Sunday 22 January 2012

Now men are becoming weight obsessed!

I was reading a feature in yesterday's Times about how more and more men are becoming worried about their weight and taking up dieting.

There was a time when dieting and weight issues was something only women worried about. For some men there was a certain pride in developing a middle aged beer gut.

Its all changed now. 10 years ago the biggest selling mens magazines were lads mags like FHM and Loaded - today it's Men's Health.

These days I'm constantly hearing both men and women talk about their weight and how supposedly 'fat' they are. Going on about calories, BMI, and how eating a bar of chocolate will require two extra sessions of the gym this week!

Don't ask me about calories. If you tell me how many calories were in the last meal you ate, I will only stare at you blankly. It will mean nothing to me.

Are people becoming too obsessed with weight? For me it's all about having a balanced diet, eating in moderation, doing regular exercise and having a healthy attitude towards food.

Am I being naive in saying that?

I have to admit, I don't worry about my weight. I'm one of those annoying people that's always eaten whatever I like in the knowledge that I'm never going to put weight on.

In saying that, it's not as if I stuff myself with junk food everyday. I do have a lifelong addiction to biscuits (love my bourbon creams) but generally I eat pretty well.

I know I have a good metabolism and nobody in my family is overweight. I've always played sport, and play badminton every week which I've done for the last 7 years.

It's good that more and more people, particularly men are becoming aware of healthy diets and watching their weight but there's no reason to become obsessed about it.

Obesity is very much a modern problem only found in rich Western countries, especially in America and here in the UK.

Being overweight and dieting are closely linked to the lifestyle people lead, the culture of the society they live in, and people's own individual attitude and relationship towards food.

Last year I read an interesting theory that said one of the reasons so many Americans are fat is that they watch the most amount of television of any Western country. It was a good point. Lots of people sitting around stationary eating food whilst watching tv. It makes sense. That's a lifestyle issue.

Then there's people's personal relationships with food. Food can be used in a similar way to drugs or alcohol were people eat to deal with emotional or psychological problems - which again can be caused by external factors to do with the culture or society they live in.

There's never been a point in human history, where so many people haven't had to worry about the scarcity of food.

Many of us will never know what it's like to be truly hungry, but now people are made to feel guilty about eating too much, and when they do put on some weight some of which is only to be expected as we get older - they're told that this extra weight is making them ugly, unattractive failures.

There are too many conflicting messages from society and the media about body image, which have tended to affect women the most but it seems its starting to affect men as well.

Thankfully I have a good self body image and I'm determined to keep it that way. Being genuinely obese obviously poses serious health issues, but we don't have to start living like an athlete in training for the Olympics.

Keep things in perspective is my advice, but if you disagree with anything I've said then please tell me why.

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