, never destined to make it to the highly desired, yet unattainable utopia of Skinnydom. It takes discipline, will power and knowledge to manage what goes in my mouth. It is a choice for most of us but not always an easy one for a hundred and one reasons.
However, the fact is, the World's population is getting fatter and fatter and you don't have to look far to see the evidence. It is everywhere.
Strangely, after reading Kay's post, I opened this morning's newspaper to see this headline on the front page.
Since the 1980s, obesity levels of adults and children have grown at an alarming rate across the world. In fact they have DOUBLED in what is a relatively short time.
Australia, according to this newspaper report, is wallowing in lard and we are smoking and drinking to extremes. Gluttony it seems, has become the new sin of choice. And yet, oddly while all this eating is going on, we are also spending increasing billions on gym memberships, diet foods and weight loss clinics.
Somewhere or other it has all gone pear shaped.
We already know that obesity causes a huge host of health problems which inevitably will result in shorter lives, an increased burden on families, strain on the already overloaded heath care system and a drain on society in general. Who is going to pay for the poor food choices being made and consumed?
Because it will not be just the people consuming the empty calories.
Australia comes 6th on the World Health Organisation’s Obesity World rankings. The USA is sitting in number 1 position followed by Mexico, United Kingdom, Slovakia, and Greece. Canada ranks at 11 and surprisingly, countries such as India are also quickly climbing the rankings.
Japan on the other hand, rates at 28 with only 3% of its population considered to be obese (compared to Australia’s 27%).
This bulging epidemic is forcing governments to take action. Some European countries, like Denmark have introduced a 'Fat Tax' on products with high levels of saturated fat, in the same way many have done with alcohol and cigarettes.
Japan, on the other hand, has taken rather a more contentious approach to how it manages the problem. Being thin isn’t just the price you pay for fashion or social acceptance in Japan; it’s also now the law there.
So what do we do before the world literally explodes? What strategies may work?
Whichever way we go, we will have to pay for our sins one way or another.
So, perhaps it's best to slowly back away from the cookie jar now people.
Even though I really, really do love those chocolate creams....