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Britse party wil vetsug by kinders aanpak deur alle gemorskosadvertensies op Primetime TV te verbied

Britse party wil vetsug by kinders aanpak deur alle gemorskosadvertensies op Primetime TV te verbied


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Die party sê die verbod kan die kyk van sulke advertensies met 82 persent verminder

Die Arbeidersparty sê dat die VK een van die ergste vetsugsyfers in kinderjare in Wes -Europa het.

Volgens die Wereld gesondheids Organisasie, daar was na raming 42 miljoen oorgewig kinders onder die ouderdom van vyf jaar regoor die wêreld in 2015, en die koers het sedertdien net toegeneem. Die Arbeidersparty in die Verenigde Koninkryk wil die statistiek in die land verander deur te verbied gemorskos advertensies op primetime TV.

Advertensies vir produkte met 'n hoë inhoud vet, sout, of suiker is reeds op kinder -TV verbied, maar die nuwe verbod sal uitgebrei word om alle TV -programme voor 21:00 te dek BBC gerapporteer. TV -programme soos Die X-faktor, Hollyoaks, en Britain's Got Talent sal ook geraak word as die verbod amptelik ingestel word.

'Ons vra mense om na te dink oor die impak daarvan en vra die advertensiebedryf om dit te erken deur hul boodskappe in dinge soos Brittanje se goeie talent Die hele tyd het dit 'n uitwerking op kinders wat sê dat hulle hierdie goed wil eet en drink, 'het Jonathan Ashworth, sekretaris van gesondheidsorg by Labour, aan die BBC gesê.

Deur die inisiatief beplan Arbeid om die aantal kinders met oorgewig binne tien jaar te verminder.

Klik hier om die tien redes waarom u oor vetsug by kinders moet let, te lees.


Vetsug kan nie aangepak word totdat ons aandag gee aan die trauma wat dit veroorsaak nie

Ons verbrand vet om u risiko vir Covid-19 te verminder. Maar hoe om die skaamte en nood wat so dikwels agter gewigstoename lê, uit die weg te ruim?

'Verhoogde spanning en skaamte wat 'n persoon met vetsug voel, lei dikwels tot verhoogde eetgewoontes en verminderde motivering om gewig te verloor.' Foto: Getty/iStockphoto

'Verhoogde spanning en skaamte wat 'n persoon met vetsug voel, lei dikwels tot verhoogde eetgewoontes en verminderde motivering om gewig te verloor.' Foto: Getty/iStockphoto

Laas gewysig op Do 30 Jul 2020 13.57 BST

Mense met Covid-19 wat oorgewig of vetsugtig is, het 'n groter risiko vir ernstige komplikasies en die dood. In die lig van hierdie bewyse het die regering 'n plan van stapel gestuur om vetsug aan te spreek, omskryf as 'n manier om soveel ongevalle in 'n tweede golf van die virus te voorkom. Boris Johnson se eie maag was vermoedelik 'n dryfveer.

'Dit was 'n wekroep vir my, en ek wil hê dat dit 'n wekroep vir die hele land moet wees,' het Johnson in 'n Daily Express-rubriek geskryf. 'Die feite is eenvoudig: ekstra gewig plaas ekstra druk op ons organe en maak dit moeiliker om hartsiektes, kanker en - soos ons gevind het - koronavirus te behandel.' Maatreëls sluit in die verpligte kalorie-etikettering op spyskaarte, die afslag van afslagpryse op ongesonde voedselitems, die verbod op vooraf-waterskeidingsadvertensies vir gemorskos en die uitbreiding van NHS-gewigsbeheerdienste.

'N Opname van Openbare Gesondheid in Engeland dui daarop dat twee derdes van volwassenes oorgewig of vetsugtig is. Dit is 'n ernstige probleem wat dringend aandag nodig het. Maar as 'n tweede golf van koronavirusgevalle hierdie winter verwag word, is 'n paar maande regtig lank genoeg om die land se middellyf te verslank? Is dit ten minste nie 'n driejarige doelwit nie? Die wollerige, dissonante boodskappe van die regering - wat ons vertel om gewig te verloor dieselfde week dat ons aangesê is om meer uit te eet - het nie gehelp nie.

Deur gewigsverlies as 'n persoonlike keuse te stel - tel u kalorieë, vermy die goedkoop aanbiedings - bou die regering 'n toubrug oor 'n brandende canyon. Sielkundiges skryf al jare oor hoe vetsug nie veroorsaak word deur 'n gebrek aan wilskrag nie. Dit is eerder 'n produk van emosionele nood, armoede en ongelykheid. Wat mense kan bekostig om te eet, hoeveel tyd hulle het om kos voor te berei en hoe hulle eet, is alles 'n maatstaf van ongelykheid.

In 'n ongesonde omgewing kan vrye wil soos 'n fantasie voel. Elke konserwatiewe regering sedert Margaret Thatcher het individualisme bo welsyn gekweek, tot nadeel van miljoene. Statistieke toon dat 100,000 meer kinders onder die broodlyn leef as 'n jaar gelede. Die vraag na NHS -geestesgesondheidsdienste neem toe, maar as gevolg van stelselmatige besnoeiings aan die befondsing van trusts, het soveel mense pyn sonder om dit oral te neem. Die verband tussen vetsug, geestesgesondheidskwessies en armoede is duidelik, maar die houding teenoor mense met vetsug hang steeds af van 'n waargenome gebrek aan beheer: as u groot is, is u gulsig en ongesond en het u geen wilskrag nie.

As die boodskap van bo is dat individuele keuses bo alles saak maak, is dit nie verbasend dat ons diegene wat groter as ons is, te veel van ons kosbare ruimte kan beskou nie. Maar dit maak vetbeskaamd nie reg of produktief nie. Verhoog die spanning en skaamte wat 'n persoon met vetsug voel - of dit nou te wyte is aan 'n interaksie met openbare vervoer, 'n konsultasie van 'n huisarts of 'n veldtog vir openbare gesondheid - lei dikwels tot verhoogde eetgewoontes en verminderde motivering om gewig te verloor. Hierdie kringloop van skaamte spreek tot 'n ander bewyse wat opsetlik oor die hoof gesien word: die verband tussen vetsug en trauma.

Die groot studie oor nadelige kinderervarings het bevind dat meer as 6 miljoen vetsugtige en morbied vetsugtige mense waarskynlik tydens hul kinderjare fisieke, seksuele en/of verbale mishandeling gely het. Miljoene meer verwys na ander vorme van trauma in die kinderjare as die oorsaak van hul gewigskwessies: om saam met 'n geestesongestelde familielid te woon, of 'n alkoholiese ouer. 'N Aansienlike hoeveelheid navorsing toon nou aan dat PTSD gepaard gaan met 'n verhoogde risiko dat vroue vetsugtig word. Tog blameer ons die individu - veral as hulle 'n vrou is.

Ek het nog nooit 'n sterk siening gehad oor vetsug nie. Dit het verander tydens 'n werksplek vir my sielkunde MSc met 'n kliniese sielkundige wat met voornemende gewigsverlies (bariatriese) chirurgie pasiënte werk. Haar taak was om te bepaal of individue emosioneel toegerus is om so 'n groot oorgang te hanteer en of hulle meer intensiewe sielkundige ondersteuning benodig.

Ek het baie toetse waargeneem by pasiënte wie se BMI hulle in die kategorie 'morbied obese' geplaas het. Vir baie was die eerste keer dat hulle in die kamer by die sielkundige was, historiese trauma bekend. Ek het beskrywings gehoor van kinderjare wat in die sorg deurgebring is, seksuele mishandeling in die gesin, emosionele verwaarlosing en geweld wat my ewig sal bybly. Baie pasiënte het geestesgesondheidsprobleme gehad waarvoor hulle slegs ongemaklike sorg ontvang het. Ek het nog nooit gedink dat daar so 'n duidelike verband sou wees tussen historiese trauma en ongesonde eetgewoontes nie, maar dit maak natuurlik sin.

In die studie oor die nadelige ervaring van kinderjare het baie deelnemers gesê dat ooreet voordele in hul vroeë lewens inhou. Binge-eet het 'n bron van troos en beskerming teen seksuele misbruik geword. 'N Ander verband tussen seksuele mishandeling en vetsug in die kinderjare kan 'n begeerte wees om' de-seksualiseer 'te word en gewig op te tel as 'n manier om te beskerm teen meer mishandeling. Dit is duidelik dat as u ooreet as 'net' 'n verslawing, die kompleksiteit van die probleem miskyk. As voedsel op 'n vroeë ouderdom gebruik word om emosionele nood te hanteer, word dit moeilik om hierdie toestand as volwassene te onderbreek.

Binge-eet, byvoorbeeld, kan 'n kompulsiewe, maar ontstellende terugvoerlus wees: 'n persoon kan groot hoeveelhede eet om dan beter te voel, omdat hy 'n afsku van homself het omdat hy dit kan doen. Die onderbewuste behoefte om emosioneel te kalmeer op hierdie manier, spreek van diepe, onontginde skande en pyn. Sodra daardie skande-wat die liggaam letterlik afweer-in 'n veilige ruimte oopgemaak en aanvaar word, is daar 'n potensiaal om te leer hoe om hierdie vernietigende patrone te herlei.

Toe ek mense vir die eerste keer oor seksuele mishandeling aan 'n professionele persoon sien praat, kon ek die sigbare verligting sien toe hulle gehoor word, maar ook die ongeloof dat hul ervarings uit die verlede in hierdie konteks betekenisvol sou wees. Onthou, die meeste van hierdie vroue het 'n geskiedenis van beduidende geestelike nood gehad. Waarom is hulle nie voorheen uitgevra oor wat met hulle gebeur het nie? Waarom is hulle nie gehelp om by die kolletjies aan te sluit nie?

As ons vetsug wil aanpak, moet ons verder as individuele keuses dink en die probleem as een met strukturele, sistemiese wortels beskou. Ons moet nadink oor wat met mense gebeur het, nie fokus op wat verkeerd is met hulle of hul keuses nie. Dit lyk onwaarskynlik dat 'n politieke party wie se beleid die oorsaak van so 'n wydverspreide nood was, dit kan doen.

Eleanor Morgan is die skrywer van Hormonal: A Conversation About Women's Body, Mental Health en waarom ons gehoor moet word


Vetsug kan nie aangepak word totdat ons aandag gee aan die trauma wat dit veroorsaak nie

Ons verbrand vet om u risiko vir Covid-19 te verminder. Maar hoe om die skaamte en nood wat so dikwels agter gewigstoename lê, uit die weg te ruim?

'Verhoogde spanning en skaamte wat 'n persoon met vetsug voel, lei dikwels tot verhoogde eetgewoontes en verminderde motivering om gewig te verloor.' Foto: Getty/iStockphoto

'Verhoogde spanning en skaamte wat 'n persoon met vetsug voel, lei dikwels tot verhoogde eetgewoontes en verminderde motivering om gewig te verloor.' Foto: Getty/iStockphoto

Laas gewysig op Do 30 Jul 2020 13.57 BST

Mense met Covid-19 wat oorgewig of vetsugtig is, het 'n groter risiko vir ernstige komplikasies en die dood. In die lig van hierdie bewyse het die regering 'n plan van stapel gestuur om vetsug aan te spreek, omskryf as 'n manier om soveel ongevalle in 'n tweede golf van die virus te voorkom. Boris Johnson se eie maag was vermoedelik 'n dryfveer.

'Dit was 'n wekroep vir my, en ek wil hê dat dit 'n wekroep vir die hele land moet wees,' het Johnson in 'n Daily Express-rubriek geskryf. 'Die feite is eenvoudig: ekstra gewig plaas ekstra druk op ons organe en maak dit moeiliker om hartsiektes, kanker en - soos ons gevind het - koronavirus te behandel.' Maatreëls sluit in die verpligte kalorie-etikettering op spyskaarte, die afslag van afslagpryse op ongesonde voedselitems, die verbod op vooraf-waterskeidingsadvertensies vir gemorskos en die uitbreiding van NHS-gewigsbeheerdienste.

'N Opname van Openbare Gesondheid in Engeland dui daarop dat twee derdes van volwassenes oorgewig of vetsugtig is. Dit is 'n ernstige probleem wat dringend aandag nodig het. Maar as 'n tweede golf van koronavirusgevalle hierdie winter verwag word, is 'n paar maande regtig lank genoeg om die land se middellyf te verslank? Is dit ten minste nie 'n driejarige doelwit nie? Die wollerige, dissonante boodskappe van die regering - wat ons vertel om gewig te verloor dieselfde week dat ons aangesê is om meer uit te eet - het nie gehelp nie.

Deur gewigsverlies as 'n persoonlike keuse te stel - tel u kalorieë, vermy die goedkoop aanbiedings - bou die regering 'n toubrug oor 'n brandende canyon. Sielkundiges skryf al jare oor hoe vetsug nie veroorsaak word deur 'n gebrek aan wilskrag nie. Dit is eerder 'n produk van emosionele nood, armoede en ongelykheid. Wat mense kan bekostig om te eet, hoeveel tyd hulle het om kos voor te berei en hoe hulle eet, is alles 'n maatstaf van ongelykheid.

In 'n ongesonde omgewing kan vrye wil soos 'n fantasie voel. Elke konserwatiewe regering sedert Margaret Thatcher het individualisme bo welsyn gekweek, tot nadeel van miljoene. Statistieke toon dat 100,000 meer kinders onder die broodlyn leef as 'n jaar gelede. Die vraag na NHS -geestesgesondheidsdienste neem toe, maar as gevolg van stelselmatige besnoeiings aan die befondsing van trusts, het soveel mense pyn sonder om dit oral te neem. Die verband tussen vetsug, geestesgesondheidskwessies en armoede is duidelik, maar die houding teenoor mense met vetsug hang steeds af van 'n gebrek aan beheer: as jy groot is, is jy gulsig en ongesond en het jy geen wilskrag nie.

As die boodskap van bo is dat individuele keuses bo alles saak maak, is dit nie verbasend dat ons diegene wat groter is as ons, te veel van ons kosbare ruimte kan beskou nie. Maar dit maak nie vetbeskaamd reg of produktief nie. Verhoogde spanning en skaamte wat 'n persoon met vetsug voel - of dit nou te wyte is aan 'n interaksie met openbare vervoer, 'n konsultasie van 'n huisarts of 'n veldtog vir openbare gesondheid - lei dikwels tot verhoogde eetgewoontes en verminderde motivering om gewig te verloor. Hierdie kringloop van skaamte spreek tot 'n ander bewyse wat opsetlik oor die hoof gesien word: die verband tussen vetsug en trauma.

Die groot studie oor nadelige kinderervarings het bevind dat meer as 6 miljoen vetsugtige en morbied vetsugtige mense waarskynlik tydens hul kinderjare fisieke, seksuele en/of verbale mishandeling gely het. Miljoene meer sal verwys na ander vorme van trauma in die kinderjare as die oorsaak van hul gewigskwessies: om saam met 'n geestelik ongesteld gesinslid te woon, of 'n alkoholiese ouer. 'N Aansienlike hoeveelheid navorsing toon nou aan dat PTSD gepaard gaan met 'n verhoogde risiko dat vroue vetsugtig word. Tog blameer ons die individu - veral as hulle 'n vrou is.

Ek het nog nooit sterk standpunte gehad oor vetsug nie. Dit het verander tydens 'n werksplek vir my sielkunde MSc met 'n kliniese sielkundige wat met voornemende gewigsverlies (bariatriese) chirurgie pasiënte werk. Haar taak was om te bepaal of individue emosioneel toegerus is om so 'n groot oorgang te hanteer en of hulle meer intensiewe sielkundige ondersteuning benodig.

Ek het baie toetse waargeneem by pasiënte wie se BMI hulle in die kategorie 'morbied obese' geplaas het. Vir baie was die eerste keer dat hulle in die kamer by die sielkundige was, historiese trauma bekend. Ek het beskrywings gehoor van kinderjare wat in die sorg deurgebring is, seksuele mishandeling in die gesin, emosionele verwaarlosing en geweld wat my ewig sal bybly. Baie pasiënte het geestesgesondheidsprobleme gehad waarvoor hulle slegs ongemaklike sorg ontvang het. Ek het nog nooit gedink dat daar so 'n duidelike verband sou wees tussen historiese trauma en ongesonde eetgewoontes nie, maar dit maak natuurlik sin.

In die studie oor die nadelige ervaring van kinderjare het baie deelnemers gesê dat ooreet voordele in hul vroeë lewens inhou. Binge-eet het 'n bron van troos en beskerming teen seksuele misbruik geword. 'N Ander verband tussen seksuele mishandeling en vetsug in die kinderjare kan 'n begeerte wees om' de-seksualiseer 'te word en gewig op te tel as 'n manier om te beskerm teen meer mishandeling. Dit is duidelik dat as u ooreet as 'net' 'n verslawing, die kompleksiteit van die probleem miskyk. As voedsel op 'n vroeë ouderdom gebruik word om emosionele nood te hanteer, word dit moeilik om hierdie toestand as volwassene te onderbreek.

Binge-eet, byvoorbeeld, kan 'n kompulsiewe, maar ontstellende terugvoerlus wees: 'n persoon kan groot hoeveelhede eet om dan beter te voel, omdat hy 'n afsku van homself het omdat hy dit kan doen. Die onderbewuste behoefte om emosioneel te kalmeer op hierdie manier, spreek van diepe, onontginde skande en pyn. Sodra daardie skande-wat die liggaam letterlik afweer-in 'n veilige ruimte oopgemaak en aanvaar word, is daar 'n potensiaal om te leer hoe om hierdie vernietigende patrone te herlei.

Toe ek mense vir die eerste keer oor seksuele mishandeling aan 'n professionele persoon sien praat, kon ek die sigbare verligting sien toe hulle gehoor word, maar ook die ongeloof dat hul ervarings uit die verlede in hierdie konteks betekenisvol sou wees. Onthou, die meeste van hierdie vroue het 'n geskiedenis van beduidende geestelike nood gehad. Waarom is hulle nie voorheen uitgevra oor wat met hulle gebeur het nie? Waarom is hulle nie gehelp om by die kolletjies aan te sluit nie?

As ons vetsug wil aanpak, moet ons verder as individuele keuses dink en die probleem as een met strukturele, sistemiese wortels beskou. Ons moet nadink oor wat met mense gebeur het, nie fokus op wat verkeerd is met hulle of hul keuses nie. Dit lyk onwaarskynlik dat 'n politieke party wie se beleid die oorsaak van so 'n wydverspreide nood was, dit kan doen.

Eleanor Morgan is die skrywer van Hormonal: A Conversation About Women's Body, Mental Health en waarom ons gehoor moet word


Vetsug kan nie aangepak word totdat ons aandag gee aan die trauma wat dit veroorsaak nie

Ons verbrand vet om u risiko vir Covid-19 te verminder. Maar hoe om die skaamte en nood wat so dikwels agter gewigstoename lê, uit die weg te ruim?

'Verhoogde spanning en skaamte wat 'n persoon met vetsug voel, lei dikwels tot verhoogde eetgewoontes en verminderde motivering om gewig te verloor.' Foto: Getty/iStockphoto

'Verhoogde spanning en skaamte wat 'n persoon met vetsug voel, lei dikwels tot verhoogde eetgewoontes en verminderde motivering om gewig te verloor.' Foto: Getty/iStockphoto

Laas gewysig op Do 30 Jul 2020 13.57 BST

Mense met Covid-19 wat oorgewig of vetsugtig is, het 'n groter risiko vir ernstige komplikasies en die dood. In die lig van hierdie bewyse het die regering 'n plan van stapel gestuur om vetsug aan te spreek, omskryf as 'n manier om soveel ongevalle in 'n tweede golf van die virus te voorkom. Boris Johnson se eie maag was vermoedelik 'n dryfveer.

'Dit was 'n wekroep vir my, en ek wil hê dat dit 'n wekroep vir die hele land moet wees,' het Johnson in 'n Daily Express-rubriek geskryf. 'Die feite is eenvoudig: ekstra gewig plaas ekstra druk op ons organe en maak dit moeiliker om hartsiektes, kanker en - soos ons gevind het - koronavirus te behandel.' Maatreëls sluit in die verpligte kalorie-etikettering op spyskaarte, die afslag van afslagpryse op ongesonde voedselitems, die verbod op vooraf-waterskeidingsadvertensies vir gemorskos en die uitbreiding van NHS-gewigsbeheerdienste.

'N Opname van Openbare Gesondheid in Engeland dui daarop dat twee derdes van volwassenes oorgewig of vetsugtig is. Dit is 'n ernstige probleem wat dringend aandag nodig het. Maar as 'n tweede golf koronavirusgevalle hierdie winter verwag word, is 'n paar maande regtig lank genoeg om die land se middellyf te verslank? Is dit ten minste nie 'n driejarige doelwit nie? Die wollerige, dissonante boodskappe van die regering - wat ons vertel om gewig te verloor dieselfde week dat ons aangesê is om meer uit te eet - het nie gehelp nie.

Deur gewigsverlies as 'n persoonlike keuse te stel - tel u kalorieë, vermy die goedkoop aanbiedings - bou die regering 'n toubrug oor 'n brandende canyon. Sielkundiges skryf al jare oor hoe vetsug nie veroorsaak word deur 'n gebrek aan wilskrag nie. Dit is eerder 'n produk van emosionele nood, armoede en ongelykheid. Wat mense kan bekostig om te eet, hoeveel tyd hulle het om kos voor te berei en hoe hulle eet, is alles 'n maatstaf van ongelykheid.

In 'n ongesonde omgewing kan vrye wil soos 'n fantasie voel. Elke konserwatiewe regering sedert Margaret Thatcher het individualisme bo welsyn gekweek, tot nadeel van miljoene. Statistieke toon dat 100,000 meer kinders onder die broodlyn leef as 'n jaar gelede. Die vraag na NHS -geestesgesondheidsdienste neem toe, maar as gevolg van stelselmatige besnoeiings aan die befondsing van trusts, het soveel mense pyn sonder om dit oral te neem. Die verband tussen vetsug, geestesgesondheidskwessies en armoede is duidelik, maar die houding teenoor mense met vetsug hang steeds af van 'n waargenome gebrek aan beheer: as u groot is, is u gulsig en ongesond en het u geen wilskrag nie.

As die boodskap van bo is dat individuele keuses bo alles saak maak, is dit nie verbasend dat ons diegene wat groter as ons is, te veel van ons kosbare ruimte kan beskou nie. Maar dit maak nie vetbeskaamd reg of produktief nie. Verhoogde spanning en skaamte wat 'n persoon met vetsug voel - of dit nou te wyte is aan 'n interaksie met openbare vervoer, 'n konsultasie van 'n huisarts of 'n veldtog vir openbare gesondheid - lei dikwels tot verhoogde eetgewoontes en verminderde motivering om gewig te verloor. Hierdie kringloop van skaamte spreek tot 'n ander bewyse wat moedswillig oor die hoof gesien word: die verband tussen vetsug en trauma.

Die groot studie oor nadelige kinderervarings het bevind dat meer as 6 miljoen vetsugtige en morbied vetsugtige mense waarskynlik tydens hul kinderjare fisieke, seksuele en/of verbale mishandeling gely het. Miljoene meer sal verwys na ander vorme van trauma in die kinderjare as die oorsaak van hul gewigskwessies: om saam met 'n geestelik ongesteld gesinslid te woon, of 'n alkoholiese ouer. 'N Aansienlike hoeveelheid navorsing toon nou aan dat PTSD gepaard gaan met 'n verhoogde risiko dat vroue vetsugtig word. Tog blameer ons die individu - veral as hulle 'n vrou is.

Ek het nog nooit sterk standpunte gehad oor vetsug nie. Dit het verander tydens 'n werksplek vir my sielkunde MSc met 'n kliniese sielkundige wat met voornemende gewigsverlies (bariatriese) chirurgie pasiënte werk. Haar taak was om te bepaal of individue emosioneel toegerus is om so 'n groot oorgang te hanteer en of hulle meer intensiewe sielkundige ondersteuning benodig.

Ek het baie assesserings waargeneem by pasiënte wie se BMI hulle in die kategorie 'morbied vetsugtig' geplaas het. Vir baie was die eerste keer dat hulle in die kamer by die sielkundige was, historiese trauma bekend. Ek het beskrywings gehoor van kinderjare wat in die sorg deurgebring is, seksuele mishandeling in die gesin, emosionele verwaarlosing en geweld wat my ewig sal bybly. Baie pasiënte het geestesgesondheidskwessies gehad waarvoor hulle slegs sorgvuldig ontvang het. Ek het nog nooit gedink dat daar so 'n duidelike verband sou wees tussen historiese trauma en ongesonde eetgewoontes nie, maar dit maak natuurlik sin.

In die studie oor die nadelige ervaring van kinderjare het baie deelnemers gesê dat ooreet voordele in hul vroeë lewens inhou. Binge-eet het 'n bron van troos en beskerming teen seksuele misbruik geword. 'N Ander verband tussen seksuele mishandeling en vetsug in die kinderjare kan 'n begeerte wees om' de-seksualiseer 'te word en gewig op te tel as 'n manier om te beskerm teen meer mishandeling. Dit is duidelik dat as u ooreet as 'net' 'n verslawing, die kompleksiteit van die probleem miskyk. As voedsel op 'n vroeë ouderdom gebruik word om emosionele nood te hanteer, word dit moeilik om hierdie toestand as volwassene te onderbreek.

Binge-eet, byvoorbeeld, kan 'n kompulsiewe, maar ontstellende terugvoerlus wees: 'n persoon kan groot hoeveelhede eet om dan beter te voel, omdat hy 'n afsku van homself het omdat hy dit kan doen. Die onderbewuste behoefte om emosioneel te kalmeer op hierdie manier, spreek van diepe, onontginde skande en pyn. Sodra die skande-wat die liggaam letterlik afweeg-in 'n veilige ruimte oopgemaak en aanvaar word, is daar 'n potensiaal om te leer hoe om hierdie vernietigende patrone te herlei.

Toe ek mense die eerste keer met 'n professionele persoon oor seksuele mishandeling sien praat, kon ek die sigbare verligting sien toe hulle gehoor word, maar ook die ongeloof dat hul ervarings uit die verlede in hierdie konteks betekenisvol sou wees. Onthou, die meeste van hierdie vroue het 'n geskiedenis van beduidende geestelike nood gehad. Waarom is hulle nie voorheen uitgevra oor wat met hulle gebeur het nie? Waarom is hulle nie gehelp om by die kolletjies aan te sluit nie?

As ons vetsug wil aanpak, moet ons verder as individuele keuses dink en die probleem as een met strukturele, sistemiese wortels beskou. Ons moet nadink oor wat met mense gebeur het, nie fokus op wat verkeerd is met hulle of hul keuses nie. Dit lyk onwaarskynlik dat 'n politieke party wie se beleid die oorsaak van so 'n wydverspreide nood was, dit kan doen.

Eleanor Morgan is die skrywer van Hormonal: A Conversation About Women's Body, Mental Health en waarom ons gehoor moet word


Vetsug kan nie aangepak word totdat ons aandag gee aan die trauma wat dit veroorsaak nie

Ons verbrand vet om u risiko vir Covid-19 te verminder. Maar hoe om die skaamte en nood wat so dikwels agter gewigstoename lê, uit die weg te ruim?

'Verhoogde spanning en skaamte wat 'n persoon met vetsug voel, lei dikwels tot verhoogde eetgewoontes en verminderde motivering om gewig te verloor.' Foto: Getty/iStockphoto

'Verhoogde spanning en skaamte wat 'n persoon met vetsug voel, lei dikwels tot verhoogde eetgewoontes en verminderde motivering om gewig te verloor.' Foto: Getty/iStockphoto

Laas gewysig op Do 30 Jul 2020 13.57 BST

Mense met Covid-19 wat oorgewig of vetsugtig is, het 'n groter risiko vir ernstige komplikasies en die dood. In die lig van hierdie bewyse het die regering 'n plan van stapel gestuur om vetsug aan te spreek, omskryf as 'n manier om soveel ongevalle in 'n tweede golf van die virus te voorkom. Boris Johnson se eie maag was vermoedelik 'n dryfveer.

'Dit was 'n wekroep vir my, en ek wil hê dat dit 'n wekroep vir die hele land moet wees,' het Johnson in 'n Daily Express-rubriek geskryf. 'Die feite is eenvoudig: ekstra gewig plaas ekstra druk op ons organe en maak dit moeiliker om hartsiektes, kanker en - soos ons gevind het - koronavirus te behandel.' Maatreëls sluit in die verpligte kalorie-etikettering op spyskaarte, die afslag van afslagpryse op ongesonde voedselitems, die verbod op vooraf-waterskeidingsadvertensies vir gemorskos en die uitbreiding van NHS-gewigsbeheerdienste.

'N Opname van Openbare Gesondheid in Engeland dui daarop dat twee derdes van volwassenes oorgewig of vetsugtig is. Dit is 'n ernstige probleem wat dringend aandag nodig het. Maar as 'n tweede golf van koronavirusgevalle hierdie winter verwag word, is 'n paar maande regtig lank genoeg om die land se middellyf te verslank? Is dit ten minste nie 'n driejarige doelwit nie? Die wollerige, dissonante boodskappe van die regering - wat ons vertel om gewig te verloor dieselfde week dat ons aangesê is om meer uit te eet - het nie gehelp nie.

Deur gewigsverlies as 'n persoonlike keuse te stel - tel u kalorieë, vermy die goedkoop aanbiedings - bou die regering 'n toubrug oor 'n brandende canyon. Sielkundiges skryf al jare oor hoe vetsug nie veroorsaak word deur 'n gebrek aan wilskrag nie. Dit is eerder 'n produk van emosionele nood, armoede en ongelykheid. Wat mense kan bekostig om te eet, hoeveel tyd hulle het om kos voor te berei en hoe hulle eet, is alles 'n maatstaf van ongelykheid.

In 'n ongesonde omgewing kan vrye wil soos 'n fantasie voel. Elke konserwatiewe regering sedert Margaret Thatcher het individualisme bo welsyn gekweek, tot nadeel van miljoene. Statistieke toon dat 100,000 meer kinders onder die broodlyn leef as 'n jaar gelede. Die vraag na NHS -geestesgesondheidsdienste neem toe, maar as gevolg van stelselmatige besnoeiing aan die befondsing van trusts, het soveel mense pyn sonder om dit oral te neem. Die verband tussen vetsug, geestesgesondheidskwessies en armoede is duidelik, maar die houding teenoor mense met vetsug hang steeds af van 'n waargenome gebrek aan beheer: as u groot is, is u gulsig en ongesond en het u geen wilskrag nie.

As die boodskap van bo is dat individuele keuses bo alles saak maak, is dit nie verbasend dat ons diegene wat groter as ons is, te veel van ons kosbare ruimte kan beskou nie. Maar dit maak vetbeskaamd nie reg of produktief nie. Verhoogde spanning en skaamte wat 'n persoon met vetsug voel - of dit nou te wyte is aan 'n interaksie met openbare vervoer, 'n konsultasie van 'n huisarts of 'n veldtog vir openbare gesondheid - lei dikwels tot verhoogde eetgewoontes en verminderde motivering om gewig te verloor. Hierdie kringloop van skaamte spreek tot 'n ander bewyse wat opsetlik oor die hoof gesien word: die verband tussen vetsug en trauma.

Die groot studie oor nadelige kinderervarings het bevind dat meer as 6 miljoen vetsugtige en morbied vetsugtige mense waarskynlik tydens hul kinderjare fisieke, seksuele en/of verbale mishandeling gely het. Miljoene meer sal verwys na ander vorme van trauma in die kinderjare as die oorsaak van hul gewigskwessies: om saam met 'n geestelik ongesteld gesinslid te woon, of 'n alkoholiese ouer. 'N Aansienlike hoeveelheid navorsing toon nou aan dat PTSD gepaard gaan met 'n verhoogde risiko dat vroue vetsugtig word. Tog blameer ons die individu - veral as hulle 'n vrou is.

Ek het nog nooit sterk standpunte gehad oor vetsug nie. Dit het verander tydens 'n werksplek vir my sielkunde MSc met 'n kliniese sielkundige wat met voornemende gewigsverlies (bariatriese) chirurgie pasiënte werk. Haar taak was om te bepaal of individue emosioneel toegerus is om so 'n groot oorgang te hanteer en of hulle meer intensiewe sielkundige ondersteuning benodig.

Ek het baie toetse waargeneem by pasiënte wie se BMI hulle in die kategorie 'morbied obese' geplaas het. Vir baie was die eerste keer dat hulle in die kamer by die sielkundige was, historiese trauma bekend. Ek het beskrywings gehoor van kinderjare wat in die sorg deurgebring is, seksuele mishandeling in die gesin, emosionele verwaarlosing en geweld wat my ewig sal bybly. Baie pasiënte het geestesgesondheidskwessies gehad waarvoor hulle slegs sorgvuldig ontvang het. Ek het nog nooit gedink dat daar so 'n duidelike verband sou wees tussen historiese trauma en ongesonde eetgewoontes nie, maar dit maak natuurlik sin.

In die studie oor die nadelige ervaring van kinderjare het baie deelnemers gesê dat ooreet voordele in hul vroeë lewens inhou. Binge-eet het 'n bron van troos en beskerming teen seksuele misbruik geword. 'N Ander verband tussen seksuele mishandeling en vetsug in die kinderjare kan 'n begeerte wees om' de-seksualiseer 'te word en gewig op te tel as 'n manier om te beskerm teen meer mishandeling. Dit is duidelik dat as u te veel eet as 'net' 'n verslawing, die kompleksiteit van die probleem oor die hoof sien. As voedsel op 'n vroeë ouderdom gebruik word om emosionele nood te hanteer, word dit moeilik om hierdie toestand as volwassene te onderbreek.

Binge-eet, byvoorbeeld, kan 'n kompulsiewe, maar ontstellende terugvoerlus wees: 'n persoon kan groot hoeveelhede eet om dan beter te voel, omdat hy 'n afsku van homself het omdat hy dit kan doen. Die onderbewuste behoefte om emosioneel te kalmeer op hierdie manier, spreek van diepe, onontginde skande en pyn. Sodra daardie skande-wat die liggaam letterlik afweer-in 'n veilige ruimte oopgemaak en aanvaar word, is daar 'n potensiaal om te leer hoe om hierdie vernietigende patrone te herlei.

Toe ek mense vir die eerste keer oor seksuele mishandeling aan 'n professionele persoon sien praat, kon ek die sigbare verligting sien toe hulle gehoor word, maar ook die ongeloof dat hul ervarings uit die verlede in hierdie konteks betekenisvol sou wees. Onthou, die meeste van hierdie vroue het 'n geskiedenis van beduidende geestelike nood gehad. Waarom is hulle nie voorheen uitgevra oor wat met hulle gebeur het nie? Waarom is hulle nie gehelp om by die kolletjies aan te sluit nie?

As ons vetsug wil aanpak, moet ons verder as individuele keuses dink en die probleem as een met strukturele, sistemiese wortels beskou. Ons moet nadink oor wat met mense gebeur het, nie fokus op wat verkeerd is met hulle of hul keuses nie. Dit lyk onwaarskynlik dat 'n politieke party wie se beleid die oorsaak van so 'n wydverspreide nood was, dit kan doen.

Eleanor Morgan is die skrywer van Hormonal: A Conversation About Women's Body, Mental Health en waarom ons gehoor moet word


Vetsug kan nie aangepak word totdat ons aandag gee aan die trauma wat dit veroorsaak nie

Ons verbrand vet om u risiko vir Covid-19 te verminder. But how to dispel the shame and distress that so often lie behind weight gain?

‘Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight.’ Photograph: Getty/iStockphoto

‘Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight.’ Photograph: Getty/iStockphoto

Last modified on Thu 30 Jul 2020 13.57 BST

P eople with Covid-19 who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of serious complications and death. In the light of this evidence, the government has launched a plan to address obesity, framed as a way of preventing as many casualties in a second wave of the virus. Boris Johnson’s own tummy was, supposedly, a driving factor.

“It was a wake-up call for me, and I want it to be a wake-up call for the whole country,” Johnson wrote in a Daily Express column. “The facts are simple: extra weight puts extra pressure on our organs and makes it harder to treat heart disease, cancer and – as we have found – coronavirus.” Measures include mandating calorie labelling on menus, ending discount deals on unhealthy food items, banning pre-watershed ads for junk food and expanding NHS weight-management services.

A Public Health England survey suggests that two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. This is a serious problem that needs urgent attention. But if a second wave of coronavirus cases is expected this winter, is a few months really long enough to slim the country’s waistlines? Is this not, at minimum, a three-year objective? The government’s woolly, dissonant messaging – telling us to lose weight in the same week that we’ve been told to eat out more – hasn’t helped.

By positioning weight loss as a personal choice – count your calories, avoid the cheap deals – the government is building a bridge of string over a burning canyon. Psychologists have been writing for years about how obesity is not caused by a lack of willpower. Rather, it’s a product of emotional distress, poverty and inequality. What people can afford to eat, how much time they have to prepare food and how they eat are all measures of inequality.

When faced with an unhealthy environment, free will can feel like a fantasy. Every Conservative government since Margaret Thatcher has cultivated individualism over welfare, to the detriment of millions. Statistics show that 100,000 more children are living below the breadline than a year ago. Demand for NHS mental health services is increasing but, as a result of systematic cuts to trusts’ funding, so many people are in pain without anywhere to take it. The correlation between obesity, mental health issues and poverty is clear, yet attitudes towards people with obesity still hinge on a perceived lack of control: if you’re big, you’re greedy and unhealthy, and have no willpower.

When the message from above is that individual choices matter above all else, it’s unsurprising that we may view those who are bigger than us as occupying too much of our precious space. But that doesn’t make fat-shaming right or productive. Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels – whether that’s from an interaction on public transport, a GP consultation or a public health campaign – often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight. This cycle of shame speaks to another body of evidence that is being wilfully overlooked: the correlation between obesity and trauma.

The major Adverse Childhood Experiences study found that more than 6 million obese and morbidly obese people are likely to have suffered physical, sexual and/or verbal abuse during their childhood. Millions more will point towards other types of childhood trauma as the cause of their weight issues: living with a mentally unwell family member, for instance, or an alcoholic parent. A considerable body of research now shows that PTSD is associated with an increased risk of women becoming obese. Still, we blame the individual – especially if they’re a woman.

I never used to have strong views about obesity. That changed during a work placement for my psychology MSc with a clinical psychologist working with prospective weight-loss (bariatric) surgery patients. Her job was to assess whether individuals were emotionally equipped to deal with such a major transition and whether they would need more intensive psychological support.

I observed many assessments with patients whose BMI put them in the “morbidly obese” category. For many, being in that room with the psychologist was the first time they had disclosed historic trauma. I heard descriptions of childhoods spent in care, sexual abuse within family settings, emotional neglect and violence that will stay with me forever. Many patients had mental health issues that they’d only received patchy care for. I had never previously considered that there would be such a clear connection between historic trauma and unhealthy eating habits, but of course it makes sense.

In the adverse childhood experiences study, many participants said that overeating had benefits during their early lives. Binge-eating became a source of comfort and protection from sexual abuse. Another connection between childhood sexual abuse and obesity might be a desire to “de-sexualise”, gaining weight as a means of protecting against more abuse. It’s clear that mistaking overeating for “just” an addiction overlooks the complexity of the problem. When food is used to manage emotional distress at an early age, undoing this conditioning as an adult becomes tricky.

Binge-eating, for instance, can be a compulsive but distressing feedback loop: a person may eat large amounts to feel better then, feeling disgusted with themselves for doing so, they may purge. The subconscious need to emotionally soothe with food in this way speaks of deep, unexplored shame and pain. Once that shame – literally weighing the body down – begins to be opened and accepted in a safe space, there is potential for learning how to re-route these destructive patterns.

Observing people talking about sexual abuse to a professional for the first time, I could see the visible relief they felt at being heard, but also the incredulity that their past experiences would be significant in this context. Remember, most of these women had a history of significant mental distress. Why weren’t they asked before about what had happened to them? Why haven’t they been helped to join the dots?

If we want to tackle obesity, we must think beyond individual choices, seeing the problem as one with structural, systemic roots. We need to think about what has happened to people, not focus on what is wrong with them or their choices. It seems unlikely that a political party whose policies have been the cause of such widespread distress will be capable of doing this.

Eleanor Morgan is author of Hormonal: A Conversation About Women’s Bodies, Mental Health and Why We Need to Be Heard


Obesity can't be tackled until we address the trauma that causes it

Burn fat to reduce your Covid-19 risk, we’re told. But how to dispel the shame and distress that so often lie behind weight gain?

‘Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight.’ Photograph: Getty/iStockphoto

‘Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight.’ Photograph: Getty/iStockphoto

Last modified on Thu 30 Jul 2020 13.57 BST

P eople with Covid-19 who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of serious complications and death. In the light of this evidence, the government has launched a plan to address obesity, framed as a way of preventing as many casualties in a second wave of the virus. Boris Johnson’s own tummy was, supposedly, a driving factor.

“It was a wake-up call for me, and I want it to be a wake-up call for the whole country,” Johnson wrote in a Daily Express column. “The facts are simple: extra weight puts extra pressure on our organs and makes it harder to treat heart disease, cancer and – as we have found – coronavirus.” Measures include mandating calorie labelling on menus, ending discount deals on unhealthy food items, banning pre-watershed ads for junk food and expanding NHS weight-management services.

A Public Health England survey suggests that two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. This is a serious problem that needs urgent attention. But if a second wave of coronavirus cases is expected this winter, is a few months really long enough to slim the country’s waistlines? Is this not, at minimum, a three-year objective? The government’s woolly, dissonant messaging – telling us to lose weight in the same week that we’ve been told to eat out more – hasn’t helped.

By positioning weight loss as a personal choice – count your calories, avoid the cheap deals – the government is building a bridge of string over a burning canyon. Psychologists have been writing for years about how obesity is not caused by a lack of willpower. Rather, it’s a product of emotional distress, poverty and inequality. What people can afford to eat, how much time they have to prepare food and how they eat are all measures of inequality.

When faced with an unhealthy environment, free will can feel like a fantasy. Every Conservative government since Margaret Thatcher has cultivated individualism over welfare, to the detriment of millions. Statistics show that 100,000 more children are living below the breadline than a year ago. Demand for NHS mental health services is increasing but, as a result of systematic cuts to trusts’ funding, so many people are in pain without anywhere to take it. The correlation between obesity, mental health issues and poverty is clear, yet attitudes towards people with obesity still hinge on a perceived lack of control: if you’re big, you’re greedy and unhealthy, and have no willpower.

When the message from above is that individual choices matter above all else, it’s unsurprising that we may view those who are bigger than us as occupying too much of our precious space. But that doesn’t make fat-shaming right or productive. Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels – whether that’s from an interaction on public transport, a GP consultation or a public health campaign – often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight. This cycle of shame speaks to another body of evidence that is being wilfully overlooked: the correlation between obesity and trauma.

The major Adverse Childhood Experiences study found that more than 6 million obese and morbidly obese people are likely to have suffered physical, sexual and/or verbal abuse during their childhood. Millions more will point towards other types of childhood trauma as the cause of their weight issues: living with a mentally unwell family member, for instance, or an alcoholic parent. A considerable body of research now shows that PTSD is associated with an increased risk of women becoming obese. Still, we blame the individual – especially if they’re a woman.

I never used to have strong views about obesity. That changed during a work placement for my psychology MSc with a clinical psychologist working with prospective weight-loss (bariatric) surgery patients. Her job was to assess whether individuals were emotionally equipped to deal with such a major transition and whether they would need more intensive psychological support.

I observed many assessments with patients whose BMI put them in the “morbidly obese” category. For many, being in that room with the psychologist was the first time they had disclosed historic trauma. I heard descriptions of childhoods spent in care, sexual abuse within family settings, emotional neglect and violence that will stay with me forever. Many patients had mental health issues that they’d only received patchy care for. I had never previously considered that there would be such a clear connection between historic trauma and unhealthy eating habits, but of course it makes sense.

In the adverse childhood experiences study, many participants said that overeating had benefits during their early lives. Binge-eating became a source of comfort and protection from sexual abuse. Another connection between childhood sexual abuse and obesity might be a desire to “de-sexualise”, gaining weight as a means of protecting against more abuse. It’s clear that mistaking overeating for “just” an addiction overlooks the complexity of the problem. When food is used to manage emotional distress at an early age, undoing this conditioning as an adult becomes tricky.

Binge-eating, for instance, can be a compulsive but distressing feedback loop: a person may eat large amounts to feel better then, feeling disgusted with themselves for doing so, they may purge. The subconscious need to emotionally soothe with food in this way speaks of deep, unexplored shame and pain. Once that shame – literally weighing the body down – begins to be opened and accepted in a safe space, there is potential for learning how to re-route these destructive patterns.

Observing people talking about sexual abuse to a professional for the first time, I could see the visible relief they felt at being heard, but also the incredulity that their past experiences would be significant in this context. Remember, most of these women had a history of significant mental distress. Why weren’t they asked before about what had happened to them? Why haven’t they been helped to join the dots?

If we want to tackle obesity, we must think beyond individual choices, seeing the problem as one with structural, systemic roots. We need to think about what has happened to people, not focus on what is wrong with them or their choices. It seems unlikely that a political party whose policies have been the cause of such widespread distress will be capable of doing this.

Eleanor Morgan is author of Hormonal: A Conversation About Women’s Bodies, Mental Health and Why We Need to Be Heard


Obesity can't be tackled until we address the trauma that causes it

Burn fat to reduce your Covid-19 risk, we’re told. But how to dispel the shame and distress that so often lie behind weight gain?

‘Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight.’ Photograph: Getty/iStockphoto

‘Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight.’ Photograph: Getty/iStockphoto

Last modified on Thu 30 Jul 2020 13.57 BST

P eople with Covid-19 who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of serious complications and death. In the light of this evidence, the government has launched a plan to address obesity, framed as a way of preventing as many casualties in a second wave of the virus. Boris Johnson’s own tummy was, supposedly, a driving factor.

“It was a wake-up call for me, and I want it to be a wake-up call for the whole country,” Johnson wrote in a Daily Express column. “The facts are simple: extra weight puts extra pressure on our organs and makes it harder to treat heart disease, cancer and – as we have found – coronavirus.” Measures include mandating calorie labelling on menus, ending discount deals on unhealthy food items, banning pre-watershed ads for junk food and expanding NHS weight-management services.

A Public Health England survey suggests that two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. This is a serious problem that needs urgent attention. But if a second wave of coronavirus cases is expected this winter, is a few months really long enough to slim the country’s waistlines? Is this not, at minimum, a three-year objective? The government’s woolly, dissonant messaging – telling us to lose weight in the same week that we’ve been told to eat out more – hasn’t helped.

By positioning weight loss as a personal choice – count your calories, avoid the cheap deals – the government is building a bridge of string over a burning canyon. Psychologists have been writing for years about how obesity is not caused by a lack of willpower. Rather, it’s a product of emotional distress, poverty and inequality. What people can afford to eat, how much time they have to prepare food and how they eat are all measures of inequality.

When faced with an unhealthy environment, free will can feel like a fantasy. Every Conservative government since Margaret Thatcher has cultivated individualism over welfare, to the detriment of millions. Statistics show that 100,000 more children are living below the breadline than a year ago. Demand for NHS mental health services is increasing but, as a result of systematic cuts to trusts’ funding, so many people are in pain without anywhere to take it. The correlation between obesity, mental health issues and poverty is clear, yet attitudes towards people with obesity still hinge on a perceived lack of control: if you’re big, you’re greedy and unhealthy, and have no willpower.

When the message from above is that individual choices matter above all else, it’s unsurprising that we may view those who are bigger than us as occupying too much of our precious space. But that doesn’t make fat-shaming right or productive. Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels – whether that’s from an interaction on public transport, a GP consultation or a public health campaign – often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight. This cycle of shame speaks to another body of evidence that is being wilfully overlooked: the correlation between obesity and trauma.

The major Adverse Childhood Experiences study found that more than 6 million obese and morbidly obese people are likely to have suffered physical, sexual and/or verbal abuse during their childhood. Millions more will point towards other types of childhood trauma as the cause of their weight issues: living with a mentally unwell family member, for instance, or an alcoholic parent. A considerable body of research now shows that PTSD is associated with an increased risk of women becoming obese. Still, we blame the individual – especially if they’re a woman.

I never used to have strong views about obesity. That changed during a work placement for my psychology MSc with a clinical psychologist working with prospective weight-loss (bariatric) surgery patients. Her job was to assess whether individuals were emotionally equipped to deal with such a major transition and whether they would need more intensive psychological support.

I observed many assessments with patients whose BMI put them in the “morbidly obese” category. For many, being in that room with the psychologist was the first time they had disclosed historic trauma. I heard descriptions of childhoods spent in care, sexual abuse within family settings, emotional neglect and violence that will stay with me forever. Many patients had mental health issues that they’d only received patchy care for. I had never previously considered that there would be such a clear connection between historic trauma and unhealthy eating habits, but of course it makes sense.

In the adverse childhood experiences study, many participants said that overeating had benefits during their early lives. Binge-eating became a source of comfort and protection from sexual abuse. Another connection between childhood sexual abuse and obesity might be a desire to “de-sexualise”, gaining weight as a means of protecting against more abuse. It’s clear that mistaking overeating for “just” an addiction overlooks the complexity of the problem. When food is used to manage emotional distress at an early age, undoing this conditioning as an adult becomes tricky.

Binge-eating, for instance, can be a compulsive but distressing feedback loop: a person may eat large amounts to feel better then, feeling disgusted with themselves for doing so, they may purge. The subconscious need to emotionally soothe with food in this way speaks of deep, unexplored shame and pain. Once that shame – literally weighing the body down – begins to be opened and accepted in a safe space, there is potential for learning how to re-route these destructive patterns.

Observing people talking about sexual abuse to a professional for the first time, I could see the visible relief they felt at being heard, but also the incredulity that their past experiences would be significant in this context. Remember, most of these women had a history of significant mental distress. Why weren’t they asked before about what had happened to them? Why haven’t they been helped to join the dots?

If we want to tackle obesity, we must think beyond individual choices, seeing the problem as one with structural, systemic roots. We need to think about what has happened to people, not focus on what is wrong with them or their choices. It seems unlikely that a political party whose policies have been the cause of such widespread distress will be capable of doing this.

Eleanor Morgan is author of Hormonal: A Conversation About Women’s Bodies, Mental Health and Why We Need to Be Heard


Obesity can't be tackled until we address the trauma that causes it

Burn fat to reduce your Covid-19 risk, we’re told. But how to dispel the shame and distress that so often lie behind weight gain?

‘Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight.’ Photograph: Getty/iStockphoto

‘Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight.’ Photograph: Getty/iStockphoto

Last modified on Thu 30 Jul 2020 13.57 BST

P eople with Covid-19 who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of serious complications and death. In the light of this evidence, the government has launched a plan to address obesity, framed as a way of preventing as many casualties in a second wave of the virus. Boris Johnson’s own tummy was, supposedly, a driving factor.

“It was a wake-up call for me, and I want it to be a wake-up call for the whole country,” Johnson wrote in a Daily Express column. “The facts are simple: extra weight puts extra pressure on our organs and makes it harder to treat heart disease, cancer and – as we have found – coronavirus.” Measures include mandating calorie labelling on menus, ending discount deals on unhealthy food items, banning pre-watershed ads for junk food and expanding NHS weight-management services.

A Public Health England survey suggests that two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. This is a serious problem that needs urgent attention. But if a second wave of coronavirus cases is expected this winter, is a few months really long enough to slim the country’s waistlines? Is this not, at minimum, a three-year objective? The government’s woolly, dissonant messaging – telling us to lose weight in the same week that we’ve been told to eat out more – hasn’t helped.

By positioning weight loss as a personal choice – count your calories, avoid the cheap deals – the government is building a bridge of string over a burning canyon. Psychologists have been writing for years about how obesity is not caused by a lack of willpower. Rather, it’s a product of emotional distress, poverty and inequality. What people can afford to eat, how much time they have to prepare food and how they eat are all measures of inequality.

When faced with an unhealthy environment, free will can feel like a fantasy. Every Conservative government since Margaret Thatcher has cultivated individualism over welfare, to the detriment of millions. Statistics show that 100,000 more children are living below the breadline than a year ago. Demand for NHS mental health services is increasing but, as a result of systematic cuts to trusts’ funding, so many people are in pain without anywhere to take it. The correlation between obesity, mental health issues and poverty is clear, yet attitudes towards people with obesity still hinge on a perceived lack of control: if you’re big, you’re greedy and unhealthy, and have no willpower.

When the message from above is that individual choices matter above all else, it’s unsurprising that we may view those who are bigger than us as occupying too much of our precious space. But that doesn’t make fat-shaming right or productive. Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels – whether that’s from an interaction on public transport, a GP consultation or a public health campaign – often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight. This cycle of shame speaks to another body of evidence that is being wilfully overlooked: the correlation between obesity and trauma.

The major Adverse Childhood Experiences study found that more than 6 million obese and morbidly obese people are likely to have suffered physical, sexual and/or verbal abuse during their childhood. Millions more will point towards other types of childhood trauma as the cause of their weight issues: living with a mentally unwell family member, for instance, or an alcoholic parent. A considerable body of research now shows that PTSD is associated with an increased risk of women becoming obese. Still, we blame the individual – especially if they’re a woman.

I never used to have strong views about obesity. That changed during a work placement for my psychology MSc with a clinical psychologist working with prospective weight-loss (bariatric) surgery patients. Her job was to assess whether individuals were emotionally equipped to deal with such a major transition and whether they would need more intensive psychological support.

I observed many assessments with patients whose BMI put them in the “morbidly obese” category. For many, being in that room with the psychologist was the first time they had disclosed historic trauma. I heard descriptions of childhoods spent in care, sexual abuse within family settings, emotional neglect and violence that will stay with me forever. Many patients had mental health issues that they’d only received patchy care for. I had never previously considered that there would be such a clear connection between historic trauma and unhealthy eating habits, but of course it makes sense.

In the adverse childhood experiences study, many participants said that overeating had benefits during their early lives. Binge-eating became a source of comfort and protection from sexual abuse. Another connection between childhood sexual abuse and obesity might be a desire to “de-sexualise”, gaining weight as a means of protecting against more abuse. It’s clear that mistaking overeating for “just” an addiction overlooks the complexity of the problem. When food is used to manage emotional distress at an early age, undoing this conditioning as an adult becomes tricky.

Binge-eating, for instance, can be a compulsive but distressing feedback loop: a person may eat large amounts to feel better then, feeling disgusted with themselves for doing so, they may purge. The subconscious need to emotionally soothe with food in this way speaks of deep, unexplored shame and pain. Once that shame – literally weighing the body down – begins to be opened and accepted in a safe space, there is potential for learning how to re-route these destructive patterns.

Observing people talking about sexual abuse to a professional for the first time, I could see the visible relief they felt at being heard, but also the incredulity that their past experiences would be significant in this context. Remember, most of these women had a history of significant mental distress. Why weren’t they asked before about what had happened to them? Why haven’t they been helped to join the dots?

If we want to tackle obesity, we must think beyond individual choices, seeing the problem as one with structural, systemic roots. We need to think about what has happened to people, not focus on what is wrong with them or their choices. It seems unlikely that a political party whose policies have been the cause of such widespread distress will be capable of doing this.

Eleanor Morgan is author of Hormonal: A Conversation About Women’s Bodies, Mental Health and Why We Need to Be Heard


Obesity can't be tackled until we address the trauma that causes it

Burn fat to reduce your Covid-19 risk, we’re told. But how to dispel the shame and distress that so often lie behind weight gain?

‘Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight.’ Photograph: Getty/iStockphoto

‘Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight.’ Photograph: Getty/iStockphoto

Last modified on Thu 30 Jul 2020 13.57 BST

P eople with Covid-19 who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of serious complications and death. In the light of this evidence, the government has launched a plan to address obesity, framed as a way of preventing as many casualties in a second wave of the virus. Boris Johnson’s own tummy was, supposedly, a driving factor.

“It was a wake-up call for me, and I want it to be a wake-up call for the whole country,” Johnson wrote in a Daily Express column. “The facts are simple: extra weight puts extra pressure on our organs and makes it harder to treat heart disease, cancer and – as we have found – coronavirus.” Measures include mandating calorie labelling on menus, ending discount deals on unhealthy food items, banning pre-watershed ads for junk food and expanding NHS weight-management services.

A Public Health England survey suggests that two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. This is a serious problem that needs urgent attention. But if a second wave of coronavirus cases is expected this winter, is a few months really long enough to slim the country’s waistlines? Is this not, at minimum, a three-year objective? The government’s woolly, dissonant messaging – telling us to lose weight in the same week that we’ve been told to eat out more – hasn’t helped.

By positioning weight loss as a personal choice – count your calories, avoid the cheap deals – the government is building a bridge of string over a burning canyon. Psychologists have been writing for years about how obesity is not caused by a lack of willpower. Rather, it’s a product of emotional distress, poverty and inequality. What people can afford to eat, how much time they have to prepare food and how they eat are all measures of inequality.

When faced with an unhealthy environment, free will can feel like a fantasy. Every Conservative government since Margaret Thatcher has cultivated individualism over welfare, to the detriment of millions. Statistics show that 100,000 more children are living below the breadline than a year ago. Demand for NHS mental health services is increasing but, as a result of systematic cuts to trusts’ funding, so many people are in pain without anywhere to take it. The correlation between obesity, mental health issues and poverty is clear, yet attitudes towards people with obesity still hinge on a perceived lack of control: if you’re big, you’re greedy and unhealthy, and have no willpower.

When the message from above is that individual choices matter above all else, it’s unsurprising that we may view those who are bigger than us as occupying too much of our precious space. But that doesn’t make fat-shaming right or productive. Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels – whether that’s from an interaction on public transport, a GP consultation or a public health campaign – often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight. This cycle of shame speaks to another body of evidence that is being wilfully overlooked: the correlation between obesity and trauma.

The major Adverse Childhood Experiences study found that more than 6 million obese and morbidly obese people are likely to have suffered physical, sexual and/or verbal abuse during their childhood. Millions more will point towards other types of childhood trauma as the cause of their weight issues: living with a mentally unwell family member, for instance, or an alcoholic parent. A considerable body of research now shows that PTSD is associated with an increased risk of women becoming obese. Still, we blame the individual – especially if they’re a woman.

I never used to have strong views about obesity. That changed during a work placement for my psychology MSc with a clinical psychologist working with prospective weight-loss (bariatric) surgery patients. Her job was to assess whether individuals were emotionally equipped to deal with such a major transition and whether they would need more intensive psychological support.

I observed many assessments with patients whose BMI put them in the “morbidly obese” category. For many, being in that room with the psychologist was the first time they had disclosed historic trauma. I heard descriptions of childhoods spent in care, sexual abuse within family settings, emotional neglect and violence that will stay with me forever. Many patients had mental health issues that they’d only received patchy care for. I had never previously considered that there would be such a clear connection between historic trauma and unhealthy eating habits, but of course it makes sense.

In the adverse childhood experiences study, many participants said that overeating had benefits during their early lives. Binge-eating became a source of comfort and protection from sexual abuse. Another connection between childhood sexual abuse and obesity might be a desire to “de-sexualise”, gaining weight as a means of protecting against more abuse. It’s clear that mistaking overeating for “just” an addiction overlooks the complexity of the problem. When food is used to manage emotional distress at an early age, undoing this conditioning as an adult becomes tricky.

Binge-eating, for instance, can be a compulsive but distressing feedback loop: a person may eat large amounts to feel better then, feeling disgusted with themselves for doing so, they may purge. The subconscious need to emotionally soothe with food in this way speaks of deep, unexplored shame and pain. Once that shame – literally weighing the body down – begins to be opened and accepted in a safe space, there is potential for learning how to re-route these destructive patterns.

Observing people talking about sexual abuse to a professional for the first time, I could see the visible relief they felt at being heard, but also the incredulity that their past experiences would be significant in this context. Remember, most of these women had a history of significant mental distress. Why weren’t they asked before about what had happened to them? Why haven’t they been helped to join the dots?

If we want to tackle obesity, we must think beyond individual choices, seeing the problem as one with structural, systemic roots. We need to think about what has happened to people, not focus on what is wrong with them or their choices. It seems unlikely that a political party whose policies have been the cause of such widespread distress will be capable of doing this.

Eleanor Morgan is author of Hormonal: A Conversation About Women’s Bodies, Mental Health and Why We Need to Be Heard


Obesity can't be tackled until we address the trauma that causes it

Burn fat to reduce your Covid-19 risk, we’re told. But how to dispel the shame and distress that so often lie behind weight gain?

‘Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight.’ Photograph: Getty/iStockphoto

‘Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight.’ Photograph: Getty/iStockphoto

Last modified on Thu 30 Jul 2020 13.57 BST

P eople with Covid-19 who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of serious complications and death. In the light of this evidence, the government has launched a plan to address obesity, framed as a way of preventing as many casualties in a second wave of the virus. Boris Johnson’s own tummy was, supposedly, a driving factor.

“It was a wake-up call for me, and I want it to be a wake-up call for the whole country,” Johnson wrote in a Daily Express column. “The facts are simple: extra weight puts extra pressure on our organs and makes it harder to treat heart disease, cancer and – as we have found – coronavirus.” Measures include mandating calorie labelling on menus, ending discount deals on unhealthy food items, banning pre-watershed ads for junk food and expanding NHS weight-management services.

A Public Health England survey suggests that two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese. This is a serious problem that needs urgent attention. But if a second wave of coronavirus cases is expected this winter, is a few months really long enough to slim the country’s waistlines? Is this not, at minimum, a three-year objective? The government’s woolly, dissonant messaging – telling us to lose weight in the same week that we’ve been told to eat out more – hasn’t helped.

By positioning weight loss as a personal choice – count your calories, avoid the cheap deals – the government is building a bridge of string over a burning canyon. Psychologists have been writing for years about how obesity is not caused by a lack of willpower. Rather, it’s a product of emotional distress, poverty and inequality. What people can afford to eat, how much time they have to prepare food and how they eat are all measures of inequality.

When faced with an unhealthy environment, free will can feel like a fantasy. Every Conservative government since Margaret Thatcher has cultivated individualism over welfare, to the detriment of millions. Statistics show that 100,000 more children are living below the breadline than a year ago. Demand for NHS mental health services is increasing but, as a result of systematic cuts to trusts’ funding, so many people are in pain without anywhere to take it. The correlation between obesity, mental health issues and poverty is clear, yet attitudes towards people with obesity still hinge on a perceived lack of control: if you’re big, you’re greedy and unhealthy, and have no willpower.

When the message from above is that individual choices matter above all else, it’s unsurprising that we may view those who are bigger than us as occupying too much of our precious space. But that doesn’t make fat-shaming right or productive. Increasing the stress and shame that a person with obesity feels – whether that’s from an interaction on public transport, a GP consultation or a public health campaign – often leads to increased eating and decreased motivation to lose weight. This cycle of shame speaks to another body of evidence that is being wilfully overlooked: the correlation between obesity and trauma.

The major Adverse Childhood Experiences study found that more than 6 million obese and morbidly obese people are likely to have suffered physical, sexual and/or verbal abuse during their childhood. Millions more will point towards other types of childhood trauma as the cause of their weight issues: living with a mentally unwell family member, for instance, or an alcoholic parent. A considerable body of research now shows that PTSD is associated with an increased risk of women becoming obese. Still, we blame the individual – especially if they’re a woman.

I never used to have strong views about obesity. That changed during a work placement for my psychology MSc with a clinical psychologist working with prospective weight-loss (bariatric) surgery patients. Her job was to assess whether individuals were emotionally equipped to deal with such a major transition and whether they would need more intensive psychological support.

I observed many assessments with patients whose BMI put them in the “morbidly obese” category. For many, being in that room with the psychologist was the first time they had disclosed historic trauma. I heard descriptions of childhoods spent in care, sexual abuse within family settings, emotional neglect and violence that will stay with me forever. Many patients had mental health issues that they’d only received patchy care for. I had never previously considered that there would be such a clear connection between historic trauma and unhealthy eating habits, but of course it makes sense.

In the adverse childhood experiences study, many participants said that overeating had benefits during their early lives. Binge-eating became a source of comfort and protection from sexual abuse. Another connection between childhood sexual abuse and obesity might be a desire to “de-sexualise”, gaining weight as a means of protecting against more abuse. It’s clear that mistaking overeating for “just” an addiction overlooks the complexity of the problem. When food is used to manage emotional distress at an early age, undoing this conditioning as an adult becomes tricky.

Binge-eating, for instance, can be a compulsive but distressing feedback loop: a person may eat large amounts to feel better then, feeling disgusted with themselves for doing so, they may purge. The subconscious need to emotionally soothe with food in this way speaks of deep, unexplored shame and pain. Once that shame – literally weighing the body down – begins to be opened and accepted in a safe space, there is potential for learning how to re-route these destructive patterns.

Observing people talking about sexual abuse to a professional for the first time, I could see the visible relief they felt at being heard, but also the incredulity that their past experiences would be significant in this context. Remember, most of these women had a history of significant mental distress. Why weren’t they asked before about what had happened to them? Why haven’t they been helped to join the dots?

If we want to tackle obesity, we must think beyond individual choices, seeing the problem as one with structural, systemic roots. We need to think about what has happened to people, not focus on what is wrong with them or their choices. It seems unlikely that a political party whose policies have been the cause of such widespread distress will be capable of doing this.

Eleanor Morgan is author of Hormonal: A Conversation About Women’s Bodies, Mental Health and Why We Need to Be Heard


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