Monday, 13 January 2014
A nation of fat.
A report just released by the National Obesity Forum suggests that by 2050 50% of the UK population are likely to be obese. That's a pretty shocking claim. On the face of it there has never been so much awareness and concern about a healthy lifestyle. State of the art gyms are everywhere and it's difficult to open a newspaper without being assailed with more information about what this or that healthy diet can do for your waistline and well being. Yet still the pounds pile on and a walk around any town centre reveals a depressing display of sagging guts and humongous hips. Certainly the food industry must bear considerable responsibly for this outbreak of obesity and certainly processed food is chock full of cheap fillers like refined sugar and palm oil. But if a lot of the blame can be attributed to our diets I am convinced that lack of exercise is the real culprit. By exercise I don't mean driving to the gym in order to spent half an hour on a running machine but rather the daily accumulation of physical activity that was at the core of our lives until fairly recently. Well within living memory almost everyone had a job that required physical effort and only a minority worked in sedentary admin posts. No one who has endured hard physical labour over long periods is likely to romanticise it. Back breaking hard graft, like much else in life, was nice when it stopped. But there is a price to be paid for everything and perhaps the price for a relatively easy life is an overweight one.