Exercising and Dieting Not Enough to Stop UK Obesity Freight Train - Dr Berardi
A leading nutritional expert has called for more to be done by influential figures within the UK health and fitness industry after branding worrying obesity and diabetes levels as "freight trains running out of control".
Dr John Berardi, who was recently in the UK attending the FitPro convention, is a prominent researcher in the field of exercise and nutritional science and he believes a greater emphasis needs to be placed on engaging with and educating people of all ages on the benefits of eating healthy and exercising on a regular basis.
Nearly a third of all children in the UK are now believed to be classified as overweight and just over a quarter of adults in England were classified as obese in 2010, highlighting how a major cultural problem is escalating.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Predator Nutrition founder Reggie Johal, Dr Berardi said: "While the health and fitness industry in the UK always impresses me, as a health and fitness culture, the UK is doing just about as poorly as we are in North America.
"Personally, I split my time between the US and Canada, living part of the year in each country. And whether it's the US, Canada, or the UK, we're all struggling. Obesity and diabetes seem like freight trains running out of control.
"Of course, that's not a fitness industry thing. Instead, it has everything to do with the combination of sedentary labor, few natural opportunities for exercise and movement, huge access to high calorie, processed foods, and a tremendous amount of personal stress.
"Just telling people to eat less and exercise more doesn't work. Sure, it theoretically could work. But it can be damn hard for some people to get moving in this direction.
"And the problem isn't necessarily willpower. I know that's hard to understand at first. But once you have a family to take care of, become a full-time member of a sedentary work force, and become responsible for meeting the needs of either young children or aging parents - and you have to do it all on a limited budget - does it become apparent why this is so hard for people.
"That's why I'm so passionate about reaching people where they're at. Honestly, the obesity epidemic isn't going to be solved by the fitness industry unless we reimagine what it is we do. Because, right now, the industry is confined to the four walls of gyms and health clubs.
"It's only when we're willing reach out beyond fitness club walls and engage people at home, in their workplaces, and in the other places they spend time, that we'll really have the impact we hope to."