So, given the obesity epidemic that we have across the modern world, there still seems to be a lot of confusion on what the causes of obesity are. You’d have to be beyond naive if you think that its down to just eating too much and nothing more…
Having coached, literally hundreds of obese clients, i can assure that people just don’t wake up one day and decide to eat too much food. The issues are vast and extreme in almost all cases i have experience with clients and also, personally. Lets not forget that i’ve been that side of the fence after all.
In no particular order, as i don’t see any of the below issues in any priority of another: –
This is caused by an enormous array of issues. As “minor” as verbal bullying, to as “major” as physical or sexual abuse, but not limited to relationship issues, family issues, work issues… the list goes on. Whatever has caused someone to be upset and emotional about a situation, has the possibility for that person to turn to food as a comfort.
Modern day food
Its no secret that modern day fast food is horrific in terms of nutrient value and caloric content. We are now seeing chocolate bars in the USA that have over 1,000 calories…. yes, 1,000!!!!! You can have a “simple” Medium pizza at Dominos and it be over 800kcals. A packet of crisps can even contain over 400kcals these days. A big part of what we now eat has the ability to bump up our caloric intake for the day into sky high figures. Combine this with the fact that most/if not all, fast food is coupled with trans fats, then you not only have highly dense caloric food, but also food that literally kills people over time. Trans fats KILL PEOPLE!
Simply not understanding food is a huge issue for obesity. Not knowing the difference between Carbs, Fats and Proteins is a big issue for our children and for adults. Not understanding the right exercise for people, the amount they should be doing or the benefits. Not understanding the nutrition behind fast food compared to fresh food. Getting parents to understand that 99% of them aren’t feeding their kids enough protein and they are smashing them with carbs in vast quantities. Getting them to understand that their food choices also has a huge impact on their energy levels, sex life and thus relationships… see point 1.
Rewarding with food
How many times do you hear a parent say “If you are good, i’ll buy you some sweets”. We are now treating our children like animals. You give dogs treats for good behaviour. Why are we reinforcing that good behaviour for our children gets crap food? This then leads to an emotional connection with food and a certain behaviour.
The health and fitness industry
Yes, the health and fitness industry is to blame for a part of obesity. This notion that everyone should walk around with pecs, abs and bulging biceps is ridiculous. The TV, the papers, magazines and social media is flooded with these images and thus a pressure for people to look a certain way. People handle pressure in different ways and thus if someone is feeling pressured to look a certain way, but can’t, then they will get down and upset with any progress they make – see point 1.
The yoyo dieting craze is a huge factor for obesity. Believe it or not, such diets like Weight Watchers promote obesity over time. If you have ever spoke to someone who’s done a diet like Weight Watchers, they have usually always done it 3 or 4 times, if not more, and are probably still overweight. It simply just doesn’t work! People become hormonally ill off these diets, fed up, depressed and then rebound back to a weight that is bigger than they started, usually by eating foods in point 2.
These guys are a big cause for body image issues and the notion that you can fix years of body abuse with a simple pill or supplement. Holland and Barrett are probably the worse in general, but any company that promotes or sells a fat burner is just as bad. Again this boils down to self image, progression and pressure… resulting in an emotional state – see point 1
This couples Education, Rewarding with Food and Emotional eating into a nice category. The way we now bring up children and educate them on food is appalling. The schools are also massively to blame, however the buck should always stop at the parents as its their responsibility. We teach children the drugs are bad, to cross the road by looking both ways and not to talk to strangers, so why can’t we teach them about food? It may seem harsh, but if you have an overweight/obese child, then i’m afraid you need to ask yourself some serious questions about our parenting skills. No child is born obese. Ignorance on nutrition simply isn’t an excuse either in my eyes.
Those are just a few things that i believe are the route cause of obesity in our society. Its simply not and open and shut case that people eat too much, there are many levels of issues that we need to address and look at.
Understand each of those elements, know how to address them and fix them and i truly believe that then, and only then, can we start to fight the war on obesity.
I delve a lot into these issues in my ‘Confused about Nutrition & Exercise?’ seminar. The early bird tickets close tomorrow, so be sure to get your seat on my next seminar on the 12th July at Silvermere Fitness, Cobham Surrey. Click here: –