Weight loss & the obesity epidemic -the facts
It’s a scary statistic when more people in a nation are overweight than within their healthy weight range, but unfortunately this is the picture in many developed nations, including Australia, with a reported 61.2% of our population overweight or obese. That’s well over half of us! Even traditionally ‘thin’ nations like China and France are bulging outwards and the trend is spreading to some developing nations as well, with the Russian Federation and South Africa climbing the scales the fastest.
Take South Africa as an example we can see that the introduction of fast convenience foods (that is foods that are refined, processed and no longer home grown) has coincided with the weight gain trend. The impact of less physical activity working the land and an increase in nutrient poor calorie dense foods is packing on the kilos.
Turn back the clock
As recently as 1980 the story was a whole lot different, with only 1 in 10 people estimated to be obese globally. Today the story is very different. Obesity is on the rise globally and the future is looking grim if we don’t make some drastic changes to our lifestyles and eating habits. In fact by 2020 it is predicted 2 of 3 people in some developed nations (one of these Australia) will be obese.
Australians will spend more than $16 BILLION dollars on fast foods this year…a shocking figure when the majority of us have some knowledge on the environmental and physical costs of eating such nutrient depleted, modified, high fat foods.
But it is not only fast foods that are contributing to our weight gain, the amount we eat has increased too. Our dinner plates have grown by an average 36% in size since the 1960s (and we fill them!), we eat way more snacks than we used to increasing our overall intake by 30% since the 1970s, and the super-size me phenomenon has meant the average soft drink serving is 4 times bigger than it used to be. To make matters worse Australians exceed the world average consumption of alcohol, sweeteners, and milk (all contributing factors in weight gain)….what are we doing to ourselves?!
What does all this mean?
- We need to re-evaluate the role of food in our lives.
- We need to go back in time before the introduction of mass farming practices and fast food outlets and grow our own produce and make our own food.
- We need to look beyond what the supermarket is selling and turn our backs on self-starving dieting fads (because not only have they proven not to work they actually make the situation worse).
- We need to get out and enjoy the great outdoors more, detoxify our environment (there are over 83, 000 chemicals in the atmosphere alone!!), slow down, de-stress and clear the clutter in our minds.
With fast and junk foods getting cheaper and cheaper it is getting harder to choose the healthier options, and with the weight loss industry booming it is tempting to get caught up in money making dietary fads.
However, the obesity epidemic is very real. As we continue to develop as a nation so too will we continue to balloon outwards, unless we address the underlying causes in the food, environment and lifestyle chain.
It’s time to turn back the clock to address the future of our health.