With obesity responsible for coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer and additional health risks, I have this week prepared a letter to Jeremy Hunt, Secretary Of State for Health proposing that the UK implements the annual 'Warn a friend they are fat day'. With UK obesity levels out of control, my concern is that if the UK fails to implement a range of fresh strategies, people's health will continue to decline. Furthermore, little seems to be working to reduce the shockingly high obesity statistics. Let's face it, we have never had so much education pumped out from Government when it comes to what to eat to lose weight and be healthy, and if we all don't know by now that we should walk as opposed to take the car, then we are arguably a nation of fools.
'Warn a friend they are fat day' proposed for January 7th 2015 is not about being cruel. In fact it is the complete opposite. It is about sensitively and tactfully talking to overweight friends and family members about our concerns for their health. In fact it is a day that could potentially save thousands of lives and at the same time heighten our friends and families confidence as they are encouraged to take action to lose weight so that they feel better and more confident about themselves.
I am proposing that this day becomes an annual recognised day of action to manage our weight better. In my letter to Jeremy Hunt I have proposed that guidelines are communicated so that the day is constructive, and managed in the spirit in which it is intended. These guidelines will include:-
1. How to identify appropriate friends and family members. This will include judging who we should talk with, so that the conversation is constructive and well meaning.
2. How to communicate the message of concern including empathy and listening skills so that the message is delivered assertively and not aggressively.
3. Understanding how to construct an action plan to help our friends or family members take immediate steps to lose weight.
Action planning is proposed to be a major aspect of the discussion we have with our friends and family members who need to lose weight for the benefit of their health. I am proposing an online support pack to be available, incorporating a range of action planning options including:-
• The 80-20 meal planning regime which is intended to help people understand how to create balance in their eating habits. In summary this involves eating healthily 80% of the time and eating a bit of what we fancy for the remaining 20%.
• Portion control techniques designed to help motivate our friends and family members to eat less.
• Options for exercise including exercises for those with limited mobility. In addition this would include a range of exercises deemed pleasurable as opposed to painful.
• A number of motivational techniques to help kick start the weight loss, and help our friends and family members stay on the wagon for the long haul.
• Mind programming techniques including self hypnosis. Helping people understand how to use self hypnosis can help them mentally control their eating habits.
There is no doubt that this would be a radical move and I do wonder if the Government is brave enough to champion such an initiative. What is for sure is if we always do what we've always done, we will always get what we've always got. Change is desperately needed.