Is obesity a disease or a lifestyle choice?

I have just heard in the news that doctors are calling for obesity to be reclassified as a disease rather than a condition or lifestyle choice. But is that right?

Obesity is one of the biggest health problems of the modern world today. I can partly understand the reasons for changing obesity into an illness rather than being a condition, as it is meant to remove stigma and explain that there are many reasons for obesity. However, I fear that this could send out the wrong message and people might be led to believe they can’t do anything about it and will simply accept their fate. Whilst I am accepting that there are a variety of contributing factors, eating and drinking healthily as well as exercising at least three times a week will most definitely be the “cure” for them.

Although weight gain is predominantly the result of eating behaviour and lifestyle, some people are struggling to control their eating habits.  Overeating is driven by various biological factors like genetics and hormones and some people are simply more susceptible to gaining weight than others.  Of course, people can overcome their genetic disadvantages by changing their lifestyle. Nevertheless, claims that changing behaviour is merely a function of self-control is far too simplistic. Factors such as genetics, engineered junk food, certain medications, food addiction, aggressive marketing by the food industry, sugar and more do play an important role in why people become obese.

The argument of this piece is to open people’s mind to the reality that something more than individual responsibility and willpower plays a role in the obesity epidemic and judgement does not give the support to those that are affected.

If you have concerns about your waistline, you should not use these latest news as an excuse to give up.  While you may not be able to fully control the way your body works, you CAN learn how to control your eating habits and change your lifestyle.  Unless there is a medical condition getting in your way, with the right support it is within your power to get your weight under control.  If you live in South Warwickshire or in the Vale of Evesham get in touch and see what we can do for you!

Are you carrying extra weight and therefore find exercise difficult? Walking is an easy way to start gentle exercise. Nordic Walking will reduce the strain on your joints as the poles will take about 20% of the weight. At the same time you will exercise the whole body and hence burn more calories. A win-win scenario. Congratulations to my Nordic Walkers that have lost weight and strengthened their muscles since taking up this effective activity. We are a very friendly bunch and support each other on our journeys.

Come and give us a go and change your life. We offer free taster sessions and Learn To Nordic Walk courses in Alcester, Evesham and Stratford upon Avon.

Arrow and Arden Nordic Walking provides easier activities, medium and more difficult adventure walks and indoor activities all built on fitness, fun and friendship.
www.arrowandarden.co.uk

If you don’t live in this area visit www.nordicwalking.co.uk to find your group nearby. Best of luck and to a good and healthy 2019. Be kind to yourself this year!