In the last 30 years obesity rates in America have increased from 15% to 35%, childhood obesity has increased from 5% to 15% (and we were an overweight society 30 years ago). 60% of adults are overweight.
It is really quite amazing how many different diets there are, and how much money is increasingly spent in the weight loss industry and yet people keep getting more overweight and obese. There are many different diets, each with a gimmick of eating certain types of food or avoid other types of food, obviously its not working.
The plain truth about dieting is that what you eat has nothing to do with weight loss or gain. It is all a bunch of made up misleading dribble. Eating sugar, fat, carbs, protein, acacia juice, kelp, grapefruit, even drinking green tea has little to do with weight gain or loss. Your diet, nutrition, is important, and effects your health, but weight loss has nothing to do with nutrition, weight loss or gain is accounting not science. Your weight is entirely determined by how much you eat, and how little you exercise. You eat too much anything, and you will gain weight, you eat less food than your burn through exercise and you will loose weight.
There are two parts to the world's obesity problem, the first is diet. The fast food industry and processed food industry have addicted us to their food. Everything we eat has been enhanced with sugar, salt, and fat, and the nutrition has been refined to nothing. The majority of our calories come from refined sugar and fat, 95% of the flour used in America is processed white flour. We are obsessed with meat, if a meal does not contain at least two portions of some dead animal in it, we don't consider it a meal. We eat more meat in a day, than any nutritionist would recommend in a week.
Not only is the food we eat junk, but the portions are large enough to feed a family. We are bombarded with junk food and fast food advertisements, finding healthy food at a restaurant is a near impossible task. Our overweight, asthmatic children sit in front of TV countless hours a day watching commercials where their favorite cartoon figures and role models tell them how great candy, sugar cereals, and processed nutritionless snacks are. Is there little wonder that they consume close to half their calories in sugar?
People tend to forget how important nutrition is. They spend a lot of money on gym and hope to make up for eating garbage. To be healthy and to build some muscles they would have to do more than just work out hard and visit the gym: they have to eat healthy.
The second is exercise. We are the automatic powered generation. Everything in our lives is powered by automation. We drive everywhere, technology does all of our work for us, our ride-on lawnmower cuts the grass, our snow blower shovels the driveway, our leaf blowers rake our leaves and sweep our patio, elevators and escalators take us up the stairs, even our doors open by themselves. We use the time our technology has given us to sit in front of the TV, our children play video games instead of playing outside. We think the Nintendo WII is a form of exercise.
Perhaps our lives have become too easy, but we pay the price in the end. We become decrepit before our time, heart attacks in our forties are common, cancers and Alzheimer's are an expected part of aging. This does not have to be the way, their are many traditional cultures where these diseases rare. It is true that we are living longer, but this is thanks to health care not thanks to our health. Early heart attacks have increased 20%, but quadruple bypass surgeries have increased by 2,000%. We live 10 years longer than before, but spend 15 years more in old age homes.
Tips to a health diet and weight:
- Eat wholes grains.
- Eat more vegetables and fruit.
- Eat less or no meat.
- Eat no or little red meat.
- Remove sugar, salt and fat additives in our food.
- Eat fewer processed foods, and more fresh and wholesome foods.
- Eat smaller servings, buy smaller bowls and plates.
- Eat slower, have sitdown family dinners, enjoy talking more than eating, eat slow food not fast food.
- Become unplugged, use more of our own power.
- Walk, bike or run to work, or take the bus and get off one stop earlier and walk.
- Take the stairs.
- Play outside with our children, go to the park.
- Buy a manual lawn mower, buy a rake instead of a leaf blower, a shovel instead of a snow blower, save money and fuel.
- Join a walking group, running club, recreational sports team.
- Ensure our children play little league, soccer, basket ball, hockey, gymnastics, dance.
- Join a health club, and actually go, do aerobics, palates, work out, swim.
- Tackle your fitness goals the right way with an online exercise and diet tracker
Of course it has all been said, there are plenty of resources available for anyone interested, but our society keeps getting fatter.
So perhaps we need to change society:
- Ban junk food and fast food from advertising on TV, most certainly children's programs.
- Require labeling on all junk food, perhaps skull and cross bones for greater than a certain percentage of fat, sugar and salt.
- Require nutritional information on restaurant menus, set maximum caloric values to a meal.
- Remove all junk food and pop machines from our schools, serve only healthy food in school cafeterias.
- Ensure physical education is part of education every day, ensure that after school sports are properly funded. Reward teachers for taking part in after school sports and allow parent to also be involved, make involvement in an after school sport a requirement to high school graduation.
- Give companies tax incentives for engaging in inter office sports leagues, or funding employee health clubs.