What an improbable combination, cycling and obesity, which is precisely why I think it is worth a mention here.
OK, let’s start by declaring an interest. I am not obese by a fairly decent margin but I am overweight, which is partly why I started cycling again a few weeks ago. So today I have been looking at various related topics on the web and have come across some startling figures.
Apparently, half of the UK’s adult population are overweight and one person in every six of the adult population is obese, that is, at least two to three stones overweight and risking serious health consequences.
If that is not bad enough, according to NHS Direct, at least one in ten of our seven-year-old children, and one in six of our 15-year-olds are clinically obese – which means that they have been set up for a lifetime of serious health problems even before they have finished being children.
Yes, there are medical causes of obesity but these account for only one in every 100 sufferers. For 99 out of every 100 it was all so avoidable. I could mutter on about lifestyles and diets and the qualities of various foods but for now let’s keep it simple. The primary cause of the problem for that 99% is that they have been consuming far more calories than their bodies were needing, and their bodies simply stored all those spare calories.
There are no quick fixes for these people and they would be well advised not to seek quick results. But whether obese or merely overweight there is a solution, and it is obvious: Eat less and exercise more, and I can think of no other form of exercise that is as safe and enjoyable and useful as cycling.