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overweight and obesity in society

poached eggs, spinach and bacon

overweight and obesity in society

Being overweight is a sociological issue, clearly. I see so many overweight, obese and morbidly obese people when I am out in the world. Thankfully there are also many people who have a healthy BMI, but my question to you is WHY are there SO many people who are overweight in our western societies, such as the USA and Australia?

It affects men and women, and the statistics are rather alarming. Something like 60 % of the population are overweight or obese. Considering how dangerous this is our to the length of our lifespans, we do need to start addressing the issues that are causing people to become overweight. Prevention is the best strategy, but it doesn’t help all of us who need to lose weight to be more healthy and live longer lives.

Miracle diets

I am thinking about the idea that detoxification may result in weight loss. Although this MAY be true (also, it may not), there are some dangerous fad diet supplements that use this idea to suck people into spending money, for some miracle cure to weight loss.

I tried Acai once. It was supposed to help people lose people quickly and permanently. Although I did lose about 5kg very quickly, taking a daily dose, my blood pressure went through the roof. I do not think this is a very good outcome at all. Also, as soon as I stopped taking it, that 5kg came back as quickly as it had gone. My nutrition lecturers might hypothesise that I lost 5kg in water.

Some of my work friends are committed and dedicated to protein diets, and nothing I can ever say will change their minds, I think. They like them, because they can see the kilos coming off. It does not bother them that they are weight cycling, taking off weight (it is false weight loss of lean muscle mass and water), then putting it back on, and repeat. This is probably the WORST thing you can do for your body. Weight cycling can make it harder to lose weight each time, and impacts on your general health negatively as well.

Causes of obesity in society

Perhaps we could look at the CAUSES of obesity in society. One thing that has happened in the past 30 years, or more is that people are less active than they were. We work all day in our offices or in front of computers. ‘We are barely active’. We then get in our cars and they transport us anywhere we need to go. We are less reliant on our BODIES for transportation or for work, and even leisure.

Also there has been an increase in convenient foods. More people eat in cafes and restaurants than generations previously. It is clear to me that the food that is SERVED in cafes and restaurants is generally much less healthy than food we would make ourselves. It is higher in all of fat, sodium and sugar. This is to make it appetising, one would suppose. It is market forces at work here.

The survival part of our brain is more drawn to fatty foods, to foods that are high in sugar, because that part of our brain wants to protect us from scarcity. It does not help that cafes and restaurants (often) pander directly to that weakness in humans.

The standard fare is fried, heavy, fatty foods. We love it! It is no good for us!

Nutrition promotion and the food industry

For a long time I have considered how to engage the food industry in a SHIFT to more healthy convenience foods. I think it is a problem of Nutrition Promotion perhaps!

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