Nationwide Obesity: Sure, It’s only the Americans that have that problem, right?
We hear a lot about America in today’s news. From their questionable political decisions and their radical gun laws, there’s always something happening that is plastered around media sites and newspapers. A lot of the time, they’re horrifying and tragic events that spark many conversations around the home and in the office and sometimes we say things like “Thank God we’re not living there” and “We’re lucky that Ireland is a much better place” but, when you think about it, how different are we, really?
We may not be able to buy firearms in Tesco and we don’t say things like “sidewalk” or “cell phone” and we spell “colour” instead of “color” but despite this, Irish and American culture has now grown to be remarkably similar.
We watch American tv shows and movies, we read books by American authors, we drive American cars, we buy American products and most importantly, we eat American food. When we go abroad, The USA is our 2nd most popular holiday destination. (Granted, it’s incredibly likely that we’ll spend our time in an Irish bar because some things will just never change!) It’s very clear that over the years, Irish people have adopted many aspects of life and mannerisms from our American counterparts, yet we still say things like, “Thank god we’re not like them!”
Now, as I said previously, there’s some cultures that the American people value that we, as Irish, don’t and these kind of differences will always be evident however there’s one part of American life that we have slowly and steadily adopted as our own without even realising; the nationwide love of fatty food.
American people have become the fattest nation in the world with 38% of the population being obese. This probably doesn’t surprise you. I’m sure you’re reading this thinking “Well, they do eat a lot of fatty food to be honest, what can you expect?” and that’s true and you’re right but what may surprise you, is that we’re really not that far behind them.
Ireland is eleventh on the list with 23% of our population suffering from obesity.
23% of people. That’s over one in five people in Ireland who are scientifically deemed as obese. A study has forecast that by the year 2025, 37% of Irish people will be obese. That’s just slightly below America’s current stats and considering the population differences between the massive powerhouse of The USA and our tiny, teddy-bear shaped island, you can be sure that’ll look a hell of lot worse.
This is happening to us because, for some reason, we think obesity is only happening in America. We think that we’re immune somehow and that we must be somewhat healthier because we’re Ireland. We’re a small group of messers, having a laugh and a joke in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and we think “there’s no way we’ll be as fat as America” well unfortunately lads, that’s exactly where we’re headed.
Obesity is a major problem in today’s world because of the health risks that come along with it. Things like heart disease, cancer, diabetes to name a few. High levels of fat in the body can have serious repercussions and we need to be aware of what we’re eating, how much we’re eating and how active we are. Now, if you’re reading this and thinking “Lord, this crazy cailín speaks the truth! We’re all doomed and it’s all our fault!!”, don’t stress because yes, we may all be fat and will likely have to be rolled out of the house come 2025 but it’s not exactly our fault!* (*it may be somewhat our fault)
We have unfortunately fallen prey to the evil food companies persuasions. Just like America. We’re bombarded with adds on TV and social media about ordering pizzas and chippers etc and we’re made believe that fast food is so much easier and cheaper. Then we’re told that we work hard everyday, life is difficult and that we may as well treat ourselves!
Leading to us picking up the phone or the app and ordering something fantastic yet devastatingly fattening. Even if we don’t order something and we go to the supermarkets for the big weekly shop, we’re still picking out products that have huge amounts of sugar and fat.
One fatty meal is fine. Even two… probably fine.
But every day we’re guzzling massive amounts of sugars and fats into our bodies and before you know it, we’re America 2.0. The good news is that now that we know about this problem and we can combat this and we can stop it from becoming as bad as it has been forecast. We can slow down this nationwide, rampant obesity and we can become a happier, healthier country.
If you’re interested to know more about the obesity problem and the strange things that the food and drink companies do to make us buy their products, I’d suggest watching a documentary called Fed Up. (It’s on Netflix so no excuse!) You’ll never eat processed food again!
Lizzie tries to do her best to make a positive change in the community and she regularly volunteers to help the homeless and the elderly living alone. She’s also been part of an organisation called Junior Achievement and has gone to schools to teach children from disadvantaged areas.
She has taken part in numerous fundraising events for many different charities and organisations. She’s done everything from fasting to skydiving from 10,000 feet.
Her hobbies include gaming, reading, playing the ukulele, zumba, cooking and trying to befriend her grumpy pet hedgehog, Peeves.