Gareth from the Office: You are not what you eat

Fatty Foods

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YOU are what you eat, the old adage goes, and where that may not be true to the letter it is true that what you eat can have a big effect on your health.

I always try to eat healthily whenever I can and would consider my diet to be quite balanced. But I realise that my size can fluctuate from week to week. I can go from looking flat and toned to fat and round but not think anything of it.

Gareth Ellis

Gareth Ellis

As a child I carried a bit more weight and a couple of people handily pointed it out to me, and I took it to heart.

So I know what it’s like to be bullied for my weight.

Which is why I am appalled to see recent figures showing that almost 100 children between the ages of five and seven have been treated for anorexia or bulimia in the last three years.

Sorry? I thought a child’s biggest worry at that age was the ‘monsters’ in their cupboard not the saddlebags and spare tyres that are obsessed about by celebrities and adults across the world.

Now I’m not trying to make light of this. Eating disorders can kill you, and statistics show 197 children aged between five and nine were treated in hospital in England for eating disorders during that time.

The figures from 35 hospitals showed 98 children were aged between five and seven at the time of treatment and 99 aged eight or nine.

Almost 400 were between the ages of 10 and 12, with more than 1,500 between 13 and 15 years old.

Now how does a situation get that bad? Is it that children are watching too much television and reading too many magazines, showing them weight-obsessed celebrities.

Or are those children picking on the unfortunate ones who are ‘different’? The kids who haven’t shed the unsightly ‘puppy fat’ that plagues many people that age.

Whatever it is the problem needs to be stopped, and at the earliest opportunity as well.

I got into sports at a young age, probably around six years old, but still by 14 I was rounder than I should have been. I didn’t have a bad diet but I got teased by other children.

Then when the time came I had a growth spurt, lost the weight and grew in confidence.

Children need to learn that it is what is inside that counts and parents need to drill that message home as well. Celebrities may look good but that is because they have the money to pay someone to suck the fat out of them if needs be.

This world is becoming too obsessed with image and those who look good will always tell you that ‘nothing looks as good as skinny feels’. Cheers for that, Miss Moss.

As long as you are happy in yourself then nothing else matters, and people need to be passing that message on to their kids, otherwise they won’t live to see a growth spurt.