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BMI a qualification for life ...

A while ago, it was recognised and accepted that smoking was really, really bad. Since then there has been a painfully slow process of attrition on smoking. Part of that process was to compel the media and the film industry to remove smoking from our screens unless it was imperative to the plot.

Obesity and excess weight is a massive problem now and it is escalating without any signs of control. The politicians attempts to legislate the problem are costly and ineffective.

The current concern over offending people means that fat shaming is frowned upon. There is an effort towards accepting people as they are. The media is asked to include more fuller figures to reduce the pressure on individuals to conform to impossible standards.

The cost of being nice is very, very high. And the cost is escalating at an alarming level.

It is a bigger problem than smoking. Smoking is slowly, but surely receding. We've managed to give it a bit of a social stigma with the ban indoors but it was too long in coming. We should learn from that and act now on our obesity problem.

I don't think we can really afford to treat the problem with such delicacy. We need to confront the problem directly. Part of this is that we desperately need to get the message across that being overweight/obese is not good in way and in many ways it is not acceptable.

Perhaps we need to mandate a maximum BMI that can be shown in the media in the same way that you are not encouraged to show someone smoking.

Perhaps airlines should charge excess baggage for those that exceed a certain size.

Perhaps individuals should be asked to pay additional tax contribution if their BMI is above a certain level.

I don't know what the right answers are but we need to take some action now and have a long term strategy to remove obesity from our future.

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