Monday, 28 January 2013

Weighty Issues

      Earlier this month, The Guardian reported that obese or other people living an unhealthy lifestyle could have to be monitored on a regular basis to check if they fail to change their ways by a new Conservative-run council. 1.1 million people in the UK are also directly affected by an eating disorder in one form or another and government reports in 2010 stated that 62.8% of all people over the age of 16 are either overweight or obese. It’s intriguing that both of these facts can exist simultaneously, and it also really makes me wonder how many people are suffering behind closed doors.

     It’s easier than one might think to hide being either severely overweight or underweight, just think about it. If an overweight person sported a long, baggy jumper, people would only have the ability to observe their lower body. In the same way, someone experiencing an eating disorder could opt for baggier items of clothing to make themselves appear larger. Generally in society, weight problems tend to either be overlooked or not talked about in any way. Many even believe sufferers bring the problems on themselves, but it’s not just the person’s relationship with food that can affect their weight.

       Weight problems, whichever end of the spectrum they may be, can be triggered by a number of aspects of life, perhaps a break-up, being bullied, family issues or general stress, depression, loneliness or insecurity about your looks. What you eat and when you eat it is also something that only you are in control of. Whether your weight plummets or soars, opting to not eat, throw up what you do it, or simply consume far too much is a choice in the beginning. Although this need for control often develops into Bulimia, Anorexia or Polyphagia(over-eating), which tends to evolve into an utter addiction that takes hold of the sufferers life.

    As much as many people ignore the fact that eating disorders do become uncontrollable, being underweight is more desirable, and therefore more accepted by the general public. But before long, overeating, although it may not be desirable, occurs for many people because they see no other way to get through life, often due to mental issues as well. It is not a selfish choice, it’s not even a choice when it takes hold; it becomes the sufferers life!

    According to a report by the BBC last October, hospital admissions for eating disorders of all varieties rose by 16% from the previous year, which was described as “just the tip of the ice berg” that couldn’t be more accurate. If there are over 1 million eating disorder sufferers in the UK and over 60% of adults are either overweight or obese, alarm bells should be ringing for people. For people who say rude or unkind comments about another person’s weight or appearance; you have no idea the harm that you could be inflicting. You could be the person to tip someone else over the edge and trigger something that they could have to deal with for the rest of their life. 

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