This year, give the gift of life by telling your loved ones they’re fat. The UK’s National Obesity Forum and International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk have urged people to have frank discussions with their relatives this holiday season. I agree with those scientists that it’s a good thing to bring up as people are busy stuffing their faces around a communal table.

It’s not about discriminating against fat people, or the attractiveness of body types, but the serious health issues that are related to obesity -heart disease, diabetes, stroke. It amazes me that obesity has become a third-rail issue while smoking has become so vilified that people don’t hesitate to call out their friends or family for doing it. And it needn’t be too harsh of a message.

As Dr. Jean Pierre Despres, scientific director of the International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk, put it:

“Start by encouraging someone close to you to make simple lifestyle changes such as becoming more active, making small alterations to their eating habits and replacing sugary drinks with water.”

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