Letter: Home after 20 years I was shocked to see so many overweight people

An overweight woman. Photo: Bill Smith 2007

An overweight woman. Photo: Bill Smith 2007 - Credit: Bill Smith

I have spent the past 20 years living in Lithuania and last week returned to the UK to visit my mother who lives in Caister-on-sea.

I arrived in Stansted and took the train to Norwich and it was on the train that I noticed just how large people had become. The journey took three hours, but as more people got on it became apparent that something was seriously wrong with the way in which people were looking after themselves.

I arrived at Great Yarmouth and was waiting for my taxi when a car pulled up, the rear door opened and a lady tried to get out. To say the lady was large was an understatement because it took two people to help her.

My taxi appeared and I was soon at my mother’s and started to tell her of my sightings during my trip from Stansted. She told me so many people were now suffering from being overweight and it was getting worse every year. I explained to my mother that where I lived the situation was completely different because people care for their health and value the life they have been given.

The next day it seemed everywhere I looked I saw people who were large, very large! The age and the sex of the person did not seem to make any difference.

I saw people who were about 40 who were so large they were using a crutch in one hand to help them walk and others who were driving mobility vehicles. I saw a girl who was about 12 who could hardly get up the stairs on the bus because she was so large and this was such a pity because the girl was just so pretty and I thought to myself, what are the parents like to allow their daughter to become like this.

Who is to blame? Who is responsible? And what can be done?

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Remember the phrase “Monkey see monkey do” well, education is the key and the parents need to be educated. A child has been brought into the world and the parents really are responsible for the child.

The child learns from the parents because they are the role models in the child’s eyes and the child loves the parents and will always want to please them. But, what do the parents know about health and nutrition and who has taught the parents? Did they learn at school or a university? Did they learn from watching television of from the Internet?

Little lifestyle changes can improve a life in many ways and every person who is reading this has a choice. They can choose to continue in the same manner and possible become diabetic and suffer an early death or they can choose to change their life and become healthy which is really not as hard as you may think.

I am 68 years old in good health; weight 78 kilos and know how a person can take care by simply watching what they eat, drinking water and walking at least two miles every day!