I read, with interest, an article in the Mail Online today about the increasing size of our nation entitled One in four Britons are obese but most of them are in denial.
The study was carried out by Slimming World and reveals that 3/4 of those with a severe weight problem see ‘obesity’ as something that happens to other people. So are we in denial?
I thought about this in relation to my own challenge with weight loss and how I’ve viewed being overweight over the years. At times I have definitely been in denial – I remember as a teenager telling people I was ‘big-boned’ or had a ‘large frame’. Thankfully I’m not obese but I am about 2-2.5 stone overweight and this is not healthy. As the Mail Online article says, there is no under-estimating the emotional damage caused by piling on the pounds as well. More than 1 in 3 people who are very overweight feel that weight is ‘the most important issue in life’ and up to half feel ‘embarrassed’, ‘ashamed’, ‘disgusted’ and ‘trapped’ by being overweight. I can certainly identify with some of these feelings.
Dr Jacquie Lavin, head of nutrition and research at Slimming World said “Studies of behaviour change show that helping people to lose weight is not just about giving them information and lecturing them on what they should and shouldn’t eat. It’s about encouraging and empowering people to want to make the change for themselves. When it comes to weight-management, it’s as much about tackling deep-seated emotional and psychological issues as it is about providing practical help around diet and activity. The right support will recognise the importance of tackling those feelings of low self-esteem, guilt and failure, helping people to understand why they are struggling, building confidence in and rewarding their ability to make changes and giving them realistic practical tools so that once they lose weight, they can keep it off for life.”
I couldn’t agree more and it really is a combination of education, support and practical help. At talkhealth we have now launched a new set of forums based around weight, diet and obesity. Take a look and join in the discussion because together we can help and support each other to lead a happier and healthier life.