no doubt its a problem, but what are the causes? Reaching for cheap calories and austerity certainly go hand in hand but this has been coming way before 2009. Poverty in general is one aspect of this. Changing patterns of activity (or rather inactivity) too. We just don’t move about under our own volition as much as we used to. Genetics and epitenetics (I can make a nice plug for #ANTISENSE here, by the way, on the epigenetics front) may also play there role. It’s very hard to distinguish genetic influences from behavioural ones in early life. Are Mother’s and Father’s passing their offspring their genes, or their plates piled high with sugar and salt? Certainly the exponential rise in obesity has some thinking that epigenetics might play a role, that is our diets influencing the genes we pass on directly which is somewhere between nature and nurture or a little bit of both. I think it probably is part of the puzzle.
So what to do about it? Unfortunately we need to legislate. Excessive sugar needs to be treated like tobacco and supermarkets and manufacturers need to have curbs on how they sell and who they sell to. And of course we need to mobilise the kids again, schools must have 2 mandatory period of exercise a week, if not daily walks/cycles/jogs. It should be as normal as the lunch break. Easy to say, but hard to do. However, we simply cannot afford the human and economic costs of heading the way we are.