Monday 18 December 2023

More and more Britons, especially the young and poor are overweight with dire consequences for the NHS (and cats!)

Intro: I believe that it is time for the British people and other Westerners to put aside the sensibilities of obese people and start to criticise them. I know it's difficult and I know it's troubling to do that in a woke world and we need to respect other people. I get all that but human obesity epidemic levels are having catastrophic effects on society and I would argue on our animal companions. 

I would argue quite strongly that obese people are less good cat care givers in general, and I stress "in general" (some are great), and they might be prone to normalising obesity in their cats and dogs. This I think is technically possible and is indeed quite likely. 

When people assess the weight of their cat and dog, if they get it wrong they tend to underestimate it. In other words, many cat and dog owners are incapable of recognising mild obesity in their cat or dog. They think that there cat and dog have correct weights when they haven't. Being obese yourself encourages this perception.

And the obesity epidemic is a much bigger problem than that. It is costing the NHS £19 billion a year in treating those who are too fat and the associated lost productivity costs the economy £15 billion annually. It is putting people out of work. But I believe obesity is a symptom of attitude. Obesity can be beaten with self-discipline and a good attitude. I touch on these matters below.

Note: there is an obesity epidemic among cats as well as people. People should take note of that. It indicates to me that there is a link between human obesity and feline obesity which supports my argument on this page that when people are obese they have difficulty in assessing their cat companion's obesity. It becomes normal. That's the critical point I wish to make.

"Consistent with previous studies, it has been observed that pet owners tend to normalize their pets’ body condition, leading to an underestimation in the case of overweight animals and an overestimation for underweight ones. What was once considered “overweight” now tends to be viewed as “about right”. This shift is further amplified by the influence of social media platforms, and a similar trend may be occurring in the context of pets, perpetuating the belief that overweight animals are the norm in today’s society." - study report: The Perception of the Body Condition of Cats and Dogs by French Pet Owners and the Factors Influencing Underestimation.

Is the growing obesity epidemic among Westerners - and I am mainly referring to Britons - a symptom of a breakdown in society as we know it which includes laziness! Yes, at its heart this is all about a lack of self-discipline and one consequence of that failing is to become fat. Becoming fat is self-indulgent and sloppy. The papers don't talk about this underlying problem in British society. They just tell us as The Times does today that 3,000 ward admissions a day are linked to obesity in the UK. It is a horror story.

But the press and the government need to genuinely tackle the problem. There is a reticence to criticise people who are obese. I understand it but I am afraid that political correctness and the woke movement has contributed to obesity. Society has accepted it. It has become embedded and normalised.

The government allows food manufacturers to continue to produce unhealthy processed foods high in salt and sugar. Junk food abounds on the shelves of supermarkets. It is addictive food. It seems that many have lost the art of cooking from raw, healthy foods to create simple meals that are cheaper and healthier.

It is not enough to report on human obesity, there needs to be an examination of the underlying causes. These will be deep within society. But a lack of desire to work and to keep oneself in good physical condition must be major contributing factors.

"Hospital admissions linked to obesity have doubled in six years to more than 3,000 people per day according to NHS figures that highlight the extent of Britain's weight problem." - The Times.

I have expanded the geographical area where there is a weight problem to Europe and North America. But the same problem exists I believe.

Obese people are far more likely to become ill. Numerous serious illnesses are linked with obesity. Combine the illnesses that are a consequence of obesity and the obesity itself causing lack of mobility and you have a person who is much less able to be a good cat caregiver. Yep, it comes back to pet cats as well. And the truth is that people who are habitually obese tend to normalise it and believe that obese cats are normal-weight cats when they are not. The result? An obesity epidemic among the cat populations of North America and Britain. More ill-health which could and should be avoided with a bit of self-discipline.

What happened to self-discipline? Why has self-indulgence arrived in the scene so dramatically? Is it partly down to a lack of education? It seems that those who've had the benefit of a good education are less likely to become obese.

There may also be an ethnic demographic dimension to this story. Luton is cited as the municipality where there is the biggest health toll from obesity with one hospital admission linked to weight for every 20 residents last year. See the quote below on the ethic mix of Luton.

The white ethnic group makes up 45.2 per cent of the population of Luton meaning there is a non-white majority in the town. The next largest ethnic group is Asian which increased from 60,952 in 2011 to 83,325 in 2021. The Asian group makes up 37 per cent of the population of Luton.

Luton Borough Council
It is time for the UK government to be much bolder and stricter in tackling the obesity epidemic engulfing the country.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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