Sarah Ferguson's recent documentary on the television made us all aware of the growing problem of Obesity and weight gain in the UK;

particularly among children.

The dangers to health and well-being and the physical, mental and emotional disorders that can result from obesity were highlighted.

The corollary is also true that mental and emotional disturbances can lead to comfort eating and lack of motivation for activity, leading to weight gain.

Obesity ranges from mild tendency to gain weight, which can be controlled easily, to gross obesity which requires intensive treatment and severe measures including surgery to help lose weight.

Accumulation of fat in the body increases the risks of developing heart disease, diabetes, circulation problems and back problems. It also restricts people's activity due to breathlessness.

People's self image and self esteem can be affected.

Obesity is often genetically determined it runs in the family. There are also some common medical conditions which may be the underlying cause of obesity which may be worth bearing in mind.

Low thyroid function, polycystic ovary in women, hormonal changes and disorders of endocrine organs are a few. The hormonal pills and contraceptive pills are another well-known cause.

One of my patients weighed seven stone until after the birth of her third child at 36 years of age, when she soon became 15 stone.

One should get medical assessment and investigations carried out for obesity and seek professional advice in managing weight gain.

The younger generation is growing up in a culture where they have to cope with enormous demands on their mental and emotional resources. This often leads to confusion, bad eating habits, apathy and depression.

Yet they have poor resources to guide them and offer training on coping and living skills at schools and colleges on how to handle their emotions during family conflicts, breakups and work conflicts, their ambitions and achievements This often leads to stressed and emotionally-disturbed youths and adults.

Perhaps our society today lacks a sense of direction and spiritual strength and breeds a culture of fear and threat rather than one of reassurance and compassion.

More professional help made available through the Department of Health to help people develop a sense of healthy control, with training in personal management, may be the secret to success in controlling obesity nationally.