Sunday, May 17, 2009

Food and weight

Its always great when science catches up with reality. Two recent reports from the USA and Australia confirm that people are getting heavier. Furthermore there is an obvious reason for this and yet and to some extent many are in denial.

The first article comes from Australia where the Australian Bureau of Statistics has found 62%of the population to be overweight (BMI 25-30)or obese(BMI >30).One quarter of children were also in these categories .The survey found people underestimated their weights and waistlines.(On the plus side the survey found Aussies to be a happy bunch).Also figures show the rates of childhood obesity static over the last decade.

The second article is a corker. Scientists have demonstrated that the reason that Americans have gotten heavier over the last 30 years is due to …eating more. The study looked to determine the contributions from more food versus less exercise and found that the latter was not a factor as people were exercising about the same.

When you consider that a can of soft drink requires 30 minutes on the bike to burn off the calories it contains this finding should not come as a surprise to anyone. The researchers concluded that for Americans to return to average weights of the 1970s required them to take in 500 less calories per day .This is the equivalent of a hamburger or around one and a half cans of soft drink.

Weight issues polarize opinions. Many who are overweight claim to be happy. That is great Better to be overweight and happy than overweight and miserable In the same way it is not great to be thin and miserable either.

There is no need to be a rakish model or to aspire to a body form that you are not. In addition to this the Body Mass Index(BMI) whilst a useful tool is not the only guide to weight or health. Many athletes will be classed as overweight on BMI due to their muscle mass.

However much like a car that is loaded with more weight than it is designed to carry will not run as well as it could do, the same applies to the body. There are a number of health issues associated with being overweight and these include heart disease, diabetes, some forms of cancer and arthritis to name a few.

There are 8 pillars of DIY health and fuels is one of them. If we don’t put the right fuel in the car it wont run smoothly If we don’t put the right fuel in the body it wont run smoothly either.

The trend to processed and packaged food (including high sugar “low fat” foods) has left many people needing more vitamins minerals essential fatty acids and even protein. The body expresses this a s hunger. As a result people eat more. However if the food provides only calories but no nutrition then we get heaver and remain hungry. Yes, there are emotional issues involved too, they are for another day.

So what is the answer? The answer is simple eat real food, food that was until recently moving around or growing somewhere , food that if not eaten will go off by next week, food that your great great grandparents would recognize as food. Fruit, vegetables, nuts seeds, meat fish and poultry come under this banner. Processed foods in pretty boxes with multiple numbers on the label do not.

When you give your body the fuels it needs in the right amounts then it will run best for you, giving you energy and reducing your chances of getting numerous illnesses. Fuels is one pillar of health-but not the only one, so eating right is not a force field.

Remember also what you eat today will be you tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment