To forbid advertising and attractive display doesn't solve any problems. People can develop and overcome difficulties. They are not helpless victims. Why can't those who are overweight take responsibility for themselves and stop blaming the causes of obesity in children and adults on society?
One of my teenage patients weighed 161 kg! Becoming overweight and
eventually ill because of an incorrect diet is an increasing social
problem. You say that the responsibility for this is the concern of each
individual and protest that I depict food abusers as helpless when
confronted with all the temptations. Do you also apply your attitude to
children and insist that they should take responsibility for eating
unwholesome food? Shouldn't society provide an environment which helps
them to have good eating habits? Parents can provide a good home
environment, but as soon as children go outside they are attracted by
candy and junk food.
Of course, I share your conviction that people can develop by overcoming
their difficulties. However, enormous numbers of children will become fat
and ill if we don't help them. I am very concerned by the fact that our
society mass-produces overweight children.
Even for many adults, food abuse and sugar dependence are serious
problems. It is so easy to shift responsibility on to them, but the social
environment we provide, with easy access to candy and tempting junk food,
makes it very difficult for children.
It isn't a question of isolated individuals, overweight is now a
widespread disease, and society is an accessory to it with its
attractively displayed temptations. It is typical for those who develop
overweight that they are more dependent on stimuli and find it more
difficult to resist external impressions. It is necessary to understand
their special problems and try to arrange things so that society doesn't,
through ignorance, make life more difficult for them.
We need a society where people can do what they want on condition that
others aren't hurt, but in this area children and adults are injured for
life. It can't be right to exploit people's weaknesses when the
consequences are so terrible.