Recent reports from the ‘British Nutritional Foundation’ show that obesity is on the rise in not only the UK but all over the world. Statistic’s stated that in the 1980’s 6% of men and 8% of women were obese in the UK. However the latest figures for Great Britain state that 42% of men and 32% of women are currently obese.
Are you a statistic?
OK so we’re all guilty of the odd indulgence it’s only normal but it’s when we start piling on the pounds and notice that our baggy jeans are more like drain pipes that we hope there was a mishap in the dryer! I’m a sucker for junk food and the first to hold my hand up for the many times I have happily binged on treats while sitting contently in front of the television. Therefore I’d be lying if I said my favorite pass time was munching on a bowl of lettuce! Anyone who skips the sausage rolls and cocktail weenies at a buffet table and dives straight into the salad bar is my hero! Strangely enough, I haven’t found that person yet.
So is it we don’t care about our ill health that could arise from eating junk foods or simply we don’t know enough about the health risks? Having researched into the issues of obesity and causes, I have to say I was alarmed by what I would consider good food was actually probably clogging up my arteries as I type this! FACT!
A recent government report estimated that in England 30000 death’s per year were obesity related. Also 12.7% of children aged 2-15 were diagnosed obese in 2002 according to the recent health survey for England, showing the extent of the problem for not only our elders but our future generations.
McDonald’s who are one of the worlds largest fast food chains are currently battling a law suit involving two teenagers who are suing the franchise for ‘making’ them obese. Surely this should be a wake up call for all those of us who choose a ‘Big Mac’ in place of a ‘spud you like’.
Obesity is one of the most visible but until recently most neglected public health problem that is sweeping the nation. I personally am sick to death of all the ‘fad’ diets that promise weight loss in two weeks, it’s possible but its damaging in the long term for our bodies. Call me a hypocrite but healthy eating is the most effective solution to slimming down and boosting our ‘feel good’ levels. We all know this but very few of us actually take it seriously and willingly invite fruit and vegetables onto our plates at meal times.
The Media is like a long walk of shame, and we never actually reach the end until we’ve been compared to say Rachael Stevens or pint sized Princess Kylie Minogue. We as young woman are vulnerable to insecurities and low self esteem attacks. This is not helped by magazines and newspapers who persistently paste glamorous celebrities on their front covers. Ladies captured on camera whilst indulging on a rare burger or chocolate bar are automatically named and shamed and accused of either eating for two or going off the rails! In society today there has never been more pressure on our generation to ‘beat the bulge’ and there’s practically no magazines that aren’t guilty of printing something ‘fat’ related.
Dr Gillian Mckeith, Author of the number one bestseller ‘You Are What You Eat’ promises that her book will make you “slimmer, happier and healthier” It boasts reality check surveys that you can do yourself and discover how unhealthy you really are. I tried it for myself and let’s just say its put me off my burgers and chips for at least a week! Eating at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day will reduce the risks of developing coronary heart disease and following a healthy diet can substantially reduce the risk of developing cancer, also increasing the risk of survival after a heart attack. We don’t necessarily have to diet, we just need to eat healthy, and when I say ‘we’ I mean approximately half of the population!
Are you healthy?
There are a number of body signs that you can use to assess the state of your health. The tongue, described as “the window to the organs” by Dr Gillian Mckeith, can provide us with a good insight into our health, for example a crack down the middle of the tongue means you have a weak stomach and digestion problems, and a sore tongue is a sure sign of nutrient deficiency. Your head can also give away your health as dandruff on the scalp can be due to yeast overgrowth or deficiencies of EFA’s, vitamin B6 or selenium. Cracks behind the ears are a sign of zinc deficiency as are white spots on the nails. These are just a few of the many give-a ways that your health is not as it should be according to Dr McKeith.
As well as eating a balanced diet, exercising is just as important, it raises the metabolic rate so calories are used up faster. To get started, simply start walking, it’s a great way to shift fat!
Unhealthy eating can not only lead to cancers and heart disease but it can also affect our daily lives, such as, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome and indigestion, not to mention depression and fatigue! Many overweight and obese people find themselves in this position due to stress. Stress rears its ugly head everywhere: in the workplace, at home, relationships and of course in the kitchen through the lack of good food! However, many people are unaware that the right food choices can dramatically assist the body in better handling stress. Stress leads to weight gain because it slows the metabolism by degrading its digestive functions through lack of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Caffeine, alcohol, sweets, fatty foods and even spicy foods can all act as powerful stimulants to the body, which are a direct cause of stress. So next time your feeling down and scurry to the cupboard to bury yourself in chocolate, digestives, and crisps DON’T! It doesn’t help your mood and will in fact make you feel worse. In order to de-stress your self try celery, brown rice, cabbage or berries, boring? Yes! Bad for you? No!
Not for the faint hearted but guaranteed to make you feel good and lose weight. Our bodies store unknown substances and toxins which make us feel sick or trigger allergies, in its fatty deposits, therefore some of us may be carrying up-to 10 or more extra pounds of unhealthy mucus-harboring toxic waste! Not nice if you think about it, all the more reasons to start a detox diet today!
If you’re still not convinced to start a healthy eating plan, then seek help! Through following it the only thing you have to lose is weight and for most of us that’s what we aim for when beginning a new diet. Forget slimming pills, crash diets and cabbage soup frenzies they won’t work in the long term as you’ll only put the weight back on as soon as you end the diet. Instead opting to replace some foods in your daily eating routine for more suitable healthier foods can make an impact on your body weight and mind!
It’s not only temporary it’s for a better future for yourselves, not for me or anyone else, YOU!
Leanne Warburton, Liverpool AGE: 18