>There is a program on TV about obese people in Texas. Its all in Polish but its sufficient to watch for comedy value. Dwayne is stuck at home, in bed, the same place his mother has kept feeding him for the past decade. “My little baby can’t leave the house,” she weeps to the camera while handing him around 6 hot dogs. My sympathy fully lies with the oaf with neck completely disappears under layers of lard. The destruction his mother has reaped, the weaknesses of his father to deal with his wife and the overall lack of willpower to take care of their 360kg pride and joy.

The tragi-comedy though turns to slapstick when the ambulance arrives. Not only is it tight to get Dwayne in the car of the vehicle, the crew struggle to even pick him up. Not surprising you may think given his size but that’s not the problem. The ambulance crew themselves are so large and out of shape, they are full exhausted getting him to the door. Like some Steve Coogan, they have to sit down to take a breather, leaving Dwayne lying on the garage forecourt.

As if his self-esteem wasn’t low enough, when they finally get him to hospital, the staff put him on an airbed which having read the script, promptly deflates with an agonising, wheezing sound similar to the noise emanating from myself. Dwayne meets the doctor who informs him with home-spun wisdom that he needs to lose weight especially before any surgery is possible. His mother sobers throughout Doctor Dick Van Dyke look-a-like’s pitter-patter, a considerate speech he must have made too many times.

The show has some successes too. Cheryl has lost over a 100kg and comes in for her check-up while handing out self-righteous advice to monsters in the ward, clearly forgetting the surgery and that odds of being back there in a relapse are high. But that doesn’t dampen Sandy’s spirits who is filmed in a nightclub with her friends, downing cocktails and rolling her new 20st frame all across the dance floor, clearly out half the men like skittles. But the same desperation that leads to obesity brings the some men fluttering back to the dance floor.

It’s cruel and not really funny. Genetics are undoubtedly fundamental to it but that hasn’t stopped us before. Environment is influential too but most fat people live in societies permit it to happen. Eskimos like elephants seal have high body fat levels but that is environmental. When was the last time you saw a fat orca? Diet is clearly a factor but again it can be overcome simply by exercise. You can eat what you like and exercise and all will be generally fine until the day, like the big lads playing American Football, they fail to adjust their diet when they retire.

Ultimately it comes down to discipline, an attitude that can be imposed, taught or learnt. Imposition like in prisons is a healthy austerity which, along with the exercise should be re-introduced into schools despite Rotherham’s disinclination. Being taught to eat well becomes easier as societies progressive. After the decline of mothers at home, food becomes simpler, faster, containing more sugar and additional. Like Las Vegas, it looks tempting but is pretty vacant inside. With the advent and promotion of free-range or vegetarianism, the marketing machine showed its the useful side of its double-edged sword and kicked into gear to sell you a lifestyle choice that actually helps you. Bravo eh!

Exercise is the best disciple out there. Your body then indicates what is sufficient intake. Keeping the focus, racking up miles on a tennis court, football pitch or rugby field boasts self-esteem, pumps the heart, burns calories, is socially inter-active and involves co-ordination and learning. And learning is the only reason to be.

Of course there are the two simple tenets to avoid getting fat; Eat less. Exercise more. Sounds simple doesn’t it. But what are you going to do about it?


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