Is Obesity Becoming The Biggest Health Epidemic?
With obesity quickly becoming the number one risk factor for cancer, is it time we start thinking about the bigger picture? Today you’d be hard-pushed to find a person who doesn’t know somebody whose life has been affected by cancer. So why are we ignoring the links between our lifestyles and our physical condition?
With one in five children being obese by the time they’re 11, and 61% of British adults being classed as overweight, perhaps we should be considering what we put into our bodies more seriously.
Nutrition is a hot topic, and for many people the expensive diets and trendy ‘health kicks’ are a luxury afforded to the rich and famous, not the time poor on a budget. But it’s not just for this reason that a 10-a-day principle seems expensive and unachievable. With our diets increasingly consisting of beige carbohydrates, is it any wonder that most of us don’t know where to start?
But why do we treat nutrition in isolation? The evidence is stacking up, and it’s increasingly pointing to how what we consume, not only affects our waistlines, but also our physical and mental wellbeing. These compelling links are suggesting that what we eat, and the diseases we might experience in later life, are perhaps inextricably linked.
But how do we even start to change this? Perhaps the key is education. While many individuals are attempting to take responsibility for their own diets, we may need to give people the tools to succeed. Maybe in order to see real, lasting change, we have to start further up, by implementing effective policy. Perhaps education is our best way forwards in tackling this issue.
The broader picture of the obesity epidemic is the long term effect that is has on the healthcare system and its ability to finance facilities.
Whilst it is important to acknowledge the difficulty of a lifestyle change, we must also be careful not to underestimate the cost of neglecting our nutrition. Are we consciously aware of how the decisions that we make every day affect both our long term, and short term, health?
With all the public health issues that the UK might face in the coming decades, is our lack of nutritional understanding one of the biggest concerns of our generation?