Taking resonsibility for our own health

I seem to have watched several tv programmes in the last few weeks, that have investigated the reason why people in Britain are becoming obese. We already know what is happening in other countries, but it appears that we seem to be following the trend. Even my son, remarked that in documentaries from the 60s and 70s, he rarely observed people that appeared overweight.

I am sure that we will all have differing opinions on why this is happening, and I have listened to many over the period. Three for me stood out. Firstly, marketing and flavourings etc, from food companies. Delicious, calorie filled attractive looking food, targeted at children initially, who will develop a taste for that type of food as they grow up. Secondly, people blame lack of time to prepare a meal, so they go with fast food. Thirdly, people feel that Government should put certain restrictions on food companies to force them to comply with guidelines that are currently voluntary. ( Ineffective and meaningless!!)

To add to issues around our diet, I was then involved in discussions regarding patients and medicines, combined with attendance for appointments.The role of hospitals was discussed, and duty of care to the patient, was a commonly used phrase. Despite the fact that some patients didn’t collect their medicines as they should, or even attend appointments if requested, there was still a duty of care on behalf of the hospital and GP.

All of the above prompted me to think about what our society is becoming. Are we creating a society, where we need the Government to tell us how to do everything? Why are we always looking to blame people for problems, that we could solve ourselves? This just seems the easy way out. It seems that when something happens, it is always someone else to blame. Surely there comes a time when we must be responsible for our own choices.

Many years ago, when we didn’t know what certain products would do to our bodies in the long term, I could understand why people continued along their path, happy in ignorance. But today, all the facts and figures are laid out in front of us, yet many of us choose to ignore them. Smoking, drinking, lack of exercise and poor diet, will almost certainly create health issues in the long run. If we then do not even attend for a hospital appointment or take medicine as prescribed, what can we expect to happen?

Life is about choice, and I think we couldn’t imagine it any other way, but so many people seem to make wrong ones in certain key areas of their life. I guess this is always going to be the way, as we have been making the same mistakes, as long as we have been on the planet. But given all the information that is readily available these days, it is frustrating to sit by and watch it happen.

Governments talk unconvincingly about using legislation to keep giant international food companies in line. They in turn argue, that it is up to the consumer to decide, what they want to put in their body. To a degree that is true, but why do they use all sorts of marketing ploys, and go to such great lengths, to truly hide what their products contain.Is this all about money? I suspect so.

Ultimately, it is only ourselves that can decide how we choose to live our lives. We are all targets, of massive, ongoing advertising campaigns, being bombarded by marketing wherever we go. We must start taking responsibility for our own health and well being. Life would be very boring, if we all stuck to what we should do, and I am certainly not a good example of that! But I do know my own boundaries.

In my five years of constant treatment, I have never missed an appointment, unless I have been too sick to attend, and have always taken my medication as prescribed. This certainly has a part to play in the fact that I am still alive.I decided that my team were the experts in my condition and I would be stupid not to do what they told me.I have never smoked, and now drink very little. I am not a massive eater, but certainly do not hold back on the treats! Most of my pleasures in life seem to have been taken from me, so I figure a bit of tasty food every now and again will be ok.

Instead of always looking round for people to blame, lets be more concerned with our own actions, and what results they might have.It is certainly easier, if in every situation, someone else is responsible. But life was never intended to be easy!


  1. Hiya Chris,
    Good one as always.
    Taking responsibility is central (I couldn’t agree more) However how do we explain that people living on the continent, eating an average of 2-3 course meal everyday, drinking wine at each meal or could possibly faint at the thought of not enjoying pudding to finish off a nice meal are usually thinner and leaner than their British counterparts?
    Some uneducated guesses I d like to share: the average lunch time in France is up to 2 hours.(not that it would take that long to eat snails or camembert) however it gives the recipient enough time to power nap(30 mins average). Do you think if people were prepared to give up their FB, emails or Twitter over that “dedicated” time, they could probably benefit from it? NB -Research shows that people on the continent work less but productivity is greater.
    Again consumption of so called processed food is increasing in the land of the Eurozone, but again no obvious signs of obesity seem to be affecting their population. a) Could the relationship we have with food be blamed in that instance?I.e Good or bad for me etc, when on the continent food is treated as food.
    b) could the Photoshop culture add pressure on people and invite people here to explore the guilt route? (I still do not understand the concept of size zero btw) 🙂
    c) Do we only have to take responsibility for our Health when that very precious thing is gone?
    A major cultural difference I have noticed through the years: an average Chinese person will consult their doctor monthly and pay them to keep them healhy whereas we only visit our GPs when things turn sour? (and maybe too late in most instances)

    My take away food for thoughts.
    Lots of love and thanks for the great blogs. Keep ’em coming!
    Nick x

  2. Hi Nick
    Thanks for sharing your educated thoughts.I think you have certainly created ‘Food for thought'( Pardon the pun!)
    I think you make some very valid points, the main one being that it is as much about how we consume our food, as to what we consume. Long gone are the lunch hours of my youth! Wherever I go, I see people consuming food whilst doing something else, including tapping away on their mobile!Eating lunch at the desk seems almost commonplace and accepted practice. It is almost like we feel guilty for taking time out to eat.
    A meal on the continent seems to be more an event, than just taking on board fuel because we have to! The point you make about the doctor is very valid and I’m sure all these things are cultural in our society.
    How to change them is another question? I’m glad you are still enjoying the blog and I look forward to your next comments. TU Chris

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