When I was obese, I was invisible
I would eat 10 packets of crisps every day, yes 10 packets, says Andy Kenny
My health experience: I knew I had a problem when a lady stopped her car to offer me a lift one day as I struggled to walk in 30 degrees heat. I was 23 at the time and I was staying in a town called Batemans Bay in Australia. I had just got off a bus, and was walking to my hostel when this lady saw me and obviously felt I was struggling – and I was very glad to take up her offer of a lift. That was a real eye-opener for me.
I became really overweight in my late teens. I used to drink a litre and a half of fizzy drinks every day and probably an energy drink as well. I would eat 10 packets of crisps every day, yes 10 packets.
I used to get a euro for my lunch, and I remember bags of crisps being sold for 10 cents.
I also had a bar of chocolate every day. It scares me to think of it now but I had no idea at the time what I was doing to myself. Cost is a huge part of this. If an apple and a bar of chocolate cost the same thing, you know which one a child will buy.
People may not realise that a 500ml bottle of orange has 65g of sugar. There are 3g in the sugar sachets you get with your cup of coffee so that’s the equivalent of 22 sachets.
Nobody is going to put 22 sachets of sugar into a cup of coffee. And I was having the equivalent of 66 sachets of sugar in my litre and half of fizz, not counting the energy drink I put away every day.
In school we were taught about the food pyramid but that is about 30 years out of date. The focus is on fat, but it is the huge quantities of sugar which we consume that are the issue.
Of course, too much fat is bad but the real issue is the sugar we consume.
Unfortunately I was an early trend setter. I had breakfast, usually Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, every morning and then a mother’s dinner in the evening, probably meat and two veg. But then I would have a takeaway with friends later.
My parents only saw me having cereal in the morning and then dinner, so they had no idea what I was eating. It’s not that I was hiding anything.