Is obesity a problem that requires government action, or is it a consumer choice?
Healthy lifestyle, obesity, overweight, exercise and regular activity are words that we all have been constantly hearing and reading from adverts, billboards, government campaigns, universities’ posters and much more.
First of all, obesity is excess fat that usually relates to the increased weight-for-height that can have a negative effect on your health. You can measure obesity by calculating your body max index ( divide your weight(kg) by the square of your height(meters), combined with your waist circumference. What is not obesity? A healthy adult with some extra pounds.
Obesity is an issue that is being constantly tackled by the government, according to Public Health England, the 2014 results showed that 61.7% of adults were overweight or obese with an increase of 10.7% between 1993 and 2014. Success stories such as the “this girl can” campaign have managed to get 23% of women working out regularly.
So if there is so much information, why doesn’t the consumer stop making unhealthy choices?
In my opinion, there is much more behind the consumer’s food choices. Obesity can be influenced by social-cultural factors, many believe it depends on the race, ethnicity and socio-economic status of a consumer. Culture is very hard to change, even with campaigns and loads of information, the only person that can change it is the consumer. However, by tackling specific groups and providing organic and healthier options closer that are more accessible to them, can change the way they see and relate to food.
Among many issues, the biggest concern around obesity are the health problems that it can bring such as, diabetes, colon cancer, high blood pressure, breathing difficulties, bones and joint problems, stroke and heart disease. As you can see, the amount of health issues that can come with obesity are huge and can definitely shorten your life spam. Obesity can also bring emotional and behavioural issues such as; low self-esteem, bullying and discrimination.
If it is something that is clearly bad for you, why do people still make choices that lead them to obesity?
Several people think that to reach obesity it is the person’s fault as he/she wasn’t active enough or made bad food choices. Obesity can be genetic and it depends a lot on the person’s personality, environment and emotional factors. Some people when stressed eat (like me) and stress is the most common problem of developed countries.
Individual food consumption is of course a consumer choice and will always be, because there is no one from the government by your side saying that you should not eat this or that. However, I think it definitely requires government action to help the consumers make healthier choices for their own good and get the treatment they deserve.
I would love to know what you think, comment bellow…