Obesity – a crisis on our doorstep

Posted: November 6, 2012 in Business/Cardiff News, Opinion
Tags: , , , ,

How can anyone not be alarmed by comments in the Western Mail yesterday about Wales’ obesity epidemic?

Firefighters have been called in to help paramedics move obese patients

Firstly, the news that more than half of adults in Wales are overweight or obese.

And secondly, the shocking reports that Welsh Fire and Rescue service were called into action 110 times in the last five years for “bariatric assists” – where paramedics needed help to move patients because of their weight.

With additional reports that 21% of 15-year-olds in Wales are overweight or obese this crisis must be addressed without delay. We now are not far behind the US, with a growing obesity problem in our young people.

The costs to the nation are already huge, and it can only get worse. We must encourage our young citizens from an early age, to eat more sensibly and be given guidance on what is best for them. Make healthy eating fun, rather than a chore; encourage, incentivise and get more role models to promote better food habits.

Coupled with the lasting legacy of the Olympics, lets inspire our young people to look after themselves and take part in sport, not necessarily to win, but to see that participating is fun. Encourage our Olympic heroes to visit schools and youth clubs to promote healthy eating alongside motivating youngsters to take up sport.

Finally, reward those who take up the challenge and celebrate their success.

Unless this issue is addressed very soon by health professionals and government, this time bomb will explode within a decade, and the costs both financially and socially will be unfathomable.

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