Obese people pay the price of success: they suffer from a disease of the
Western civilizations. Success means prosperity, over-nutrition. It provides money to buy more food than the body can utilize, so the surplus is stored as fat. If this fat is not burned up with extra exercise, people become obese and the obesity statistics are alarming.
We sit at breakfast, we sit on the train
on the way to work, we sit at work,
we sit at lunch, we sit all afternoon,
a hodgepodge of sagging livers,
sinking gall bladders, drooping stomachs,
compressed intestines, and squashed
pelvic organs (John Button)
But how much exercise can obese people do? If they need two hours of walking to burn up a small piece of chocolate, they should spend the whole day doing some sort of exercise. Obviously, walking to lose weight is impossible nowadays - you will remain obese as long as mental work and travelling around in the sitting posture use no more fuel than lying in bed all day.
In the process of becoming obese, emotional factors come in too. If you are anxious, heartbroken, or bored you may turn to food for consolation. The mechanical action of eating is soothing in itself. Eating on one's own, like drinking, is most likely to become excessive. The Spartans in ancient Greece realized this more than 2,000 years ago, when they made a law forbidding the practice.
Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be
thy food. (Hippocrates, Greek, Father of Medicine)
Families in which the members tend to get obese are also common. Perhaps this could be due to hereditary factors, but research shows that obese families generally share the same bad eating habits.
Other uncommon factors in fatness are thyroid and other glandular deficiency. But obese middle-aged people burn less fat most likely because they have less to do now that the children are physically independent and because they eat more. Glandular changes as such do not usually make them obese.
The treatment of obesity is simple, but not easy. There are only two ways of reducing fat accumulation
- Eat less and differently
- Burn up more
Make a medical check if you have any doubts about your health. Get right psychologically: many people become obese because of too much anxiety, frustration, or lack of occupation. Buy a home scale, eat small quantities of low fat foods many times a day (avoid juicy hamburgers) and make sure you are (and feel) strong enough to reach your goal. Calorie calculators are difficult to use; it is doubtful you can cook according to healthy recipes indefinitely; hence the absorption of top quality nutritional supplements on a daily basis is strongly recommended.