t’s a huge problem, it’sgrowing rapidly and one thingthat won’t help is fad diets.What will reverse this dangeroustrend towards obesity and beingoverweight is sound advice onwhat causes it and help forpeople in changing their eatinghabits. That’s the way to successand to saving millions of lives.
You can’t have missed the news,Britain has some of the worstfigures in Europe with almosttwo-thirds of adults eitheroverweight or obese. And it’s notjust adults – children are gettingheavier too, with more than aquarter of under 11s carryingmore fat than they should.Being overweight isn’t just abouthow you look. As waistlines getbigger so does the risk of heartdisease, strokes and somecancers. It’s the same forchildren, with strong evidencethat even their cholesterol levelsare increasing. Sadly, overweightkids also risk getting picked onand the result can be low self-esteem that makes life hell andmay continue into adulthood.They also run the risk of disability from blindness,chronic pain and limbamputation as they get older.Worse still, their lifespan mightbe shortened.As obesity has gone up so hasthe number of diet productswhich claim to help. On average,women now spend a walloping£1,137 or thereabouts onslimming every year. But itdoesn’t seem to have done muchgood as obesity has increasedfour-fold in the last 25 years.Amazingly, it’s about to overtakesmoking as the leading cause of early death.
Ticking time bomb
It costs the economy about£7 billion a year with a further£7 billion to the NHS so it’s agood job that tackling obesity istop of the government’s agenda –at least it is according to HealthMinister Caroline Flint. She’sbeen appointed to help improvethe nation’s fitness and tackleobesity and for this she has atwo-pronged plan.Firstly, Flint is promoting theDepartment of Health’s
Small Change, Big Difference
campaign,which suggests it’s never too late tomake simple changes for ahealthier future and longer life. Justone extra piece of fruit or servingof vegetables a day and walking upthe stairs instead of taking the liftcould lengthen your life, thecampaign suggests mildly. Flint’sother priority is encouraging us allto be more physically active.And for kids? Flint boasts thatmeasures such as the school fruitscheme, whereby four to six-year-olds receive a free piece of fruit each school day, the 5-a-daymessage and investing moremoney in school food arechanging children’s attitudes tohealth and nutrition.
The real solution
This watered down governmentinitiative is not what’s needed totackle an exploding national healthcrisis! There’s been little more thana whisper about the role of meatand dairy in the obesity epidemicyet the government knows from itsown
National Diet and Nutrition
survey that meat and meat productsare the main source of fat in ournational diet – with milk, anddairy-laden cakes, pastries, biscuitsand chocolate not far behind.Despite this, the Department of Health’s new weight loss guide,
Your Weight, Your Health
, whichGPs are being encouraged to giveto their overweight patients,takes a decidedly softly softlyapproach. People are still beingadvised to opt for leaner cuts of meat and reduced-fat dairy.But this is exactly whatnutritionists have been suggestingfor decades and butchers andprocessors have been trimmingoff fat in response to consumerdemand for ages. It hasn’t hadmuch effect, though, as people’sfat intake has dropped by ameasly five per cent since 1983.The American Cancer Societyknows better – it studied 75,000people for a decade to see whichfactors caused them to pile onthe pounds. The one food mostassociated with weight gain wasmeat, not marrowfat peas!People who ate more than onedaily serving of meat were 50 per
Slim with the
Obesity is spiralling out of control and spreading across the glwhy in her
report and outlines what you can do to l
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