All agree obesity is a problem. The notion of the upcoming levy on sugary foods, the so called sugar tax, is in the pipeline. Without a peep of opposition or expression of concern. Some think it a good idea. More roll their eyes at another excuse to get tax from the gullible taxpayer.
And sure it’s for our own good, you know.
What is the problem, and why is it a problem now?
It is more the lack of exercise than it is the amount of sugary things that is the problem.
We always ate sweets and TV dinners. Yet only now is obesity an issue. Years ago, we were all outside, running around, playing sports, or helping on the farm. Or with our dads on odd jobs. We were active.
Not any more.
The sedentary lifestyle is now a problem. The games console has replaced the football. The Wii the tennis racket. The mobile phone replaced cycling to a friend’s house. We are so afraid of falling, for the good of our health, we sit around, damaging our health. It used to be a rite of passage to break a limb in a fall from a tree or off a bike.
Obesity leads to diabetes and allied problems. These put a strain on healthcare later on. It would be better to avert these now. But taxing won’t solve it. So what will?
Why exercise matters fighting obesity
As anyone who runs will tell you – I dont, so I cant tell you!!! – exercise gives a buzz. A healthy feel good buzz, as it releases endorphins. Whatever exercise, a challenging walk, a run, a game of tennis. It all helps the mind and spirit.
With a growing epidemic of mental health issues as we become more disconnected on a face to face basis in a world where we are always connected, all that helps is important. Exercise can be done with friends. Mutual motivation to fight obesity helps us achieve our goals.
When we need help
In Galway, we are lucky, with an excellent clinic in Oranmore ran by Dr. Eva Orsmond. She is a proponent of “moderation, moderation. moderation” in diet.
We need a change of culture
We need a change of culture from what we think we enjoy now. The closest we got was the Pokemon craze which had half the country exercising. That has died down now. it’s worth studying for how it caught the imagination.
We need to get active with our kids. Get a family dog that needs excercise, get the family going out together. It helps bond the family, who often see little of each other, less of all being together at one time.
Paying a few extra cent on a chocolate bar will not give the benefits of that!