Friday, 13 January 2017

NHS Challenge!

My last post shows my Fitbit and meeting my fitness targets for the day. After returning from our Caribbean cruise I have become even more conscious of the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle . Let me fill you in on some of my observations on the holiday.

I am not keen on flying and so if we can sail from Southampton to Southampton I am more than happy. The downside if there is one that the period of time at sea may be long. So this holiday for me removed a lot of the angst. 

What surprised us however was the number of seriously obese passengers and we surmised that maybe it would have been impossible for them to fly and so again this cruise suited them but for different reasons. Out of  approximately 2000 people on board we estimated that about 60% were overweight. I have mentioned the obesity problem before however this time we were shocked by the body size and the extent of immobility of many. 

We witnessed eating to the point of absurdity. This may seem far fetched but let me give you just one example - one woman who was very jolly and pleasant and almost the width of a corridor would struggle each morning to collect her breakfast from the buffet. She could hardly breath and could only move by conducting a side to side rocking motion. Her plate was filled with several pieces of toast stacked in such a way that bacon, eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes could be trapped between the layers - the arrangement was completed with baked beans poured over the top. 

This level of gluttony was not unique. When you see this with your own eyes your amazement turns into real concern that clearly she and many of the others couldn't help themselves. 

The obesity crisis is something we all have to take seriously and the solutions have to be quite radical. A sugar tax would not make any impact whatsoever. The age group primarily 45-70 on this ship, should really know better and realise that they are killing themselves. They also are suffering from many ailments including diabetes, having to endure operations to hips, knees and the rest. 
We listened to passengers who openly talked about their failings but made light of it by saying "I'm just a real foodie" and "you see I just love my food"!

Plenty of wonderful food was available, lots of variety and choice but for many they stuck to what I heard referred to on a TV programme as "the beige diet" (fat v carbs BBC). Lots of potatoes mainly in the form of chips, bread rolls with every meal, rice, pasta.....

We reflected on the challenge facing the NHS and what could be done. There are no simple answers but there needs to be strong messages about the consequences of this overindulgence. We seem to care more about sensitivities than tackling the problem.  If the behaviour I have described is replicated across the country no wonder the NHS can't cope.

Needless to say the gym on board was used by about 20 people on a regular basis. However others did visit the gym use the scales. Some including my husband preferred to walk 3 times round the promenade deck (1mile) on a daily basis.- just as effective particularly when walking briskly

Diet and exercise are regular topics in newspapers, magazines, TV programmes, websites, Government and NHS guidelines so why aren't people listening???

What do you think?