"Is the obesity epidemic down to greed?"
Loose women pisses me off. This is why I work - daytime TV would turn me into a raving lunatic. Today’s topic "is the current obesity epidemic down to greed?"
It took a few seconds for it to sink in that they were actually going to debate this. One of those occasions where you find yourself doing a double take, frowning and then getting instantly annoyed.
Greed? First of all, what is IS greed? Google tells me it’s an “intense and selfish desire for something, especially wealth, power or food.”
intense and selfish desire… how many overweight people actually have an intense and selfish desire to eat? How many obese people would take a day off work, not get their kids ready for school, go into debt or risk the lives of those around them in order to eat one more burger? I would imagine very, very few. Those who would clearly suffer from a deep and serious psychological eating disorder and need treatment.
The overweight people I know don’t eat huge amounts of food, they just eat too much of the wrong sort of food. I myself was guilty of this as an overweight person. Yes, I have an eating disorder which makes calories the main focus of my day, but many people simply do not have the first clue about what they’re eating, or in many cases even how many calories they SHOULD be eating. Take my colleagues as an example. D is obese, R is a healthy weight…
D has a cheese sandwich on thick white bread with butter, a pear, a banana and a can of coke. My ED tells me this is around 600 calories. Talk to D and she’ll tell you that she’s currently on a diet. That she is being healthy because she has 2 portions of fruit for lunch. It hasn’t occurred to her that her lunch is actually high in calories and fat. She’s not greedy - she just doesn’t KNOW.
R has a carton of soup and a crumpet with low fat spread, an apple and a bottle of diet pepsi. 450 calories. She talks openly about “watching” her weight, being “aware” of what she eats and trying to be healthy.
Compare these two meals. They LOOK similar in size, they both have healthy and less healthy components. D could lower her calories by switching to low fat spread, reduced fat cheese, and diet coke. She wouldn’t notice any difference, and she wouldn’t crave any extra food. Because she is NOT greedy.
How can it be suggested that obesity is down to greed? What about the cheap and readily available junk food which is not only right by the tills in every shop you walk into, but is advertised constantly in the media as something to be enjoyed as a treat or a reward. What about the portion sizes in restaurants, takeaways and pubs? We feel cheated out of our money if the portions aren’t too big for us to actually eat.
Lets look at the overweight individual now. How do they feel? Society is telling them that they are unhealthy, unattractive, greedy and lazy. How is that going to impact on them? As someone who’s been there, I can tell you… it makes you feel dreadful. What do people do when they feel dreadful? Try to comfort themselves. How has society taught us to comfort ourselves? Food.
Yes, I agree that some level of self control is needed in society today, yes we face choices every time we pick up an item of food we don’t really need, but I don’t think it’s down to greed. It’s down to a lack of awareness, a messed up society, the media and the availability of high fat foods.