This is a dangerous time of year if you are worried about your weight.
Many of our New Year resolutions are about dieting and fitness.
We set our new Apple watches and Fitbits to unrealistic targets – and beat ourselves up in front of the mirror when we don’t hit them.
Surely we all already know that fad diets don’t work.
And that we won’t stick to running a mile a day for the next few months.
Heck, if diet and fitness regimes worked we’d be a nation of happy, healthy, rosy-cheeked utopians.
The very word regime has scary militaristic overtones.
All of this talk of health and weight, particularly at this time of year, merely sets us up to fail.
Because while we are all gaining inches and pounds gradually as a nation the latest stats tell us we are also developing an epidemic of eating disorders.
Hospital admissions have risen by more than a third across all ages for anorexia.
The most common age of sufferers was 13 to 15 last year. There were ten cases among boys and six among girls of nine and under.
This suggests we don’t know how to handle our relationship with food and we are developing this imbalance so early in our lives that our kids are destined to be either too fat, obsessed with yo-yo dieting, or in and out of anorexia and bulimia clinics during their lives.
Meanwhile, as a Sunday People investigation reveals, some websites are entreating us to follow diets designed to help us shed pounds no matter how extreme our weight-loss goals may be.
We have to educate ourselves and our kids about how we are abusing ourselves through the very thing that gives us life – food.
Those of us who care about the planet are being implored to change our diets to save the world.
Veganuary lasted four days for me. I gave in to a toasted cheese sandwich.
But you don’t have to be obsessive about your eating habits. You can do a little to achieve a lot.
I’ve been veggie for well over 25 years. But friends and family know I will very occasionally give in to crispy bacon if served just right.
No harm in that. Every animal product we don’t eat counts. Did you know that it takes something like 16 thousand litres of water to produce a kilo of beef?
It affects our carbon footprint, from the transportation of animals to the vast quantities of methane gas that livestock release. And people are destroying vast swathes of Amazon rainforest to produce more and more.
We all need to acknowledge that it’s OK to love food. We just need to choose it better and love less of it.
That’s my resolution for 2020.
How about you?
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