To have come back from Lanzarote feeling geuinely shocked at how fat the British tourists were?

(655 Posts)
Illgetmycoat Thu 10-Jan-13 11:44:21

I'm not talking slightly plump, I mean seriously, morbidly obese. A whole different race to the German, French and Spanish tourists.

What is going on? When did our country become like this? Whenever you heard a british accent, it would be accompanied by a 3ft wide backside. And whole families, too, all swollen to gargantuan size, with the poor kids unable to put their feet together because of the rolls of fat on their legs.

How has this happened? What the heck are the Brits feeding their children to get them so large? How can you feed an eight year old you love so much food that they become morbidly obese?

It can't just be blamed on poverty, because it's not cheap going to Lanzarote.

I was shocked.

CambridgeBlue Thu 10-Jan-13 12:53:44

I agree with a lot of what's been said about the general attitude in this country and how food is so easily available (and often of low nutritional value) but I'd be interested to know how things are different in other countries - do they snack less? Is unhealthy food less easily available? Are people more active?

sparkle12mar08 Thu 10-Jan-13 12:54:32

Not just overweight Onezerozero - obese. We can't even recognise obese anymore, and that's sad.

TroublesomeEx Thu 10-Jan-13 12:55:30

That's true LifeofPo.

Cutting out processed crap and sugar was the big thing for me.

I'll tell you something else, I've had other people say that they couldn't do it because they can't cut out chocolate; they need it or they have a sweet tooth.

Do you know what? I've had no chocolate over Christmas because once you stop eating it and break the addiction, your sweet tooth somehow disappears too...

Onezerozero Thu 10-Jan-13 12:55:48

(I guess I meant morbidly obese originally.)

TroublesomeEx Thu 10-Jan-13 12:57:41

I agree with everything you said MrsMelons

Pinkerl Thu 10-Jan-13 12:57:48

The stats are what they are - according to the BBC, 60% of Brits are overweight, and nearly a quarter are obese (I take it that obesity is considered a subcategory of overweight, or we're really in trouble)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/obesity.shtml

LifeofPo Thu 10-Jan-13 12:57:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BadLad Thu 10-Jan-13 12:58:34

CambridgeBlue, my experience is that here (in Japan) people eat much more sparingly than they do in the UK, despite the proliference of all-you-can-eat-and-drink restaurants. They also eat more healthily.

My Japanese friends will go to a buffest, fill their plate up once, and declare that they have had enough.

NaicePig Thu 10-Jan-13 12:58:47

You should be able to see a child's ribs. It's not like being able to see an adult's ribs, their fat distribution is all different.

Obviously you don't necessarily need to worry if you can't see your child's ribs, but if you can, it definitely doesn't mean they're starved.

FreudiansSlipper Thu 10-Jan-13 13:00:10

Really kids are as active

we used to be outside running about all day many children do not have that sort of freedom now. While I agree that the foods we eat have something to do with it I am not so sure children are as active. They may go to more clubs but just running about being outside ony eating at lunch because it is not there and you only when home when it was lunch time or you were very hungry. We had a few overweight children in our class you see many more overweight children now.

LifeofPo Thu 10-Jan-13 13:00:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpringIsComing Thu 10-Jan-13 13:01:00

At between 5'3 and 5'7 any woman over about 10st 6 is overweight
sparkle12mar08 What is your measure of overweight there? 10st6 with a height of 5'7 is a BMI of 22.9 I usually weigh less than that (dress size 6/8), but I went to that at Christmas and was still wearing my size 8 clothes/jeans with people calling me 'tiny' (which I don't think I am, but still)

MrsMelons Thu 10-Jan-13 13:03:57

I started running a couple of years ago and was absolutely shocked at how few calories you burn, in comparison to how many calories you would eat in even a healthy meal.

My 10k training runs in 50-60 mins burn about 600/700 calories (the slower you are the more fat/calories you burn over the same distance). That is not actually that much when you compare like LifeofPo said to say a Mars bar.

If I run 5-10km 3 times a week I still couldn't eat anything/everything I wanted but I would be able to eat healthily then eat a takeaway/meals out or the odd treat knowing I wouldn't put on weight but unless I cut the treats out I would be unlikely to lose it as I am towards my lower end of normal right now.

I really think people underestimate how little you can eat without putting on weight (obviously it does vary) and then wonder why they are putting on weight all the time.

It is quite possible to put on 2lbs in a weekend going out for a 3 course meal and having a few drinks. The trouble is as a nation we also drink a lot so the lbs pile on pretty quickly!

DolomitesDonkey Thu 10-Jan-13 13:04:31

YANBU and I say that as an overweight Brit.

I left the UK 13 years ago and when I go back to visit my jaw hangs open at the sheer "state" of people.

An interesting point about wealth and size. I work in a firm where generally speaking the staff are very well remunerated for what we do. In my department of about 100 people there are around 4 people I would deem overweight. Of these 4, 3 are in low-paid admin jobs. The vast majority of the people I work with are slim.

This is not isolated to my department either. In our building it is really quite rare to see people who are significantly overweight, when walking down the street it is very commonplace. I don't believe my global employer discriminates based on size, so I can only assume there is a link.

I agree with OP's point about it being particularly noticeable on holiday. I was away a couple of years ago and remember noticing a group of boys ranging from about 7-10. Every single one of them had love-handles. Surely boys of that age should look like beanpoles due to activity?

sparkle12mar08 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:08:09

That's partly why I gave a range of heights and said 'about'. At 5'7 a women wouldn't be overweight till she was 11st 7 or more, but 5' 7 is quite tall for a women I think? Anyway, as I say, I've been obese and am still overweight, I'm trying but it's not easy, but I'm not kidding myself - I'm fat. Easy as that really. And I've definitely noticed the change in sizes - the size 14 I wore a decade ago at the same weight mow matches precisely the size 12 I bought three months ago - vanity sizing is present in every high street store now, it's not just the wedding dress shops anymore.

Sailormercury Thu 10-Jan-13 13:08:27

I read once that the Japanese only eat until they are nearly full not completely full (probably like 80% full) and that it is considered very bad manners to eat anything while standing.

FreudiansSlipper Thu 10-Jan-13 13:08:45

i think there are many studies to show they are not

stats can always be manipulated, who is providing them what the reasons are etc. it has been reported over and over again that children are not as active as they used to be. From my experience children I know are not even with all the clubs they go do I think that is down to being driven around more and not having the freedom to play out as I had when I was young. Thankfully ds is happy to walk miles but some of his little firends moan when I make them walk to the park that is about a 20 minute walk

Blu Thu 10-Jan-13 13:09:12

I have no comment to make over obesity generally or in particular, but there is something I have noticed on the very few times I have been in an all inclusive hotel.

Most guests seemed to regard the buffet as a lovely way to offer a choice, so that you can pick the thing you would most like. Many Brits seemed to feel they would be being cheated if they didn't have a good go at most of the things on offer, and would have something of absolutely everything unless they didn't like it. I did hear peple joking about repeat visits to the buffet with 'might as well get our money's worth'. I feel like that faced with a buffet, too - I don't want to miss something if I might enjoy it, even if I have already had one nice thing.

Calling waiters to the sun loungers for non-stop cocktails started very early in the day, and each order, when it came, would be met with 'well, might as well, we've paid for it' to each other. NONE of the Germans or French or Italians were ordering the extremely sweet sticky cocktails that were available on the free tariff at 10.30 in the morning. Or on the beach at all.

RedToothbrush Thu 10-Jan-13 13:09:24

Obesity tends to be more common in certain areas of the UK.
Obesity tends to reflect certain lifestyle choices.

Two things you can't argue with. The NHS recognises this.

There are definite and very clear patterns about obesity to the point that they are now starting to believe that if you are given certain information about a child and its parents at birth, you'll be able to predict whether they will become obese or not. This are social as well as to do with genetics.

So, actually the idea that obese people might tend to take a certain type of holiday in a certain place rather than another type of holiday in another place, might not actually be so ridiculous or sizeist in anyway. It might merely be more of this and a reflection of lifestyle choices.

For example, if you ask the question: "Would you expect to see more thin people than fat people on a climbing holiday?" What would your honest answer be?

Is the OP exaggerating? Yes probably. But I'm not convinced that isn't some truth to what they have said.

Why Lanzarote might attract a certain type of British tourist and the same isn't true of other nationalities though, I have no idea. Are we that much worse than other countries?

Not necessarily. It could be as simple as how Lanzarote is marketed and promoted in different countries by tour operators rather than the fact that Britain is markedly worse than other countries in Europe when it comes to obesity.

LifeofPo Thu 10-Jan-13 13:10:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sparkle12mar08 Thu 10-Jan-13 13:11:01

Agree MrsMelons!! People vastly under estimate calories in food, and vastly over estimate calories burned in exercise. And someone upthread mentioned age - it's a real bummer but over about 40 your necessary calorie intake for weight maintenance plummets, so actually loosing weight becomes ever harder.

BelleoftheFall Thu 10-Jan-13 13:12:06

I think there's a huge lack of knowledge when it comes to nutrition. I only began to learn properly about food when (ironically) I was diagnosed with a progressive disease and suddenly taking care of my health and body became a huge priority...I was shocked at how little I knew. I think other people are in the same boat: not a clue about what foods are good sources of vitamins/iron/calcium/etc and convinced that certain foods aren't as bad as they actually are. And portions are another thing. I think our idea of what a good portion is has become distorted and is they're now too large. Even something that seems to be healthy can be bad if you're having a big plate of it.

FreudiansSlipper Thu 10-Jan-13 13:12:12

I have often wondered why in south east Asia people are slim when they seem to eat constantly, street food is very popular. but then meals tend t be smaller so maybe it is down to smaller portions (and healthier food)

LifeofPo Thu 10-Jan-13 13:13:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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