The excuses for gaining weight

November 8, 2012 10:00 am

Reuters announced that America is the most obese nation in the world, with 34% of the country’s population classified as being grossly overweight. In Europe, it’s the United Kingdom that rules the day, being fifth place in the world’s classification. With more and more weight loss clubs around, various calorie-counting systems and free of charge websites, it seems like losing weight could not be any easier. The question still remains: why do people become obese in the first place?

Psychologists would say that weight gainers stuff their mouth with food in order to silence their problems. Be it at work, at home with children or after a breakup, folks become more stressed and less immune to that comfort food in the fridge, just waiting to be eaten. Running after professional success leaves them coming home late and craving anything to eat just to not fall down.

Financial explanation would probably be that people gain weight because they can. Objectively, if they could not afford it, they would not spend thousands on burgers and fries instead of properly cooked and healthy meals. There is a reason why junk food restaurants are switching into more healthier menus just to keep those who are already overweight. Eating salads in a restaurant like this, though, is pointless, since it’s dressed with mayo and Caesar sauce.

Food merchandising and marketing practices of supermarkets can be responsible for both great savings and stuffing fridges with unhealthy and greasy foods. Marketing strategists make shoppers think that they need four boxes of frozen pizza instead of one and readymade foods end up in the kitchen, just waiting to be warmed up in the microwave. Surprisingly, it takes a lot of assertiveness to resist.

Tevye the milkman sang in Fiddler on the Roof that it was the father’s role to provide food to his family, while “Mama” was efficiently preparing and distributing it. Today’s home kitchen, however, is hardly kosher and parents more often than not buy ready meals and processed foods, which contain more chemicals and artificial ingredients. Empty calories: the new tradition.

As good as computers and internet are for school, research and smart play, children spend more time in front of a monitor than on outdoors play. Even ten years ago, parents would encourage their children to play football after homework, and enjoy free time actively. Nowadays, kids are more likely tweeting than running, liking on facebook than doing jumping jacks and uploading photos than lifting weights in the gym class. Childhood obesity is the most direct cause for adult obesity.

Medically speaking, some people may be gaining weight because of the health problems they are not aware of. After years of ignoring symptoms and misdiagnosis of diabetes, for example, people are still not aware that their sugar cravings might be the effect of insulin deficiency in pancreas. The same goes for thyroid and unequal hormone distribution throughout the body, which makes them gain weight from foods they should not have in the first place.

Weight loss companies are going overboard to get more customers to lose pounds with their help. They find simpler ways to enable “losers” to do it the in the most time-efficient way, without too much effort but with just a small amount of motivation. The secret behind weight loss and dieting, however, is that there is nothing simple about it. Without a proper, individual analysis of weight, fat and eating habits from a specialist dietician or GP, losing weight can be a lost cause.

It is often said that some people keep more fat in their body than others and this is actually true. There are no two bodies in the world that are the same, so it is only fair to admit that one needs individual and personalised advice in order to get in shape and regain their health.

This is not to say that it’s not worth trying at all; however, people in general tend to take shortcuts. Lack of immediate effects effectively discourages from keeping on track with weight loss plans. Some would say that all of this is pretty obvious and there’s really no point in dragging this topic up over and over again. If it is, why are 25% of Britons still struggling? Fast paced life, desire for professional success and simply laziness after work keep men and women in that place of their life where they don’t even feel motivated to get up from the couch, which in turn leads to problems for the future.

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  • Grumpy

    I’m confused as to why no one out there seems to understand the raw nature of our obesity: a reasonably simple scan of the internet leads to several fitness e-zines that make it perfectly clear that the commentating world is missing the point.

    Even in your article you talk of spending “thousands on burgers and fries” as though this is the reason for our obesity. I’m sorry, but its time to realise it is NOT the burger! Its the bun stuffed with sugar, the ketchup stuffed with sugar, the mayo stuffed with fat (or with sugar to replace the fat in low fat varieties) and above all its the “carbonated drink”.

    Shhh, dont say the name, because this will be a BIG Company and they will surely sue you for lack of proof if you suggest that their product is probably one of the biggest causes of obesity. Worldwide.

    Look: the French brought in a tax on “carbonated drinks”. (Maybe the Swedes did too?). At last someone has rumbled the problem: its not the carbonification (should such a word exist) that makes you fat, it’s the sugar! By the multiple spoonsfull, in your global sized bucket of drink, because you are thirsty! For sugar I suggest! (Water just wouldn’t do the job, now would it?)

    In your article you point to several excuses for the problem. They pale into insignificance in regard to sugar. Purified, processed, pure obesity-on-a-spoon!

    Its not the disease of the pancreas. It is the over tiredness of the pancreas because it was designed to deal with unprocessed raw food. And now we expect it to deal with kilograms of purified processed carbohydrates in such quantities that it simply can not deal with the strain.

    Sadly its a huge topic and well brought out in your article. But as you say, these are excuses. The reason, is processed food. And that does not include the burger!

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