- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Why is the country overweight?
According to reports, in the next few years almost all teenagers in Britain will be overweight. Pretty much all adults will be. People will experience record highs of diabetes and heart-disease, and we'll be left out of breath just thinking about exercise.
It's a serious problem, and a problem I'm sure we can all see, whether you are overweight, or whether it's a friend, relative or person you're acquainted with, and let's be honest, you don't want to hear that throughout man's thousands of years of battling giant wilder beast, Mammoths and tigers, he was made extinct because of a "Royale with cheese."
But why are we becoming overweight? It's easy to blame everything else but ourselves. Many will say "Oh it's our upbringing, the way I was brought up!" Others will say it's an inability to buy healthy, fresh fruit and vegetables. Whatever we tell ourselves the reason is, there is a reason, and deep down we all know what it is.
It's easier to get to McDonald's.
So, you're hungry. It's late, the shops are shut and there's nowhere to go. You've not got much in, just half-a-bag of Pasta, some peppers, and maybe an onion. If you're lucky you might have a can of Tuna left in the cupboards from some time in the last Century, maybe a jar or ancient Pickled onions too.
So, what do you do? Do you make something with the Pasta, or do you just say "screw it" and try the McDonald's drive-thru to get a Big-Mac and yes, you'd like fries with that.
Chances are you'd take the Big-Mac. It's a natural instinct. We're humans, we just want to be fed in the easiest way possible, and here is fast-food, ready to satisfy our desire for food, and satisfy it NOW! And this is precisely how they make their money. Whether you're rich, or poor, fat or thin. They know you want something to eat that requires very little effort, and very little preparation.
Okay, so before you shout "Aha! It's Burger King's fault I can't walk down the road without causing a small earthquake!" It's important to note, it's our fault too. Whilst man has a primal desire to go for the easiest route possible, we have a conscience which says otherwise. We can say no, and make something with that Pasta. But we'll always try and give ourselves an excuse for taking the easy route. "Oh it's late, and I'm too tired to cook, I might burn the house down!" or "It's just this once, and it won't happen again!"
Well it will happen again. If you let yourself off for it once, you'll do it over, and over, until one day you look in the mirror and see that we all resemble Elephants, except without the trunks.
We're all skint nowadays.
To those who don't know what skint means, well it means having no money.
It's a recession. More and more people are losing their jobs. The economy, despite what the experts say, doesn't seem to be recovering, and boy do food prices reflect this!
Prices are going up, as a fellow Hubber pointed out it's cheaper to buy 2 liters of lemonade than it is to buy 2 liters of milk! I could eat for a week on cheap, low quality high calorie food for less than £30, but I'd soon get fat, and bored of eating cow entrails and chicken feet. Unsurprisingly this meat is cheap to buy, cheap to process, and cheap to sell, plus they don't have to say on the packet "Contains cow butts, and chicken toenails". As long as it came from a Chicken, nobody cares.
Okay, what about healthy food...Well it's more expensive than cheap unhealthy crap, let's be honest. People can argue that it depends on where you buy it from, and you're right, I can buy a full lettuce for £1, and whilst you may argue "That's not too bad", when you can buy 8 burgers for 84p, we all know what we're going for. Even if you do buy healthy food, good for you...But ask yourself this, how much? Enough to be healthy. Enough to feel healthy? I didn't think so...
Food isn't the only problem either. Gym memberships are becoming more expensive, and so is exercise equipment. "It's like they want us to get fat!" Except they, whoever "They" are, keep saying we're all going to die if we don't change. Odd...
We'd all rather be doing something else.
Okay, so gym memberships are in fact rising. But the last time I went into my local Gym, it was completely empty, except for the smell of disappointment and fear.
It seems that now the new-year buzz has worn off, people can't be bothered to attend Gyms again, we just want to watch films, play Xbox and check Facebook.
In England, more people have an Xbox Live membership than they have a Gym membership. Alright, I made that bit up, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it were true. After all, what would you rather do, sit in front of the TV with a cuppa tea, shooting people on the other side of the world on Call of Duty, or spend an hour of two in the gym, running, lifting and doing boring old exercise. A lot of people will choose the gym hands down, and good for you! But most of us won't. We'd rather be doing something else.
Anything else too, by the seems of things. TV, Films, drinking, playing scrabble, slowly banging our head against a wall. We're all just too bored of exercise, and will avoid it at any costs...But one of the main reasons we're put off the gym, is because we're worried what other people will think. "They'll laugh cause I can't bench-press 300lbs whilst reciting the pledge of allegiance." Truth is, they won't. They probably don't care. Hell the chances are they were probably like you at one point, they just stuck it out, will you?
Food tastes SO good.
Okay, back to the pasta problem. Which did you choose? The Big-Mac probably. Why? Well it's convenient for one. And it tastes good. Like, seriously good. Don Gorske will testify to that, after 25,000 of the infamous burgers! The problem with unhealthier food is this, it tastes better. It's filled with chemicals, which added up make it more advertising to humans than bland, beige pasta. In fact, a lot of Chinese take-out food has a certain chemicals in it which makes you hungrier. So you buy more. After a night of binge eating you either come away with a massive sense of guilt...Or a case of diabetes.
And it's not a laughing matter either. Children are the most easily drawn in. They'll eat anything that tastes good. If it tastes bad, they won't touch it. Not even if it meant their life. They just want chocolate, sweets and cakes. And occasionally Gummy Bears. Maybe this is why our kids are getting to be more and more overweight? Jamie Oliver certainly thinks so, and his campaign to get children in America to eat healthily is certainly failing slowly. After all, when normal milk, and chocolate milk is on offer, which would you choose?
If unhealthy food tasted as bad as it is, would we buy less? Or more?
I'm just getting too old for this sh...
Some people will argue they're putting on weight because of their age. It's true too. As you get towards middle age, you start to store more fat, and put on more weight. It's almost completely inescapable! There's nothing we can do. Fortunately I'm young, so haven't experienced these changes yet, but if you're older you very well might have.
But you should look at your lifestyle anyway. If you are putting on weight, is it down to you're fast approaching old age, or is it because you're not helping yourself out by eating bacon sandwiches every hour of every day? Maybe that's an exaggeration, but seriously, are you helping yourself out? Are you doing enough? Most likely not.
A lot of people put on more weight when they reach this stage because they give up. They see their futile attempts to lose weight and say "F*** this, I can't be bothered, why eat healthy when I'm putting on weight!" without seeing that, actually it's natural.
The truth is...
The truth is...I don't know why the country is becoming overweight. There's a strong amount of evidence saying that it's actually Fast-Food's fault we're getting fat. But is it entirely its fault? You can say no to their food, or downsize your portions. You can make something healthier, and more nutritious than a "Royale with Cheese". You can go to the gym. Whilst you might not see the benefits of healthy eating and exercise straight away, you might end up feeling healthier, and after all, it's not all about self-image, it's about your health too. Whether you're overweight, just right, or underweight, as long as you are healthy then it doesn't matter what you look like. But in this race to become the most beautiful, too many people forget this.
Okay, what should I do?
You probably know what you should do by now. You know what is right, and what is wrong. I'd be insulting your intelligence if I told you how to improve your lifestyle to make you healthier, happier and more attractive. But I'll tell you anyway!
Firstly, Goddammit just make your own food. When you make your own food you burn calories because you're running around the kitchen fetching and carrying things. When you buy it ready made you don't. Plus you know what has gone into a Spaghetti Bolognase that you've just made. You can't be sure what is in the burgers that you've bought from a random store. As, rather disgustingly, a teacher once pointed out to me. "You can never be sure if it's just the bums and lips in those burgers you're eating."
Secondly, whilst this is a recession, it's not an excuse not to eat healthily. We need to so we can live long and fruitful lives. If you really cannot afford to buy healthier foods for you and your children, if you have any, then look at what you are spending. You don't need a cable subscription if you don't really watch any of the channels. If you have a crippling drug habit, perhaps you should consider giving that up to buy nicer food.
Thirdly, you can't just give up with exercise because you don't want to be there. Well you can, but you won't benefit from it. Truth is, barely anybody wants to go out for a run, or go to the gym for an hour, but the benefits far outweigh the costs. That's fine if you seriously can't be bothered, and give up...But seriously, look at it this way. 20 minutes a day is all it takes to be somewhat healthier. 30 minutes of pure exercise is ideal, but 20 minutes will do if you want to achieve the bare minimum. Is 20 minutes a day worth a few years later on in life? You bet your ass it is.
Fourthly, unhealthy food does taste great...Which is why you should avoid it. Think about it logically, if it tastes good, it's a treat. Once in a while. If you eat healthy food that, whilst not tasting great has the nutrients you need, surely when you do get to gorge on a cream bun after weeks of sugar-deprivation, you will be able to appreciate it more?
Besides, healthy food doesn't always have to be bland. Ever tried mixing a little cayenne pepper in with your food? Maybe you should experiment with healthier foods, you might like something you make. Personally I quite like Ratatouille, but that's just me.
And finally, are you getting older? Is that why you think you've gained 20 stone and cause the earth to shudder when doing star-jumps? Look at your lifestyle. If you spend your entire day in an office sat down then come home to sit down, I have some bad news for you. It's not just because you're middle-aged. It's also because you're lazy. Get up, get out and take the dog for a walk. Take a camera out and capture the beauty of the outside landscape. Not just the beauty of a newly decorated wall. And if you're experiencing problems due to your weight, for the love of god see a doctor.