Thursday, 29 November 2012

Pop: The swinging blade of chocolatey death

It is a very dangerous thing to start making claims about obesity. I find the idea of putting a line on where somebody is considered ‘socially unacceptable’ a horrible thing to do in any situation, but particularly with appearance. There are people in this world who want us to all look like we’ve fallen straight off the same assembly line and with every day that passes they seem to take one more person in to their cause, but more damaging than them is the representation of medicine by the media. 

I don’t approve of any medical news being given to people who don’t understand it because of how easily misconstrued it is, as is true in the obvious bastardisation of the report that I am going to talk about, and I will say now that I do not blame the researchers for a second. This is purely the fault of the reporting of the result. The stories of obesity are by far the worst, and specifically today I am referring to a story wherein it is said that at-risk children should be ‘monitored’ after being identified by an ‘obesity formula.’

As I said before, I hate the idea that there is a line where we become fat. As any person who actually took the time to study medicine would know, we all work slightly differently and we all have a different healthy weight. There isn’t a number on the scales that we can hit that would prove healthy for every one of us. But despite this I hear people on the television ringing into programmes and claiming that we’re all getting fatter and everyone needs to lose weight. People see somebody who doesn’t fit with social convention and tell them that they need to start walking more, or they need to eat healthier but a healthy lifestyle is not something that you can determine simply from how large somebody looks. Telling children from moments after birth that they are going to be fat is only going to increase the attitude that there is a wrong way to look. If the child is completely healthy but is a size 14 rather than a size 8 they are going to be judged more because any slight increase of size will be seen as worse than if someone else is a size 14. They will have a mark against their name. 

The worst thing is that this comes in the same breath as telling young people to stop focussing on the thin people in the media and understand the real shape of the human body. What are we supposed to do? Are we supposed to exercise and stay thin and have the appearance of being healthy like our weight is an identification card for the amount of fruit we eat, or are we supposed to ignore the thin people that we see and follow what our body wants? 

Why can’t the media tell us the truth, for once, rather than mixed messages. Health is subjective. It isn’t a set of rules that we can all follow. Some people are allergic to certain things so their definition of healthy food changes. For example, I have to be careful what salads I buy from shops because you would be surprised how many simple lunch salads contain grapes or lime, both of which I am allergic to.  Some people can’t eat healthy yoghurts because they can’t handle the lactose, some people can’t eat too much bread because the wheat makes them ill. We are all different people and we have to understand what health means to us as a person, not listen to idiots on the television who know nothing about nutrition trying to tell us that we have to be thin without feeling like we’re forced.
Most of us can eat what we like, it is entirely about moderation and listening to how our body reacts. When I was a teenager my blood sugar was low because I didn’t eat and if I couldn’t get a chocolate bar at lunch time I would collapse. Because of Jamie Oliver I had to make sure that I remembered them, because they would have a dinner lady guarding the only chocolate bar selling vending machine in the entire school. My health was irrelevant because I didn’t fit into their perfect rule structure of what is healthy and what isn’t. I realise I mention that story a lot but thinking back on my teenage years, it always really annoys me

We need to start taking control of our own health, not listening to what anyone else tells us. Work out yourself what your healthy weight is, stop believing that sugar is some evil magical chemical that turns you into a balloon and listen to how your body reacts when you eat different things. We cannot go around labelling people as future fatties when they have barely even taken their first breath while also telling them the lie that they have the license to look how they want.

Basically my point is this. If you are so stupid that you believe one chocolate bar is unhealthy, you don’t deserve to eat chocolate. 

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