Minister of Health Kim Wilson stated in the House of Parliament on October 20, while addressing the issue of obesity in Bermuda, that the island ranks among the highest in the world for the condition and that it’s not OK. She added that this lifestyle leads to kidney and heart disease, and diabetes.

If we seized a snapshot of our neighbouring United States of “living” America, they also claim that obese people — and especially obese children — have also captured international attention. It has been elevated to a level of hysteria, largely by government officials.

Julie Geberding, the former director of the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, compared obesity to a worldwide pandemic (Julie Gunlock, Three Squares a DayCourtesy of the Federal Government, National Review, January 17, 2011).

Childhood obesity and diabetes may be correlated to broken families, as single parents resort to convenience and fast food or leave children to select their own meals. The CDC reveals that children living in low-income households, ie, single-parent households, suffer from obesity in far greater numbers than children living in high-income households that are likelier to comprise two-parent families.

Meanwhile, an independent research confirms that teens in one-parent families and children of divorced parents are much more likely to be obese than intact families — K.A. Thulitha Wickrama, K.A.S. Wickrama and Chalandra M. Bryant, Community Influence on Adolescent Obesity: Journal of Youth and Adolescence 35 (2006) 647-56; Anna Biehl et al, Parental Marital Status and Childhood Overweight and Obesity in Norway: A National Representative Cross-Sectional Study, Vol 4 No 6 (2014).

Further studies reveal that obese children have resulted from the proliferation of single-parent homes and the inability or the refusal of working mothers to cook regular healthy meals for their families — Taryn W. Morrissey, Rachel E. Dunifon and Ariel Kalil Maternal Employment, Work Schedules, and Children’s Body Mass Index Child Development, Vol 82, No. 1 (January-February 2011). If we want to halt the rise in obesity, and chronic diseases, as claimed by the Minister of Health, then we should tackle the broken family structure and the divorce industry, which have a greater influence on our physical and mental health, including lowering the health costs and insurance institutions’ costs.