Posted by: 4pack | September 26, 2008

European Obesity Update: Denial Is Easier Than Losing The Weight

EUROPE IS TAKING OBESITY HARD, VERY HARD…THEY WANT TO BLAME IT ON AMERICA (FAST FOODS, PROCESSED FOODS, ETC..)…THE INDIVIDUAL EU COUNTRIES THEMSELVES SEE IT AS A PROBLEM IN “OTHER COUNTRIES”, NOT THEIRS…DENIAL IS A TOUGH THING, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE PROBLEM STAIRS BACK AT YOU IN THE MIRROR, EVERY DAY, ALL DAY…AND THE ITALIAN MINISTER’S SOLUTION (WITH COLORFUL SASH TO MAKE HIM LOOK IMPORTANT AND TAKE YOUR EYE OFF HIS EXPANDING BELLY)…BETTER FOOD LABELING…HOW ABOUT CHILD (AND BUBBA) SAFETY CAPS…FREE SOCIETIES ARE FREE TO CHOOSE…UNFORNTUNATE CONSEQUENCES RESULT FROM “CHOICES”…THAT’S WHY FOUR PACKS GIVES “REASONS”, NOT “CHOICE”, BECAUSE BUBBAS JUST MAKE THE “SAME MISTAKES”…

Obesity is becoming a plague in Europe. Nearly 27% of men and 38% of women are overweight or obese. With 22 million overweight children and a further 1.3 million seen by 2010, how can we reverse this trend? We asked Italian UEN member Alessandro Foglietta, parliament’s draftsman on nutrition, overweight and obesity-related health problems, for his thoughts ahead of a vote on the EU’s health white paper Thursday.

What is the EP doing to make the public aware of the risks of being overweight?
It is very difficult to get control of the situation. Obesity and being overweight are not seen as real problems…obesity, in particular, is seen as something affecting other people. In reality it affects many of us, particularly children and can have serious consequences like heart problems and diabetes.
 

 

Obesity in the EU

Over 5 million obese children in the EU

300,000 new obese people a year

We think it is important to provide consumers with comprehensive information on labels, to let them choose between good, better and less good nutrition. We need better food labelling so we know what we are eating, including how many calories. I am thinking of very visible and colourful signs with information about calories and quality that would attract the interest of consumers and children. We suggest member states encourage quality and nutritional standards in school and kindergarten, providing, for instance, fresh fruit and vegetables in school vending machines.

How important is the parent’s role?

The role of parents is essential, children are very vulnerable, they don’t think about calories but taste. Parents must make them aware. As parents, it is not ok to let our children eat what they want just because it’s easy, less expensive or less problematic, that will have a huge negative impact in the long run. You have to remember that often the less you pay the worse you eat.

What about the more vulnerable in society?

We need to look after high-risk categories like, elderly people, those with reduced mobility, pregnant women and all those who are more fragile. For instance, as mayor of a little town in Italy, I got an agreement with a local gym to give a discount to the elderly to help motivate them to do sport. As the World Health Organisation says, 30 minutes walking a day it is very important for our health.

We don’t pretend to have all the answers, but at least we can provide some tips to combat this problem.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/public/story_page/066-37714-338-12-49-911-20080922STO37699-2008-03-12-2008/default_en.htm

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Responses

  1. I can see their point of “blaming” it on fast foods and processed foods (and other stuff originating in the U.S.). But it’s still up to each individual to make healthy choices – to know what it is that they are putting in their mouths. Which is maybe your point? It’s personal responsibility.

    I can see how better food labeling might help to improve the situation? By making it easier for people to educate themselves about what’s in stuff. But they still have to make healthy choices, or else they’ll be fat and unhealthy (because of their own choices)… ?


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