make no mistake that it IS a crisis. The human species is at a critical point where we risk de-evolving into some sort of science fiction nightmare of beings too large to support their own weight, unable to move around on their own steam, eating toxic “food like substances” and relying on drugs and surgeries to partially counter the obvious health effects that would go along with such a condition. It has already begun. People are already talking about looking for ways to alter DNA to make humans more resistant to obesity… like they might do while experimenting on rats in a laboratory or something.
It is SCARY and quite disgusting, really, that this is the road we are going down.
So there’s a lot of talk about how to deal with this issue, and not really much progress towards an actual solution. Well, I just took it upon myself to provide the answer so strap yourself in and pay attention.
There has already been some talk (and I believe it is already happening in certain countries) about tax breaks for being healthy and responsible, loss of benefits to counter the strain widespread obesity puts on the health system and so on. Basically we’re talking about financial incentive to get into shape and be healthy.
But… ok… let’s say that’s enough of an incentive and people get the message and say “fair enough, I’m going to get into shape”. You’ve still got the main issue I’m trying to address with this website, which is that people don’t know HOW to go about it, and are constantly bombarded with conflicting and incorrect information on what they should be doing.
As an example, I’ve had the morning TV shows on for the past couple of days… and within minutes of turning on any channel there’ll be a “here’s the latest way to lose those unwanted pounds” type story, which will be a complete load of old balls. Yesterday on one of the Australian morning shows they had the Low GI thing which I thought we’d left in the 90s along with grunge music but apparently people still think there’s a buck to be made from it… and then today it was some other “feast then fast” load of bollocks on the American show on the other channel.
After that they did a showcase of all the latest “fitness” gadgets such as the body blade, uhh… some flexible dumbbells that looked more like something from an adult toystore to me, and the most expensive scam of all those vibrating things you stand on and it’s supposed to… I dunno… something? They cost thousands those things… for people who have more money than sense I guess.
So anyway all the hosts are waving these stupid toys around in the air and going “oh yes I can feel it working”. NO. Just no. They shouldn’t even be allowed to advertise this crap much less have it featured in a segment with the implication that it might actually help anyone anywhere.
So… my point is, start with the media. Now I know freedom of speech and freedom of the press is important BUT governments need to heavily criticise irresponsible journalism and encourage a voluntary code of conduct where they stop running these stupid unhelpful segments. Either encourage ACTUAL FORMS OF EXERCISE / TRAINING, or just stick to movie reviews and the weather or something.
I think if the pressure comes from the government with the support of the general public (or, possible the other way around) you can hopefully get to the point where the TV networks are promoting themselves like “we know this is a serious health issue, we’re responsible journalists and if something is on our show you can be damn sure it is a legit solution and not just something we’re getting paid to promote”.
Now there’s been a good start in the UK where a government minister has called upon the magazine industry to stop promoting miracle diets and fitness myths. Like I say, this is something the public needs to get behind and force these publishers to take notice. While they’re at it they can stop with the “Hollywood star loses / gains weight” stories as well. Why do people even buy these magazines? I glanced at one in a doctor’s waiting room once and felt my brain shrinking right away. Terrible.
So to summarise:
- Financial incentives to be in healthy shape. I would suggest tax breaks (or something?) for companies who’s staff participate in a wellness program that keeps them both healthy and happy. I believe the Japanese are already doing something similar, god bless them.
- Government and the general public to put pressure on the media. Let’s be blunt; you’re actually damaging people and society / the species in general with the crap you pass off as journalism related to health, fitness and the obesity epidemic.
- Crack down on all scam products. Actually a few have been banned in Australia recently which is a good start BUT I think these weight loss potions and pills should have to be able to prove that they work and are not damaging BEFORE they go on the market… not just get pulled off the market if there are complaints.
- Again, crack down on the media’s obsession with minor weight fluctuations of movie and music stars. If people stop buying the stupid magazines, they’ll find something else to write about.
- View pro-obesity and fat acceptance people / websites the same way we view pro-eating disorder and self harm glorification. They’re all extremely damaging especially to vulnerable young people.
- While we’re at it let’s have our doctors and personal trainers giving out better weight management advice as well.
- Everything else I’ve already talked about on this site.
Perhaps most of all though people need to be motivated by a sense of pride rather than a sense of shame. Get people focussed on what they WANT to be, rather than what they do not want to be. I think you can tie this in with patriotism or civic pride as well. Do we really want to be the fattest suburb in the fattest state of the fattest nation in the western world? Or do we want to be the healthiest, most active, with the best quality of life?
That would be something to be proud of, surely?