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Abstract:Why can´t those who are overweight take responsibility for themselves and stop blaming their conditions on others?
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.