In a culture of blame-shifting we often look for someone to blame for our predicament. Being overweight is no different - who is to blame for obesity?
"It's fast food outlets - supplying us with fatty foods" "Our thin-obsessed society is putting all sorts of pressure on even slightly overweight folks" "The weight loss industry is to blame - after all if everyone was slim - they would go out of business"
Some will simply blame overweight person - making generalizations and attaching unhelpful labels to person. "After all" they say, "it's up to us to manage what we eat and how much we exercise".
There is truth in this, but it is too simplistic. Many overweight people have tried desperately to eat 'properly' to manage their weight - yet continue to struggle for years. There are a number of outside forces here that have more of an influence than we realise.
So Who Is To Blame?
The weight loss industry is large, with millions being spent every year by people looking for answers. Like any industry, it has it's share of charlatans and snake-oil salesmen. Many manufacturers of diet pills and weight loss supplements are certainly opportunists - rather than looking to treat source (i.e. by eating right), they are trying to treat symptoms. However we have found that most decent commercial weight loss programs have a genuine interest in helping people manage their weight. So it's unfair to cast blame on entire 'industry'.
If we were to start looking for culprits, we might want to cast our eye at food processing industry - that, coupled with savvy marketing experts, has snared us into eating so many kinds of processed foods that going to supermarket is like walking through a nutritional minefield.
Get Them While Their Young
The Center For Science in Public Interest (CSPI) recently conducted a study of magazine "National Geographic for Kids". In 17 recent issues they found 51 ads for junk-foods - including a depiction of one meal that contained 590 calories (remember this is a magazine for children).
Many years ago a certain famous fast food outlet began calling its meals for children "Happy Meals" - creating an emotional response and attachment to certain foods - typically nutritionally poor foods.
Chemical Food and Clever Marketing
It's not weight loss industry that's to blame - but clever marketing tactics from food processing giants that are misleading us. To make things worse - some popular weight loss diets have unfortunately associated themselves with snack food corporations, and severely reduced their credibility.