Is obesity something to be addressed on a purely personal level or should an individual’s weight problems be dealt with on a wider more social scale? The source and inspiration for this article was a shocking documentary about treatment for the morbidly obese at a renowned US clinic which was doing its utmost to help patients within its care
Effort initially has to come from the individual who recognises they need help but society should be there to support them and acknowledge they have a problem that will continue to be insurmountable unless they find expert help both physically and emotionally.
If the eating habits and lifestyle of the individual obese person is impacting on the lives of those around him then intervention is necessary by the people who are most affected just as when such an intervention is required as in the case of alcoholism.
Many weight reduction clinics fail because the morbidly obese person still manages to smuggle in takeaway food! The people helping him to cheat on his weight loss programme are deplorable and are doing the patient no favours; they are merely adding to the possibility of his early demise. Such behaviour surely makes mockery of the medical centre’s good intentions!
Schools should perhaps offer more sound nutritional advice to their pupils from an early age and educate them as part of the curriculum in such subjects as cookery, biology and physical exercise. If parents fail to advise children on eating habits then it is quite possible for someone to go from ‘Puppy fat’ to ‘Middle aged spread’ without realising they have a problem that can be addressed.
In the USA nowadays perhaps more than anywhere else in the western world there is an increasing problem with those who are so morbidly obese that they have had to be removed from their own homes for urgent medical treatment by demolition of exterior walls. They have burdened the emergency services with extra work load to the extent that few people would feel sorry for their plight.
Those who have sadly failed in their struggle with weight loss have had to be buried in coffins twice the normal size. The old adage of ‘Digging your grave with your own teeth’ has been all too apt for them.
Everybody knows when they have put on too much weight but they are also capable of kidding themselves that they are not as fat as the scales indicate. Everyone can temporarily fool themselves by wearing baggy tops and elasticated waists but the mirror never lies and overweight people all realise where they reach the point when they can no longer see certain parts of their anatomy because their bellies are in the way!
When the morbidly obese go beyond the point of being able to exercise they get bedridden and become literal eating machines that devour huge amounts of anything edible and burn off zero calories. This is a terrifying situation to try to reverse and the sense of hopelessness and despair that some people go through is horrendous.
Okay, so these mega-size people are the authors of their own destruction and some will give them little help or sympathy but society must still allow them the chance to deal with their weight problem in a controlled environment, just as it would for anyone else with a diagnosed mental or a physical disorder. The medical assistance must be there for those willing to change.
The obese patient must be given the chance to learn that food is no longer to be used as a comfort or a compensation for the other enjoyments in life that have been sadly lacking. They must learn that their problem is distressing others who love them and they need help in altering their eating habits to save their own lives.
Dealing with obesity is something that society needs to address as there are certain people who cannot stop their obsessive eating and definitely need expert psychiatric help if the urge to eat is so overwhelming that it causes a destructive downward spiral. If such a need is so all encompassing that it obliterates every other area of an individual’s life then they need to literally size themselves up so they are diverted from this path that leads to self destruction.
The help from society is there but the morbidly obese individual has to accept they desperately need help and they must resolve not to cheat. The cameras at the clinic will film him when he is gorging on a sneaked in pizza so if the only one the obese person thinks he is deceiving is himself then he is sadly wrong. If you know anyone who is in this situation or if you are a fast food delivery person then do not bring food in for them but allow society a chance to help them change their eating habits for the better!