This image is taken from today's Independent, which reports that obese men have just a 1 in 210 chance of achieving a healthy body-weight. For severely obese men, prospects are even worse, down to 1 in 1,290.
While significant numbers can achieve a 5% weight loss in a given year, they normally regain it in subsequent years.
One conclusion is that the diet and exercise regimes which have been advocated really do not work. While some professionals advocate more bariatric surgery, an emerging view is that it is better to promote preventative measures.
An obvious target would be highly sugared drinks, and the UK government is now urging parents to take sugary drinks out of their children's diets.
A major difficulty is that the cumulative effect of too much sugar, poor diet, lack of exercise and general sedentary lifestyle is changing what is considered normal.
For example, in American advertising, it is now necessary to not just include different ethnic representatives, but also fat people.
Increasingly, TV shows and adverts are populated by people, who in my youth, would have been considered unusually fat, but are now becoming the norm. Cultural expectations are shifting (the same thing is happening with respect to violence and killing, but that is another story). Soon being slim will be considered to be odd and unnatural.
It might not be too far-fetched to imagine a movie placed in the future, where the fatties hunt down the skinnies, because they are weird and laugh at the fatties!!
Moving to the USA from Europe, you are startled by how much sugar is in normal things like bread, baked beans and even salads. And it is getting worse, for instance the new Starbucks 'Cinnamon Roll' flavoured coffee contains 102g, that's 20 teaspoons, of sugar in one cup!!
But for the most part Americans don't see it. In the same way that we might imagine a fish not being aware of the water all round it, Americans swim in a sea of sugar without realising it.
But why? Consumerism and social control. Sugar can become addictive because it gives a little jolt to the brain, a mini high. To a sedated and drugged population it makes them feel awake, just long enough to go to the store (on their motorised shopping carts) and buy consumer goods - sixty inch TV's, guns and more sugar.
All of which is good for corporate profits. There are links between drug, food and armaments companies. Obesity causes diabetes (more drugs), which increases thirst (more sugar dinks) and hunger (more burgers). All of the above fuel stupidity and paranoia (more guns).
And here's the real kicker, the fat, dumb and unhappy population is in no condition to comprehend the implications of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement.
This agreement has nothing to do with Free Trade and everything to do with corporate profits and control of society. Under this agreement, a company like Coca-Cola would be able to stop the UK government from urging parents to avoid sugary drinks, on the grounds that such advice would harm their corporate profits.
TTIP is regulated by panels of commercial lawyers, whose remit is to judge any action on a purely commercial basis. Ordinary citizens (or even elected representatives) have no voice. There is no legal mechanism by which we can object.
When government and industry merge, it is called Fascism.
Posted by Nicholas Moore 7:15:32 pm