Obesity in Spain is getting Bigger

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I AM returning to the subject of obesity again this week as I take a look at Life in Spain, and in particular the headlines and news that caught my eye. I know it is only a few weeks since I penned some thoughts on Obesity, and the argument for banning it, but I make no apologies for returning to the subject so promptly, having read the following two news items last week:

Childhood Obesity Doubles In Spain and The Fattest Person In Spain: 41 Stone Patient Set For Stomach Bypass.

It seems that the much praised Mediterranean Diet is rapidly becoming a thing of the past for the children of Spain today, with the alarming statistic that 25% of the children in Spain are now either overweight or obese, while in Madrid the number of children that are obese is 5% higher than the national average, with 20% of boys and 10% of girls suffering from obesity. No doubt the fact that there are more fast food franchises and themed coffee style shops in Madrid has nothing at all to do with the statistic!

Actually, and to be fair about it, that may not be the case as the most interesting fact in the study was that the eating habits of children has remained pretty static over the last decade, but unfortunately so have the children, as a significant decline in the levels of exercise is being blamed for the increase. Apparently since 1996, the number of children that do no exercise at all has risen by 17% – with the majority of these made up of girls.

Experts are split as ever over what to do. Many claim that the answer is to ban fizzy drink, sweets, cakes, junk food etc from schools, while others say the answer is to make children take more daily exercise such as walking or cycling to and from school instead of being driven everywhere.

I have an alternative suggestion!

Meaning no disrespect to 31-year-old Gustavo Moreno, who at 41 stone is the fattest person in Spain, my suggestion is that they make life size models of the chap and stick them in the restaurants in all the schools. If the image doesn’t motivate the children to lose some weight, at least they will get some exercise each day as they walk round the model to get to their food.

This chap has already lost three stone, but has been warned that he has to lose 160 kilos within a year and a half if he is ever to lead a normal life. Doctors warn that his health is in serious danger and his excess weight is likely to kill him soon if action is not taken.

For Gustavo the answer appears to be a stomach bypass, which will be performed by Doctor Ballesta who has already operated on over 3,000 obese patients!

Seriously though, they could use a model of Gustavo, and rather as they do when charting the progress of an appeal, they could record his weight loss over time to encourage the children. Who knows, a bit of celebrity and responsibility may help Gustavo in his quest to live beyond his 33rd birthday!

By Chris Marshall

www.alifeinspain.es

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