Through Evolution, Obesity has been chosen by nature as a way for people to survive longer. People who store energy, in form of Fat, are able to survive longer. But have you thought about the problems and health issues that come with excessive obesity? and what about the food that is making you obese every time you eat it?
Why is obesity a major issue?
Obesity, or excessive stored fat in body, is not a problem by itself but the metabolic dysfunction it causes, is the source of diseases like - Type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, blood fat, hypertension, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, cancer and dementia. All over the world, the number of people suffering from these diseases and the healthcare expenditure (over 75%) are significant. Obesity is now a major problem of society.
We have always considered that it is individual's own responsibility to keep a check on their food habits, to avoid eating unhealthy food etc. But now, when the 30% of society is struggling with its health, is it still an individual's own problem? Shouldn't we all need to look back and analyze what has been really changed in last 30-40 years that has affected our health so badly?
All of the machines & devices, services & facilities around us have been developed for our convenience, considering our busy lifestyle, to save our time and to make our life easy. Fast Foods have also been created considering same requirements of our current lifestyle. They are prepared fast, eaten fast.... But causes diseases fast too.
Why do we like Fast Food so much?
it's cheap, it's portable, it tastes really good and because it's available everywhere.
Is Fast Food the only reason for our health problems?
Increase in chemical use in farming, change in nutrients present in soil, quality of food being fed to cattle, less physical activity in our daily schedule, frequent change in sleep patterns, thousands of new packaged foods with numerous preservatives are just few other factors that play role in our health problems but it's now when they are all working together.
What about the packaged products?
However, after a strong criticism by society, the packaged food industry has now decreased their Fat content, which they advertise with labels like 'low fat', 'lite', 'diet' etc, they have kept the number of calories they provide, almost same. But what they have increased, in turn, is Carbohydrate and especially Sugar, which if excessive, gets converted into Fat by insulin and stored in body. Did reduction in Fat in their food really help us?
Why diabetes is growing this fast?
As per a global report, the average calories consumed per day by a person has increased 8% in last 30 years, whereas the diabetic patients have increased 727%(or 7 times). According to official WHO estimates, in India, in year 2000 around 31,705,000 people were diabetic which rose to 63,000,000 people in year 2013 - a 100% growth in just 13 years. If total increase in calorie consumption isn't that significant, which source of these calories is actually increasing the diabetes in people? As per same report, the global sugar consumption has been increased from 98 million tons to 160 million tons (63% increase) in last 30 years. Sugar is the Culprit. Sugar is both carbohydrate,by its composition and Fat, by the form it is stored in our body.
Why should I care, if I'm not fat?
what about the extra money being spent on flight fuel (and hence increased fare), due to increased load? what about the extra sitting space that an obese person need in public transport, and hence discomfort to you? what about the overall reduction in productivity? what about the 50% increase in absenteeism? what about the increase in healthcare costs due to metabolic syndromes? what about the effects on national security, when brilliant people can't join defense forces just because of obesity? Yes, the obesity isn't an individual's own problem any more. It's my problem and It's your problem too.
What should you do?
Get rid of extra sugar sources – sugar beverages, sweet packaged juices, packaged food, fast food etc. Do check for the sugar content in ingredients list of the packaged food you consume and keep those to minimum.
Keep your insulin levels low, naturally through food. Its insulin that causes weight gain by affecting the normal function of hormone leptin (a hormone that makes you feel full) and hence making you eat more, adding extra unwanted calories. Consume whole food, the food with complex carbohydrates and add include fibre in your food.
Include physical activities in your daily schedule. This may not necessarily mean a heavy workout; a light walk for 20-30 mins, a yoga session, swimming, cycling, or any of your favorite outdoor sport can also do the job. This also reduces stress, keeping the level of Cortisol hormone low. High level of Cortisol, as caused by Stress, is also a major reason behind increased obesity and other health issue.
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