Highlight immediate dangers of obesity

The front-page headline on Feb 22 ("Rising obesity among young set to worsen diabetes rate") raises another red flag in our health landscape.

Obesity increases the risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, joint problems and cancers. Those who are obese may also suffer from premature infertility and ageing, a compromised immune system, chronic lower back pain and diminished respiratory function, among other conditions.

However, humans tend to be complacent about insidious outcomes decades down the road.

Indifference, warning fatigue, defiance, ignorance, non-motivation, indiscipline and plain sloth play a large part in why the obese find it "impossible" to manage their weight.

It is time for them to do the research and adhere to a sporting lifestyle and dietary regime.

Hitherto, our national health campaigns have rested on soft-sell public education initiatives, but they have been only partially effective.

We should not be skirting the issue of obesity in the name of political correctness, but be more frank and upfront about it.

I suggest a paradigm shift in our national battle against the bulge. Let us stress the "here and now" dangers those who are obese face.

Such scenarios include:

- Being unable to flee quickly during an emergency, or duck, dive or crawl away from danger because of a lack of agility and litheness;

- Loss of job opportunities for safety, performance and image reasons. It is also more difficult to find a suitable life partner.

The Government can only do so much. Ultimately, the individual must be fired up to take control of his health.

Michael Gerald Hong