Worldwide obesity epidemic

Worldwide Obesity Epidemic
The Lancet has recently been running a great series on obesity; what is behind it and what can be done about it.  They asked their many experts the simple question “What can we do about the food based global obesity pandemic?”  They have basically come to the same conclusion that I have.  They commented “…it seems to be driven mainly by changes in the global food system, which is producing more processed, affordable, and effectively marketed food than ever before.  This passive overconsumption of energy leading to obesity is a predictable outcome of market economies predicated on consumption-based growth.”  This is a great statement (I particularly love the part about our society being built on the need for growth – and we are all growing fatter as a consequence) as it places the blame fairly and squarely where it lies; eating too much of the wrong kind of food. 

Eat too much and move too little
Now as we all know if you eat too much food and do not exercise enough you will gain weight.  Gaining weight, obesity, fatness, being chubby, abdominal fat and middle-age spread all directly contribute towards 34 different cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, arthritis, asthma and many more highly-preventable modern diseases.  However, the one thing that many studies miss is the kind of foods being eaten.  It is not just about calories in and calories out – it is the composition of the foods that is the problem.  The abundant array and mix of easily accessible so-called foods such as calorie-rich pastries, high-sugar treats, processed meats, extruded breakfast cereals, fizzy soft drinks, fibre-less white flour products, fried takeaways and a high alcohol intake; this is the deadly combination that is going to kill the current generation of children decades before their time. 

The five problems
The article continues “Unlike other major causes of preventable death and disability, such as tobacco use, injuries, and infectious diseases, there are no exemplar populations in which the obesity epidemic has been reversed by public health measures.”  There is a MASSIVE clue here and it is called Personal Responsibility.  The five key problems are:

  1. Eating too much food
  2. Eating the wrong sort of food
  3. Not moving enough
  4. Being uneducated on true health
  5. Blaming someone else or your genes for your health problems

The result
You end up with people whose brains have been dulled by the pretend foods in their bellies, unable to think their way out of the problem they are in; unmotivated by a body slowed and aged with acidic toxins; eating what the TV “experts” tell them to eat (advertising); who are unknowingly addicted to gluten, fat, salt and sugar; blaming their genes for their current situation; taking medications and drugs thinking they are the solution (then suffering side-effects from the drugs, requiring more drugs, with more side-effects…); feeling hopeless, down and depressed, without any clear direction, education or support networks around them; so emotionally stuffing more damaging pretend food in, dulling their brains…  A no-win, inescapable situation.

What to do?  The five solutions

  1. Become educated on which foods are daily (80% of your diet) and which foods are treats (20% of your diet)
  2. Learn to eat less food and regularly fast (this breaks food addictions and changes the brain dopamine reactions)
  3. Change out your cupboards, shopping lists, lunchbox meals, breakfasts, menus and recipes (this changes your environment)
  4. Be part of a regular routine-based exercise programme (walking outside in the sunshine is still the #1 exercise of all time)
  5. Understand that genes are only 15% of your health profile (you build your health with every mouthful of food)

Your health is the cumulative experience of your lifetime
We need to educate people about what food really does and how their genetics are not to blame.  This is the only solution; education.  Long-term education based on real foods and human longevity throughout history – not sponsored by cola companies, drug companies, chocolate companies, weight loss companies, cigarette companies, alcohol companies, supermarkets or burger giants with an agenda to keep you fat and stooopid.  Get yourself educated about what you eat and your lifestyle habits.  This will change your life and quite possibly save it.  

Quotes taken from The Lancet, Volume 378, Issue 9793, Pages 804 - 814, & 838 - 847, 27 August 2011.  Prof Boyd A Swinburn MD, Gary Sacks PhD, Kevin D Hall PhD, Prof Klim, McPherson PhD, Prof Diane T Finegood PhD,Marjory L, Moodie Dr PH, Prof Steven L Gortmaker PhD, Prof David Levy PhD, Prof Rob Carter PhD, Patricia L Mabry PhD, Prof Terry Huang PhD, Tim Marsh PG Dip.

Posted: Thursday 1 September 2011