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The World is getting bigger

In Britain and the western world alike the obesity epidemic is spiralling out of control. It is now the biggest health problem the world faces. In the UK, government targets to stop the rising obesity rate in children by the year 2010 looks certain to fail and things are set to worsen.

The expected cost of our soaring waistlines is set to skyrocket. Being overweight is linked with Corony heart disease (CHD) and cancer, the two biggest causes of death in the UK. It is also linked to diabetes, high cholesterol and a host of other health and medical complaints.

Why are we getting obese?

The rapid rise in the population's body weight is being caused by the changes in the foods we are eating and by our ever-increasing sedentary lifestyle.

The quality of our foods has been steadily decreasing over the last few decades. Increased pressure on agriculture to produce greater amounts of food products has forced the farmers to use more chemicals and more intensive farming methods. The result is more food is being produced, but it is of a lower nutritional value.

The advent of fast food and the ready meal has created foods devoid of nutrients and essential vitamins. These empty calories are giving the body energy, but without the essential micro nutrients that allows the body to flourish and be in good health.

The dominance of the grain industry has also created major problems to our health. Grains, but more particularly wheat, has become the major food source in the western diet. In a typical day a person could have wheat-a-bix for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner. All three meals are made up from primarily wheat. There is nothing inherently wrong with the grain wheat, but it is a good example of how eating too much of an incomplete food source can lead to health problems. Food intolerances are often caused from over consumption. Food intolerances has been associated with allergies, asthma and obesity.

Government policy and recommendations has also contributed to our epidemic. The low fat theory promoted by the government while ignoring the effect of sugars, simple carbohydrates and refined food has been disastrous.

The obesity problem is compounded because it is now cheaper to buy processed food than healthier food. This results in people buying the cheaper foods that are of a poor quality. Education in schools about health and nutrition is paralleled by the quality of their school dinners. There is a distinct lack of emphasis on health, education and exercise within our school and education system.

Sedentary life has been gradually on the rise but now it is at it's highest ever levels. The computer started the decline in our activity which was further speeded up by the popularity of the car and the inventions of many effort saving devises e.g. escalators, mobile phones. The internet has saved us on having to leave the house to buy products or compare prices. Children's playing fields have been sold, exercise taken off the school timetables, as our children become a bunch of telly addicts.

The way forward in preventing this epidemic.

The spread of obesity can only be stopped by first taking control of our own lives and then helping the ones around us. To begin, we must learn which foods are right for our body chemistry and the facts surrounding food quality and related issues.

To accompany this we need to instigate an exercise program consisting of flexibility, resistance and aerobic training. When this is combined to other key lifestyle factors we will be leading a healthy, obesity preventing lifestyle.

We should then encourage as many people as we can from our friends, colleagues and family to adopt a healthier, happier lifestyle. Parents are in the perfect position to curb obesity amongst their own children and their children's friends by encouraging them to be active, get outside and partake in exercise. In addition to this children should be given healthier food options.

We can help promote healthy food options by buying organic food, especially from local producers. This will force the larger supermarkets to start stocking more local organic products, which will make them cheaper and more affordable for everyone. This positive effect will be to the benefit of our societies health.

A losing battle?

We can all take control of our personal health and that of our immediate family, especially our children. It is a more difficult battle for society as a whole. Everyday we face pressures from big brand advertising.
Food industries sway government policy and are allowed to dominate their market to the benefit of their sales rather than the good of our health.

As individuals we can make a difference if we all start leading a healthy life and promoting it amongst our network of friends. The quickest way to start this is understanding the science of metabolic typing.



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