1 billion people are now overweight and obese

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According to a UK think tank, obesity in the developing world now affects 1 in 3 adults and for the first time has reached the 1 billion mark. In the UK 64% of adults are classed as being overweight and obese, this in-turn is seeing a dramatic rise in heart disease, strokes and diabetes.

The ODI’s Future Diets report states that our diets are changing, shifting from eating cereals and grains to the consumption of more fats, sugar, oils and animal produce. The consumption of fat, salt and sugar, which has increased globally according to the United Nations, has become a significant factor in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.

“Another factor is the reduction in physical activity. Since the industrial revolution, we have become far more sedentary, due to the increase in service sectors and the reduction in engineering and manufacturing. ” explained David Vidgen.

The fact remains, that our current eating habits cannot continue, and radical action needs to be taken to ensure that we rebalance our nutritional intake with our levels of physical activity. The lack of physical activity in most is unlikely to change, as we now work longer hours and have less time for personal attention. In view of this, individuals need to radically change their eating behaviours and restrict the number of calories they consume on a daily basis. They need to reduce their sugar intake and trans fats, such as margarines.  These are the main cause of the belly bulge and weight gain on the hips.

We also need to consume more water, as this helps to curb hunger and hydrate the body. Read more on the benefits of drinking more water.

Despite contrary beliefs, some fat is actually good for you and is required required for many bodily functions such as absorbing vitamins A, D, E and K. Olive oils and Omega 3 oils as found in fish are essential and should be eaten regularly.

Individuals need to be far more aware that foods that claim to be healthy, lower in fat, low fat, reduced fat etc are in most cases, just marketing gimmicks and are often substituted for manufactured fats and sugars. The weight loss market in the UK alone is worth an estimated £3billion, so companies are trying to jump on this financially profitable band wagon. We’ve compiled 50 myths about food and exercise that everyone would benefit from reading.

The facts remain, that if you eat a poor diet, you are likely to die 15 years younger than our healthy counterparts, with heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases likely to be the cause of death. Our blasé attitude towards food and health needs to change with immediate effect, or the public will just foot the bill in the form of taxes and ultimately early death.

“We need to fall out of love with Sugar and fall back in love with cereal and grains.”

The UK think tank is calling on the government to address the matter with a hard hitting public health campaign that aims to educate individuals about food and diet. Similar to the type of investment that has been pumped into the anti smoking campaigns.

Fad diets have taken a lot of stick over the years for being too short term focused. “Actually most diets work” explained David Vidgen, “because they restrict the daily calorie consumption.  The problem is not with the diet, but the continuing will power of those on them. Any change to your eating habits needs to be maintained for the long term, that way the weight will stay off.”

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