That’s the title of a book I’m going to start reading this week and once I’ve read it I have definite plans of sharing what’s in there, unlike what’s happened with other books I claimed I’d read and report on.
It’s certainly a topic close to my heart and I could share stories of my own about being larger than “average,” though I don’t even know what the hell size might constitute the actual average these days. Instead, I’ll point to this Daily Mail article I found via Fark today. It’s about Georgia Davis, a Welsh teenager who paid big money for a spot at an American weight loss academy in North Carolina where she’d had great success in dropping a good chunk of her initial 33 stone weight. Since returning home, though, she was under some family stress and this and that and now her size has increased beyond where she was before.
At her slimmest, Georgia had a normal life expectancy of 80 years, but at her current weight she is not expected to live past 20.
The youngster has strenuously defended herself from accusations that she is lazy, although she admits her weight gain is her own fault.
She said at the camp she had been in a controlled environment where she consumed 1,500 calories a day. However, at home she felt isolated as neither her family nor her friends were sticking to a healthy eating plan.
Georgia said she wants more help from the NHS, saying her problem is no different from drug or alcohol addiction.
The troubled teenager said: ‘I know I’m probably eating myself to death again but at the moment I can’t face up to it.’
I added bold to the part I hope is covered in the book. Health and weight isn’t just a problem for an individual; it’s often evidence that a family has problems. Either it’s money related, or health related in some other way, or an education problem or evidence of some societal structure that is seriously flawed and probably affects a lot of families in a similar way.
I wouldn’t say Georgia’s weight gain is entirely her fault if she returned to an environment that made sticking to a diet next to impossible. If her family wasn’t going to make the effort to help her keep the weight off by changing the way they bought and ate as well, what luck was she really going to have there? It sure as hell wasn’t up to her friends to watch what she ate; most of them probably give little thought to what they ingest on a daily basis, also.
That said, does the NHS have any control over how a family buys and eats food? What could they do for her, fork out for some kind of bariatric surgery or something? Is the cost of any of that up to health agencies usually? Too bad she’s not a resident of New Zealand. They’ve recently announced that their government is willing to fund 300 bariatric procedures over the next four years. Good news for some there.