Obese Britannia

With our love of junk food of both the fish-and-chips and McDonald’s varieties and our loathing of exercise, and despite our best intents, we in Britain are slip-sliding our way to Obese Britannia.

Want to know our secrets? Click to read today’s post on my Obesity blog.

22 Replies to “Obese Britannia”

  1. hey was reading a book by Augusten Burroughs, where he compares Potato chips in UK and US, or rather crisps in UK.. a real interesting comparison of various branded stuff which are so different in UK, wanted to ask you, really is it so?. Is there such noticeable difference in branded consumer goods available in UK and then in the rest of the world.

    Sorry no connection with the post, some how it flashed when I read your post ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. hey was reading a book by Augusten Burroughs, where he compares Potato chips in UK and US, or rather crisps in UK.. a real interesting comparison of various branded stuff which are so different in UK, wanted to ask you, really is it so?. Is there such noticeable difference in branded consumer goods available in UK and then in the rest of the world.

    Sorry no connection with the post, some how it flashed when I read your post ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. @ Rambler: What sort of difference was he talking about?

    There are marked differences in the composition (fat, sat fat, salt etc) in the same-branded goods in the US and the UK. Our regulation is very tight and the Damoclean sword of more hangs on companies’ necks all the time so they take more steps to behave properly.

    If you are interested in food, diet, exercise related issues in the UK and the US, do read the Obesity blog. It has a lot of fodder (as well as unavoidable puns!).

    Thanks.

  4. @ Rambler: What sort of difference was he talking about?

    There are marked differences in the composition (fat, sat fat, salt etc) in the same-branded goods in the US and the UK. Our regulation is very tight and the Damoclean sword of more hangs on companies’ necks all the time so they take more steps to behave properly.

    If you are interested in food, diet, exercise related issues in the UK and the US, do read the Obesity blog. It has a lot of fodder (as well as unavoidable puns!).

    Thanks.

  5. Thank you, Shefaly…I have saved some info in this post for future health fairs.
    Some tips I gave to my niece on your obesity blog.
    Glad you crosspost here, because I forget about your other blog.

  6. Thank you, Shefaly…I have saved some info in this post for future health fairs.
    Some tips I gave to my niece on your obesity blog.
    Glad you crosspost here, because I forget about your other blog.

  7. A good post relevant to the obesity epidemic. But this is not endemic to the UK, it is a true worldwide phenomenon worth hanging our heads in shame. US is not lagging behind, if not leading ..

    Only in America do people order ‘double cheeseburgers, large french fries, a sundae and a diet coke !’

  8. A good post relevant to the obesity epidemic. But this is not endemic to the UK, it is a true worldwide phenomenon worth hanging our heads in shame. US is not lagging behind, if not leading ..

    Only in America do people order ‘double cheeseburgers, large french fries, a sundae and a diet coke !’

  9. @ Jackie: Thanks for reading. The other blog has a lot of information mainly because I started it out as a cross-disciplinary repository on Obesity.

    @ Athreya: Thanks for your note. Yes, I am aware of the US and global trends (that is what I have studied for 4 years for a PhD) and that compensatory mechanism of a diet Coke is fairly universal. I have spent a lot of time documenting – on a camera – how people pile their plates and eat. Some time in the near future I plan to upload the pictures on my Obesity blog. Thanks.

  10. @ Jackie: Thanks for reading. The other blog has a lot of information mainly because I started it out as a cross-disciplinary repository on Obesity.

    @ Athreya: Thanks for your note. Yes, I am aware of the US and global trends (that is what I have studied for 4 years for a PhD) and that compensatory mechanism of a diet Coke is fairly universal. I have spent a lot of time documenting – on a camera – how people pile their plates and eat. Some time in the near future I plan to upload the pictures on my Obesity blog. Thanks.

  11. Athreya, I agree with your comment. Obesity and other diseases of soft living will affect many countries, including USA, as you noted.

    Multiple, converging factors are at work, as you all ready know: increased affluence (including the old-fashioned ‘fat is good’ to symbolize wealth), agricultural policy, time pressures, car culture (USA) and lack of physical activity incorporated into our lives.

    I could go on and on with this topic, but Shefaly has wonkish knowledge of this area anyways.

    So, pass me the cheeseburger, but hold the bun, cheese, hamburger, & ketchup ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Athreya, I agree with your comment. Obesity and other diseases of soft living will affect many countries, including USA, as you noted.

    Multiple, converging factors are at work, as you all ready know: increased affluence (including the old-fashioned ‘fat is good’ to symbolize wealth), agricultural policy, time pressures, car culture (USA) and lack of physical activity incorporated into our lives.

    I could go on and on with this topic, but Shefaly has wonkish knowledge of this area anyways.

    So, pass me the cheeseburger, but hold the bun, cheese, hamburger, & ketchup ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Jackie & Shefaly,

    “Shefaly has wonkish knowledge ..” — Impressive Shefaly. So I was preaching the choir, huh :-)?

    Jokes apart, my comment was more of a lament. I claim no authority over the subject than bearing mute witness to people killing themselves with their forks..

  14. Jackie & Shefaly,

    “Shefaly has wonkish knowledge ..” — Impressive Shefaly. So I was preaching the choir, huh :-)?

    Jokes apart, my comment was more of a lament. I claim no authority over the subject than bearing mute witness to people killing themselves with their forks..

  15. Shefaly, I’m curious to know if in your research (and not to go too deep ๐Ÿ™‚ ), have you found any differences in the ranking of factors leading to obesity in the US vs UK? Or even different factors at work. Specifically the car-friendly culture. Is that more of a factor in the US than UK? With the new and cheap Nano, I can’t help but think of the impact it’ll have on the obesity issue in India.

  16. Shefaly, I’m curious to know if in your research (and not to go too deep ๐Ÿ™‚ ), have you found any differences in the ranking of factors leading to obesity in the US vs UK? Or even different factors at work. Specifically the car-friendly culture. Is that more of a factor in the US than UK? With the new and cheap Nano, I can’t help but think of the impact it’ll have on the obesity issue in India.

  17. @ Amit: I started out expecting to find a marked difference between not just the factors but also their importance. But I was surprised to find that my data showed no difference between contributory factors. I did not seek to identify their relative ranking.

    One of the reasons why your car-friendly culture did not come up is because people framed the issue as ‘lack of physical activity’ without separating the sources of physical activity. I interviewed some people on both sides who are working on urban planning issues to build cycle paths and walking paths into communities but their influence is limited in the policy circles at the moment. There is of course a range of ideas for future research in my thesis, not to mention a section on limitations.

    Hope this answers your question.

  18. @ Amit: I started out expecting to find a marked difference between not just the factors but also their importance. But I was surprised to find that my data showed no difference between contributory factors. I did not seek to identify their relative ranking.

    One of the reasons why your car-friendly culture did not come up is because people framed the issue as ‘lack of physical activity’ without separating the sources of physical activity. I interviewed some people on both sides who are working on urban planning issues to build cycle paths and walking paths into communities but their influence is limited in the policy circles at the moment. There is of course a range of ideas for future research in my thesis, not to mention a section on limitations.

    Hope this answers your question.

  19. Amit,

    //With the new and cheap Nano, I canโ€™t help but think of the impact itโ€™ll have on the obesity issue in India//

    The closest I’ve got to the Nano is the photographs in the papers, with an option of either Ratan Tata or a svelte model standing alongside (the car, not me!). Despite the claims to its spaciousness, I think one would need to be a hathayogi of fairly advanced standing to enter, sit in, drive and get out of the vehicle. So Nanophile obesity should be the least of your apprehensions.

  20. Amit,

    //With the new and cheap Nano, I canโ€™t help but think of the impact itโ€™ll have on the obesity issue in India//

    The closest I’ve got to the Nano is the photographs in the papers, with an option of either Ratan Tata or a svelte model standing alongside (the car, not me!). Despite the claims to its spaciousness, I think one would need to be a hathayogi of fairly advanced standing to enter, sit in, drive and get out of the vehicle. So Nanophile obesity should be the least of your apprehensions.

What do YOU think?