Mumsnet hasn't checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you have medical concerns, please seek medical attention; if you think your problem could be acute, do so immediately. Even qualified doctors can't diagnose over the internet, so do bear that in mind when seeking or giving advice.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Shocked yesterday at just how many people are overweight?(609 Posts)
And I know I’ll get loads of bashing but I’m not judging- myself and all my family may well be included in this observation
The day before I’d been watching a documentary about the 40s and was struck by how slim the vast majority of people were. We got chatting as a group and I remembered there was only one child at school who was considered to be overweight (this is the 80s) so I got a photo out and realised by today’s standard he wouldn’t stand out at all.
Then yesterday walking around town I started actually noticing and it struck me that only about 1 in 10 people if that would be classed as properly slim and how normalised carrying extra weight is. Many people who would have been maybe a size 12 so ‘slim’ are actually carrying so much more body fat than our ancestors.
Once I looked it was striking.
No blame on anyone- society makes it almost impossible to maintain a lower weight unless you have iron will with all the food availability and snacking culture and calorie laden drinks and meals.
And we definitely have reset in our heads what is slim and what is ‘normal’.
How on earth do we reverse this is a society or is it just going to rise exponentially?
You do realise that in the 1940s people were subjected to food rationing and severe austerity due to the war? Plus nearly everyone would have been under immense stress or grief.
I work in an office of 60 people. 2 are obese, probably another 6 would have an overweight BMI and the rest are what I would call slim and in a healthy weight range.
Yep people are fatter now. Where have you been for the last 20 years that you are now shocked by it ?
I think it’s depends where you are. I work in an office in London and out of maybe 100 people on my floor I would only classify 2 as overweight. The rest are not only slim but also really sporty and healthy. You never see people eating crisps or drink fizzy drinks at their desks.
i went to supermarket yesterday afternoon, plenty of overweight staff as well as customers. fairly noticeable
I agree. I'm in between a size 10 and 12 and clinically overweight. My mother is also a size 12 and clinically overweight but I read and hear all the time that a size 12 is "slim" and that there is nothing wrong with it and get asked why I'm dieting or unhappy with my weight. Weight loss is a constant struggle for us due to thyroid disease. People in every day life think that I'm nuts when I point out a family risk of diabetes and certain cancers which are linked to being overweight and say that's why I'd prefer to lose weight. I honestly think we've lost sight of what a healthy body looks like.
More car use, takeaways, generally more food available.
It's interesting what you observe in different areas. I work in a quite wealthy middle class organisation with almost 2000 people and I'm surprised at how there aren't many fat people, as it's not representative of what I normally see in my working class area.
We visit a different part of the country a few times a year and it's known for obesity problems and it's shocking, you can just see it everywhere. It's especially shocking to see morbidly obese children as it's not that common at home.
You're absolutely right, I work with teenagers and almost all of the girls are much bigger than I am, when I was their age (in the early 80s) they would have been considered very fat but now it appears they are 'normal'. They think I'm skinny and try and pick me up 😂 but I'm really not! I was on training a few days ago and over 1/2 the people in the room were noticeably overweight. We need to stop hiding from it, people have no hesitation in pointing out that others should quit smoking, criticise drug or alcohol misuse but never food......
There's been quite a few articles released this last week or two that shows that shaming actually perpetuates the cycle and doesnt help people who are obese at all, it makes things worse.
We need other plans. Its not a coincidence that the v wealthy people mentioned above were slim and fit, and the working class area full of overweight people... maybe thats where the focus should be.
This isn’t really news to anyone though is it? It has been widely reported on that the population is getting fatter and fatter.
Like Chupchup I think a lot depends on the demographic. I worked in a corporate environment, approximately 2000 people in my building and the vast majority were slim. However I have recently moved back to my hometown in the midlands and overweight seems to be the norm here.
We need to stop hiding from it, people have no hesitation in pointing out that others should quit smoking, criticise drug or alcohol misuse but never food......
It has been proven that this approach doesn’t work.
Is that an accusation or your speculation about the cause of an overweight society Eleanor?
People are really fat now, more than half the population. I spent a day in the hospital yesterday and I would say 90% of the people I came across were either over weight or obese, including doctors, nurses....
the supermarket i went to seemed to be in a lower paid area, lower paid people, thus more fat
why is this?
cant afford the gym? I cant afford the gym and quite often cant afford even a swim in the local pool
too reliant on car?
Yes we are turning into a load of fatties!! I first went to the USA in 1979 and I was shocked at how fat people were!! Now I walk down my city high street and we are a country that looks the same.
I’m amazed at how many fat young girls there seems to be!!
I have to say, fat shaming works for me. I’ve been told I need to loose weight in the past and it only spurred me on. I’m currently 9 months pregnant (which is a fab excuse for being fat) but the truth is I have put in too much weight and look fat, I’ve been told this and I’ll be back on watching my calorie in take after a couple of months.
not enough moving i think, eat less, move more
I often feel the same way op. I am 2.5 stone overweight and a size 16. I find it sad to see so many overweight young people, at least it has taken me over 50 years to reach this size. I often think if you set up a camera to film people walking past for a day in Chelsea compared with somewhere like Lincoln the rates of obesity would bear
no resemblance to each other whatsoever. It tends to be a condition of poverty (not in my case, but I'm speaking generally).
I agree op, and this attitude that you can't ever mention it, even in general terms like you have or it's considered "shaming" is ludicrous.
I also work in a corporate environment and most people are a healthy weight. But recently I was in London, waiting for someone outside a tube station and was people watching, and had the same thought as you. So many people were over weight. And I don't just mean a side twelve , I'm talking visibly excessively over weight.
It's a huge health crisis, one that costs people their lives, and we are told we shouldn't mention it and are attacked for doing so.
what do you mean @mummybares?
we should shame people who eat too much, myself included
it is unhealthy
I do think that all this acceptance of our bodies movement is super but not at the expense of being blind to the impact of obesity and being over a healthy weight. Size does not denote how fit and healthy a person is but lifestyle does and the same way obesity needs to be addressed, being slim but not looking after your health is equally an issue. People see exercise as a luxury not a basic.
More fast food outlets; more 'relaxed' clothing so that nothing feels tight.
When I was younger a size 12 was pretty small; size 10 was the smallest size available for adult women.
Join the discussion
Please login first.