Beat bat­tle of the bulge

Daily News - - VIEWS & ANALYSIS -

BACK in the day, many peo­ple had a sim­ple ex­pla­na­tion for be­ing over­weight or bor­der­ing on obe­sity. “I have fat bones” or “my fam­ily has a fat gene” were the usual ex­pla­na­tions and they were ac­cepted.

To drive the point home, the fat per­son would “demon­strate” just how fat their bones were by thrust­ing their big wrists for­ward for all to see.

Overeat­ing, bing­ing on junk food and lack of ex­er­cise were never blamed.

The sad thing is that those peo­ple would in many in­stances go on to have fat chil­dren and the cy­cle would be per­pet­u­ated. The chil­dren would then go on to blame their fat­ness on the “fat gene”.

Yes­ter­day was World Obe­sity Day and ac­cord­ing to the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO), world­wide obe­sity has more than dou­bled since 1980.

The sit­u­a­tion is get­ting out of con­trol. The WHO statis­tics state that in 2014 more than 1.9 bil­lion adults were over­weight.

Of those, at least 600 mil­lion were obese. In the same year, 41 mil­lion chil­dren un­der five were over­weight or obese.

It’s one thing see­ing obese adults, but a dif­fer­ent thing al­to­gether see­ing obese chil­dren. One can only imag­ine what they go through daily.

Many peo­ple will prob­a­bly dis­agree, but when chil­dren are over­weight the only peo­ple to blame are the par­ents.

A par­ent’s re­spon­si­bil­ity is not only to en­sure that a child has a roof over their head or clothes on their back. Par­ents also need to teach their chil­dren good eat­ing habits, which they will also pass on to their chil­dren.

It’s sim­ple. If you sus­pect that your child spends all his/her pocket money on sug­ary drinks and junk food at the school tuck­shop, it’s time to stop giv­ing the child lunch money and pre­pare healthy lunches to eat at school.

Obe­sity is some­thing that is mostly self-in­flicted, but pre­ventable.

In many in­stances it starts in child­hood and when a child has not learnt to eat cor­rectly, un­less some in­ter­ven­tion is put in place, this child will grow into an adult that per­pet­u­ates those bad habits.

To stop the in­crease of ill­nesses such as hy­per­ten­sion, di­a­betes, heart dis­ease and stroke, let’s start look­ing closely at what we put into our mouths and the quan­tity thereof.

Let’s start right now.

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