Globesity – The New “Buzzword”.

Where have we got this sudden desire to merge words to make a new one from? All this Brangelina/Bennifer stuff is just weird.
Anyway, I digress.

This word, reportedly first used by a writer at the World Health Organization, in an article about the “global obesity epidemic”, is increasingly being used to describe the state of the 1st world’s health.

The figures ARE worrying. Despite the fact that I’m some 130-odd kilograms in weight myself, and therefore a “globesity” statistic, I do suffer the mentality of “well, I don’t want to live until I’m 110, so I’ll eat what I damn well like, thank you very much!”. But I really would like to be healthier in the here and now. I might not want to prolong my life, but I’d like for it to be a better quality of life at the moment.

I am old enough to remember (sadly) a time when food was still not as readily available as it is now. Supermarkets when I was growing up seem to only really have the basic things. Fruit and vegetables (nothing exotic mind…and only things “in season”…which is not something you have to worry about anymore – big “up” to food miles!), bread (white and brown, that was it – pretty much anyway), butter and marg (although margarine was pretty low quality then), milk (in cartons or bottles), some sweets/lollies…not at the stock levels we have these days though, nowhere NEAR those levels. And I’m pretty sure that, until the early to mid 1980’s the supermarkets in Oz didn’t sell meat. You still went to the butcher for your meat. My mum refused to by meat from the supermarket until into the 1990’s and then she would only buy small amounts. Now, if she wanted to, she probably couldn’t find a butcher to buy from!

It was an absolute TREAT for us (me, my siblings, kids around my street and local area) to get any kind of sweets. You felt really special if you were allowed to buy something off the ice cream man (who would come around at least once a day, most likely twice, three times on weekends, and during the Xmas summer holidays, they might as well have parked in the street they seemed to come around so often!!). A BIG treat was an ice cream, perhaps a paddle pop (they only use to cost 20 cents!), or a bubble-o-bill (about 30-40 cents). The biggy was a gaytime – that was the creme de la creme of ice cream treats. I think they were a whopping FIFTY CENTS when I was in single figures, but 50 cents was a big deal! But we’d be more than happy with a 5c or 10c bag of lollies (sweets). You didn’t expect these things every day. Half the time you’d be too afraid to ask, cos you know your mum would go MENTAL if you even asked. Pester power was NOT going to work on our war/post war baby mothers!

Now it’s so readily available and affordable that we’ve had a generation of kids that have been given chocolates and sweets as pacifiers. Cry = get a bar of chocolate.

Food was much simpler as well. Post-war, what could you buy? Milk, sugar (in limited quantities), eggs (again – limited…no eggs at all during the war), butter, limited meat, fruit (only seasonal, and limited), vegetables (seasonal), tea. If you wanted bread, you made it. It was like that for a long time.

Even while I was growing up, we had lots of casseroles and soups and stews. My mum was always making Irish stew and home-made friend rice. To have a Chinese take-away was an extra special treat. Half the time you had to go to the restaurant, there was no “take-away” as such. Not being delivered to your door anyway. I think I was around 12. We (my family) went to a Japanese restaurant in Sydney for my mum’s 45th birthday. I remember trying sashimi, only a taste. It wasn’t something I ordered…no way. Raw fish – are you kidding?!!! I’d not even had a take-away curry until I moved here to the UK.

Most nights as I got older, into my teens, we’d still have just a meal of meat and 3 veg. On a really lazy day you might have take-away fish and chips, or a burger and chips. But even then, the burgers weren’t McDonalds slop. It was a burger from the local milk bar, made with a fresh meat pattie, fresh bun, filled with lettuce, tomato, onion (I didn’t have onion then), beetroot (yes! beetroot on a burger – it is delicious), maybe cheese. If we made them at home, we’d even have an egg on there. One hamburger was a complete rounded meal…not a bun of artery hardening slop. You wouldn’t know it to hear of my size…but I rarely have take-away/fast food. My downfall is sweets – chocolate, lollies, cakes and crisps.

I think food is now too readily available. It’s too easy to get, with supermarkets open 24/7. I think supermarkets contain far too much stock these days, and are far too over-sized (I think the increasing size of the supermarkets are in line with the size of the obesity problem). I don’t have a problem so much with the opening hours, more the size of these supermarkets. I’m sure walking the length of one of these “super” supermarkets is the only exercise some people get – me included!!

And we have the genetic problem in us. We (as humans) veritably starved for thousands of years and our bodies are designed to crave fat and sugar. And now with the over-processing of food, all we’ve put in to processed food is fat, sugar and salt.

I think we need to design a pill that rectifies what is now a genetic flaw or defect (IE: the bodies fixation in obtaining fat/sugar). A pill to tell the body that fat/sugar is no longer wanted or required. Not at the rate it needed anyway. We’ve gone from our bodies not getting this stuff, only in very limited quantities in fits and starts, to having a balanced, stable intake of it, to – LOOK OUT, HERE IT COMES, in the last few hundred years. The last phase – from balanced to LOOK OUT – in the last 50 years!! It’s pretty bad.