Anyone else read the article on today’s Times on obesity and emotional eating?
A few points jumped out at me-
““The way we handle obesity, by putting a shameful stigma on very intelligent people makes it even more difficult. It’s about more than just losing weight,” she notes. “Anyone can lose weight, but to keep it off is more difficult.”
I think this is true, it can be hard to maintain weight loss once a target is achieved. I know a number of folk who lost weight only to put the bulk of it back on, and more in some cases. Heartbreaking for them too, as the Herculean effort seems all for naught and in some cases they cannot face doing it again. Which of course is self-defeating. I blames diets mostly for this kind of thing. Diets ( especially food replacement diets like Celebrity Slim and that other junk, Lipotrim) are almost next to impossible to adhere to in the long run as human don’t cope well with denial of things.
In the book ‘How to be Good At Everything, ‘ the authors suggest – ‘Saying ‘no’ to a temptation very quickly invokes the limits of our conscious will and discipline.’ ‘Deprivation, Kessler concluded, is our real enemy. “When you use all your emotional energy to void a behaviour, you can become anxious and tense. We can’t sustain a change in behaviour if it leaves us hungry, unhappy, angry, or resentful.”(section, The deprivation Trap, page 103)
Campion has little time for initiatives such as RTÉ’s weight-loss programme, Operation Transformation, arguing that the people who sign up for the show are “used by television”.
The recent Safefood “Stop the Spread” initiative to get people to measure their waists is another source of frustration for Campion. It focused on getting people to stay within the boundaries of a 32-inch waist for women, and 37-inch for men.”
Apropos the television show, I’ve watched a few episodes and I agree with Campion to an extent, I do think it’s exploitive, most ‘reality’ TV is about ratings in my view. But I also think the adults who sign up to it do so with their mental faculties intact, so who are we to judge their decision?
I was vehemently against the Safefood campaign, mostly because they resolutely – despite all evidence to the contrary– promote the food pyramid as the model to follow. “Plenty of bread, rice potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods � choose wholegrain varieties wherever you can“ No really, that’s what they say, despite overwhelming and growing evidence that grains and carbs are major contributors to weight gain and notice good fats are still portrayed as the ‘scary enemy’. To Safefood I say ‘phooey.’ Avoid.
And this last section really struck me – “Campion runs cookery classes without weighing scales in order to encourage people to view food differently. In doing so, she has encountered people who have never actually handled a chicken breast themselves, as they instead opt for pre-prepared processed food.”
Actually I found that last line really sad and an indictment of how far removed people are from their food. How can we expect people to make balanced choices if they rely on junk food to sustain them on a regular, or in some cases, daily basis? Isn’t it shocking that the frozen food sections in our supermarkets are so vast?
If weight is rising in Ireland, and everyone claims it is, we need to look at more than just what we eat, but why we eat what we do and what genuine changes we can make to combat this. I think the tide of weight gain can turn, but it will take more than an outdated model and a television show to so so. I’d like to read more articles like this in our papers, at least they open the conversation without causing defence lines to be drawn.