The Lancet could not be clearer on the obesity problem: Action is needed – and needed now.
The world-renowned medical journal has devoted a large chunk of this week’s issue to the problem.
A series of articles published by researchers from across the world are calling for more to be done. In effect, it is a call to arms for governments and society as a whole.
But how did we get here and what is the solution?
No-one noticed at the time, but the 1960s was probably the turning point for what has become the obesity epidemic.
As the world embraced the era of free love, they also began eating more.
The Lancet is one of those doctors’ mags, isn’t it? I guess they must believe that free love causes obesity now. But there’s more!
Abundant rich food, too little exercise, and lack of will on the part of policymakers could swell the number of obese Britons to a staggering 26 million by 2030, according to the latest forecast.
If current trends continue, the size of the clinically obese population in the UK will increase by 11 million over the next two decades, experts predict.
The resulting extra cost burden on health services coping with obesity-linked problems such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer would be £2 billion per year. This represents an overall increase in health spending of 2%.
In the worst case scenario, almost half of adult men in the UK could be obese by 2030. Obesity prevalence among UK men is forecast to rise from 26% to between 41-48%.
Look, there isn’t an “obesity epidemic”. Neither is there a “smoking epidemic” or a “tobacco epidemic”. These things aren’t epidemics.
Just like if lots of people start playing chess, there won’t be a “chess epidemic”. And if lots of people go sunbathing there won’t be a “sunbathing epidemic”. Just because a lot of people do something, doesn’t make it an epidemic. To say otherwise is to twist language.
What it really means is that a lot of busybody Nazi doctors are twisting language to make it seem like something that is no business of theirs actually is their business. It’s really just a scam to win more power and status and money.
It’s really no different from a bunch of army generals claiming that millions of crabs on Britain’s beaches constitute an invading army, which has to be stopped on the beaches with the full military might of the nation (appropriately reinforced with the latest expensive tanks and jets, of course).
These doctors have no business whatsoever telling people how to live their lives, what they should eat and drink and smoke. It’s none of their fucking business. It’s no more their business to tell people how to live than it is the job of lawyers and accountants or dentists or plumbers to tell people how to live. Doctors provide a service: they alleviate pain and suffering. So, in their different ways, do all the other professions. And that’s what they should stick to doing, and not get above themselves, and arrogantly imagine that they are some sort of omniscient new priesthood.
I sometimes think that there must be growing alarm in the medical profession at the way things are going. My guess is that most doctors simply want to treat patients’ maladies as best they can, and that’s all they want to do, and they don’t want to tell their patients how to live their lives, but instead enable them to live their lives in their own chosen way. If there are such doctors, it’s about time they spoke up, and formed an association of Doctors Who Don’t Want To Boss People Around. Because if they don’t, people like me are going to doubt that there are any such doctors, and when it comes to dismantling and reforming the medical profession (something which quite clearly must be done), and kicking out every single last one of these tyrannical Nazi doctors, then every single doctor will end up being booted out of the profession.