About Me

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Wife (to Shaun), Mother (to Danni), Dog walker of Archie the JRX, improving cyclist, reformed gym bunny, broken runner Collector of exercise DVDs & equipment. Cake is my weakness together with cider (Westons only thanks)and brandy. Noisy spectator of running & cycling events. Owner of Tribby the campervan

Friday, 21 February 2014

#Run With An Idea - Is Being fit and healthy a personal responsibility or should the government intervene?

The first of two very difficult posts which should inflame some debate amongst readers of the blogs on Run with An Idea.   So here we go - my personal point of view!

I think it's my own personal responsibility to maintain my own health & fitness.   Only I can get off the sofa and push myself to do exercise whatever form that comes in.   I am responsible for what goes into my mouth - I have the choice to eat healthily or not.   However, I do think that the government should help with advice on what is good and what is bad.  After all they have the facilities and the people to test food and prove whether something is good or bad for you.   Whether you choose to take on that advice is up to the individual.

What I find really unhelpful is when there are reports one week of what is the best thing to eat or exercise to do and then the following week the advice is that there are dangers with eating or drinking something or a certain exercise causes more problems than it helps.   It's all very confusing.   

A few years ago the NHS set up Change 4 Life

aimed at advising people on what to eat and how to exercise.   I did register in the very early days and it all seemed a bit "no shit sherlock" at the time.   I've not been on the website for ages but presumably it does help some people, and with the increase in use of social media there are now links to Twitter, Facebook and even a phone app.   The usual advice to drink more water, cut down on alcohol, eat less fat, salt and sugar and eat more fruit and veg are all there along with the eat less move more messages.   Some people do need a push in the right direction, although at the same time they could just ignore all the messages and do whatever they fancy!

My fridge is always full of fresh veg, but on the other hand there are also treats for those days when I feel like saying "sod it".   I think the NHS could provide some help with the mental side of overeating, I know from personal experience it's all very well saying don't do this or that but sometimes my inner chimp takes over and I'm on a spiral of self destruction eating all the things I shouldn't be.   I know the advice will be well don't buy it, but why should the rest of the family suffer - they can eat sensibly whereas I can't.   If we fancy a takeaway we have one, occasionally, not every day, and probably not even once a week!

With the growing problem of obesity it is all too easy for people to think that the NHS will help them - provide them with drugs to help lose weight.  However, the drugs prescribed rely on the patient following a low-fat diet.  At the extreme is stomach banding.   

In February last year The Guardian reported on the growing pressure on the NHS for obesity treatment

The paragraph from this report which stands out to me (and scares me) is this one!

Obesity costs the NHS £5.1bn a year in treatment and equipment. But the obesity report by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges this week warned that on current trends, it could become so serious that "the NHS can no longer cope".

This alone is making me get off my backside and get out on the bike - right now!  Keep motivating me with images like this & I'm already taking responsibility for my own health and wellbeing.

As with all Run With An Idea blog posts - head on over to the site and see what other posters are saying!  Thanks for reading and feel free to leave your point of view in the comments below - but please be kind, these are my personal thoughts.


  1. I agree with you on this post. I have thought this for a long time that you can be give the information and it up to you if you want to follow it on sit on your backside. what get me when you here people moaning about there weight well do some thing about it

  2. Great post! I agree with you that it really is confusing with the different types of advice put out by the DoH and the NHS. And it also assumes that everyone is able to process that amount of information. Those figures from the Guardian article are frightening!