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Food Addictions Contributing to National Obesity Crisis

A Sky News report has revealed that the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies, believes obesity in women is a ‘national risk’. Dame Sally’s 2014 annual report said action is needed to prevent the condition from impacting further generations and said, “I'm calling on the Government to elevate obesity to a national risk.”

Dame Sally highlighted the fact that obesity affects quality of life and can cause premature death. She said it is a condition that needs to be addressed to allow women to live healthier lives. Her annual report revealed that over half of woman aged between 34 and 44 were overweight or obese in 2013, as were sixty-two per cent of women in the age bracket 45 to 54.

Morbidly Obese

With so many people overweight or obese in the UK, it is no surprise that reality shows such as My 600lb Life are so popular. There seems to be some kind of morbid fascination with watching documentaries about those with crippling obesity problems; the latest season of the series is set to show 33-year-old Nikki Webster, who tips the scales at 650 pounds. Nikki’s food addiction has led to her being almost bedridden as she admits she simply cannot stop binge eating. She knows her addiction is life-threatening and said, “I've done this to myself. Food has always been an addiction for me. It is killing me.”

Nikki lives with her parents, who she says are enabling her addiction. They bring food to her room so that she does not have to get up to get it, and they make whatever she wants to eat. Nikki said, “When I start my day, I can't wait to start eating. My mom or dad will make me a plate and send it up to me, so I don't have to go downstairs until breakfast.”

Common Problem

Although Nikki’s story may seem extreme to some people, it is a common problem around the world. My 600lb Life is just one of many weight-centred reality programmes that focus on morbidly obese individuals.

Obesity has long been an issue in the US and, according to the American Heart Association, one in three US adults is obese. The figure here in the UK is around one in four; the NHS says that the UK is leading the way in Europe in terms of obesity. It is a problem that needs to be addressed, and quickly, before it spirals out of control.

Food Addiction

Food addictions such as binge eating disorder are one of the causes of obesity in this country. Those who suffer from the condition continue to eat, despite not being hungry. They may consume an enormous amount of calories in one sitting before being riddled with feelings of guilt, shame and disgust afterwards.  

People with a binge eating disorder often suffer from low self-esteem as well as depression and anxiety.

Consequences of Obesity

Obesity has been described as a public health crisis, and it costs the NHS billions of pounds every year treating obesity-related conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer.

Treating Food Addiction

While food addictions are not the only cause of obesity, they are a real problem for many people; the good news is that this is a problem that can be treated. Here at UK-Rehab, we understand how food addictions can impact health and relationships and, to that end, we offer help and support to those affected as well as their families.

We know the importance of the right treatment for food addictions and so work with a huge network of treatment providers around the country to ensure all our clients get the help they need. If you or a loved one needs help for any addiction, contact Rehab Helper today for more information.

Sources;

  1. Sky News 
  2. Daily Mail 
  3. Heart.org 
  4. NHS 
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