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Obesity Thunder Bay

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Paul Murphy Obesity Thunder Bay
Obersity Thunder Bay
By: Paul Murphy

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Fat Hatred and Bashing the Obese

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THUINDER BAY, ON ---  November 10, 2010 ----  Our health care agencies in Thunder Bay, are under attack, due to this impending obesity crisis. The issue could not be simpler, and yet we are losing the battle. Perhaps we are misguided by special interest groups. Many heavily funded programs continue to focus solely on physical activity, and very little else. The root cause of obesity may be misinformation, and our stats that continue to grow and grow are due to our misguided work plan. How does addressing physical activity, successfully, address the issue? Bashing the obese and spreading fat hatred is a regular occurrence within the media. Programs such as The Biggest Loser, only add to the already complex situation. The goal is to raise the level of awareness, and  try to promote the conversation about this practice. Why are the obese the targets, and how can we begin to address this issue?

 The couch potato myth continues to be promoted by the media, food industry and weight loss industry. This myth continues to shift and scheme to avoid accountability. All three have a major interest in suppressing the environmental action plan necessary. The lifestyle tool has been brilliant, because it shifts any notion of accountability away from the food giants.  Lifestyle is blame and blame restricts the conversation. How can we sit by and allow a child be victimized   for obesity? Some of our children may never recover from the brutality supported by the media. They have simply stopped trying, and this is a tragedy. The try harder message heavily supported by the weight loss industry continues to play loudly. Why is there so much pressure to avoid discussing the food environment? The weight loss industry has continued to flourish, and many programs are owned by the food giants, and they continue to have a failing rate of ninety-five percent. But it is you that are the one left with feeling like a failure. If only you had more will power and a desire for a lifestyle change.       

 There are many gifted and talented people working on the childhood obesity issue. However, a single pair of eyeglasses does effectively correct the vision of all who need them. Each person has their own food experience and relationship, and for some this has been a long standing struggle. For many, obesity could not be simpler; spouting calories in and calories out. No one can argue with this theory, unless your food relationship is saturated with rage and self hatred. Add to the experience of a drug like addiction to sugar or overeating we suddenly obtain a better vision of the complex issue. Many can barely stomach a thought of food intake in the morning, and for those who suffer with body image distortion, the issue is even more complex. What if we are framing the issue all wrong? How about an environmental approach on the issue of childhood obesity? Let’s build a community driven action plan, and open the lines of communication.

 A little ‘fat talk’ is a tool that is free, and it might create the impact needed to address childhood obesity. The concept of real health promotion must include all aspects of the issue. Why not move past the established media and host town hall meetings on the childhood obesity issue? The antidote, or solution might be too close for us to actually see, and lifestyle may be acting as a blind spot. Perhaps one day we can examine the issue in an open free thinking forum, and as we conduct a full and open investigation on the obesity crisis, solutions will emerge. We can add integrity and dignity to the obesity action plan, and those with a restricted ability will be flushed out, for their activity, turn off the screen action plans. Children are the future and if this food environment is hampering their health, it needs to be changed. After all, obesity is the by product.          

 Attacking the obese and labelling people of size as lazy, unhealthy, unmotivated and have no willpower, is unacceptable. While the statistics continue to grow, they reflect some real truth, and that truth might indicate that we are missing the target. The media and food environment continue to distort any real, measurable targets that may create an impact on obesity. The time for games is over, and we need to witness some real action that addresses the issue of obesity. Our media needs to act like reporters, and start investigating the obesity crisis. How can the media distance themselves from the giants of the food industry, who have always skilfully skirted any notion of accountability? Our governments have created alliances with the giants of the food industry, and because of these alliances, the physical activity crisis has been born. Blaming the issue of obesity onto one single individual is just fine, but how can you explain the recent Ontario statistics that identify 70 per cent of the population to be obese? Many have compared the food industry to the tobacco giants that had to face legislation in order to inspire a little accountability. With all the facts and information out there, here us a thought: Is food our next tobacco?    

Paul Murphy
Obesity Thunder Bay
Lake Superior News 

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