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Epidemic vs. Understanding: Where’s the Solution?

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Some of the most-quoted statistics you will find anywhere in the news or on the Internet are all about the rising ‘epidemic’ of obesity now sweeping across  USA, UK, Australia, and even Thailand and Japan. The reports make dire predictions of the disastrous effects this will have on economies and the future supply of medical services. While multi-national corporations make literally billions of dollars every year selling ‘solutions’ which rarely work, governments put together ‘get fit’ programs that get nowhere. Ordinary citizens – and the mass media as a whole – stigmatise, poke, prod and otherwise bully anybody who carries more than a few extra pounds. But nowhere – and I mean absolutely nowhere – is there any evidence of an actual solution to for the millions of people who suffer with obesity.

The ignorant inevitably go on about diets – but the scientific evidence shows that dieting actually just makes you fat. Others harp on about exercise – but the calories you burn during exercise are minuscule compared to what you need to do to burn serious weight. Then there are the camps that advocate surgery, meal replacements, drugs and ever-increasingly more desperate and dire cures for something that – it appears, at least – nobody really understands fully.

And that’s the problem. With the focus on symptoms – eg, high fat diet, no exercise etc – there’s not a lot of attention being paid to the most important thing about the whole problem: the human being inside it.

If it can be said that no two people are the same, why do we always assume their weight problems are? I have a friend called Bruce. He needed to lose 30kg because he had some health problems. Bruce hadn’t ever been on a diet or done much exercise in this life, but he was up to the challenge. He started off on a doctor-recommended low carb diet, joined a gym and got a personal trainer 3 times a week. It took a few months, but the weight fell off him, and before we knew it, he was looking fabulous.

Another of my friends, Kate, who also needed to lose 30kg, decided to follow his example – and lost nothing. Why? Because the cause of her weight problems were entirely different – and different causes require different approaches.

That’s what this blog is about. By looking at all the different elements that make up weight problems, we can shed light on how they work together, and hopefully reduce the misery people with weight problems suffer every day.


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One Comment

  1. Liz Barrett says:

    I love your blog. I’m a 108kg woman of 52 and have been a large size most of my life. I’ve tried various diets to no affect and have had to put up with people saying that “nice face – shame about the body” (even my own mother-in-law!). I agree with your point that we are all different with different metabolisms and genetic make-up. My sister eats mainly junk food and hardly any fruit and vegies and is stick thin (after 2 kids) and I on the other hand (no kids) eat a fairly balanced diet and battle constantly. I wouldn’t mind so much but I need to lose weight to fix my knee (third operation) and life would be easier if the fashion they made for lovely curvy bodies didnt’ look like curtains tied in the middle. Look forward to reading your posts!