It has recently been declared that New Zealand women’s biggest health issue is obesity, which now comes in ahead of well canvassed issues such as breast cancer and the affects of cigarette smoking.
The difficulty, that men in particular face, is that the subject is often seen as a taboo area of discussion between any woman and other men including her partner.
When a woman does seek an opinion, it is anticipated that her partner will lie rather than give an honest opinion.
“Do these pants make my bum look big?”
“No darling, you’ve put on weight again and that makes those pants look tight”.
That’s how the fight started.
The health issues are serious. Diabetes, heart attack and circulation problems are all life limiting diseases.
Recently I broached the subject with a friend, admittedly from behind the safety of technology and social media and suggested politely;
“You’re going someplace you don’t want to go and you need to address your health issues.”
Did that get me de-friended? Yes of course it did and it came with a two-word email as well. I doubt we will ever be friends again but hopefully one day the message will evade this emotional crutch that women cling to and reach her head.
If I had asked another question such as “Do you bother about regular mammograms?” I am quite sure she would have said, “Of course I do” without any consideration of launching a hostile response.
What exactly is a women’s place in life when it comes to her children and subsequent grandchildren and being available to them and in a good state of health. Are these familial relationships no longer of any consequence?
And even if they are not, is it fair to land the next generation with that unnecessary cost and the burden placed on our struggling health system, through the unregulated and excessive consumption of food?
What are we to do?
An awareness campaign perhaps: Women’s overweight awareness week. And that would raise the issue of what form the representative ribbon might take – white with a pink stripe perhaps.
The time has come for women to let go of their perceived right/need to be flattered about artificially contrived appearances that hide significant health problems under their glad rags – the truth is they hide nothing – just paint a pretty picture around it – but you would rather we carried on the pretence anyway.
Some might say only a brave man or a fool would call women out on this one but before you condemn me ask yourself the same question a teenager asked me recently.
“My mother is sitting at home eating herself to death. What do I do?”