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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Did They Lie to You When They Told You to Blame Your Diet as the Cause for being Overweight?

Is it possible that all this talk about being over weight is attributed to your diet and it's just a bunch of hype? You hear this thing all the time about counting calories and getting on these crazy diets that will help you lose 30 lbs in 5 days. If you even Google the phrase I just wrote you will find websites with recommendations on how to do so. Is it true? Is it safe? Maybe, mabye not? If your goal is to lose a certain amount of weight permanently the right strategy is to clean up your diet. Take all the garbage out. Is over eating really the problem? It all depends on your situation. Have you ever considered that you are possibly under-eating? Have you ever considered how much physical activity you get on a regular basis? Have you even considered that your sleeping patterns may be a part of the problem? Maybe it's your stress levels. So what are the hard cold facts? The variables may be numerous. 

We know these facts. Eating an excess of calories in comparison to your body weight will definitely make you put on more weight than you desire. If you eat to much of the wrong foods and not enough of the right foods you may be putting in more calories than you know. A perfect example of this is consuming may liquid calories. You don't feel the load because these types of calories go through your body much faster than solid foods. Why is that? The answer. Your body has to do less work to break down the calories you've just consumed because in liquid form they are almost at the most basic form of breakdown. The other problem associated with this is there may not be enough quality nutrients in a source of nutrition that is primarily liquid. A great example is seen in soft drinks. A typical soft drink will have roughly 20 oz of fluids, 250 calories but if you get the X-large drinks you may be looking at about 500 plus calories, 0 fat, 155mg of Sodium, 69 grams or carbs (which is 69 grams of sugar) and 0 Protein. You will also get a nice cocktail of chemicals and (HFCS) High Fructose Corn Syrup. Yes, this HFCS is probably coming from GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) Corn. Sure you may get some Potassium and Phosphorus but that is hardly abundant in comparison to the junk you are getting which will lead to poor health. 
Although your diet may play a critical role in whether or not you become over weight or obese their is still that question of whether or not you are getting enough physical activity. In a previous article I discussed how getting 10,000 steps a day could help maintain your cardiovascular health as well as help with weight control. What if you aren't getting those daily steps? You need to make sure you are getting some form of exercise. In a recent article published in the ACE -ProSource Blog, they recommended a call to action of getting 150 hours of weekly physical activity. In other words, get at least 2 1/2 hours of exercise weekly or an average of 30 minutes 5 days a week. It may sound like a little but its far more than most Americans are getting. In this same article they reported a staggering increase in physical inactivity. We are talking about reports of going from 19.4% in 1994 to 51.7% in 2010 in women while in men those numbers went from 11.4% to 43.5%. What this research then suggests is that men remain to be more physically active then women. This is a major concern for women who are more susceptible to conditions like osteoporosis then men. If that is not alarming enough, 71.1% of black women between the ages of 40 and 64 report to be physically inactive in 2004. Mexican-American women were the second highest at a tight margin of 70.3%. Probably what I found to be more troubling is that diet remained quite stable according to this same study. In other words, people have not really increased their caloric intake but they have definitely decrease their physical activity. A thought I found even more disturbing is that this study didn't really address income levels and jobs requiring physical activity. This study seems to suggest that even though it's common knowledge that Mexican-Americans and Blacks (Non-hispanic) seem to have jobs which require more physical work.  White women or white men who are more likely to have office jobs which are less labor intensive are still getting more physical activity. This still brings another question. Is it possible and safe to say that the increased intake a processed foods may be another contributing factor? I am going to guess that the answer is yes. This is something that needs to be looked into more directly. While we may not have all the answers, what we do know is that regardless of your race, the one main condition which stood out is women need to become more physically active in comparison to men. 
If you think these statistics aren't true. Take a look around you today. If you work in an office, start counting people and create your own charts. When you go shopping create your own research. When you are at a local venue, take down your own statistics. I would love to see what your numbers look like and you can share them here. Report your city, location which you were at during the time of your data collection and a summary of your findings. Try this in three different locations so you can come up with an average. Are you curious about your neighborhood? Use this as an excuse to go meet your neighbors and tell them you are conducting a research paper and thus collecting statistical data about your neighborhood health. Mention that you require to know the ages, number of people in the household, sex gender and how many people they would consider to be overweight in their home. It's a great way to bond with your neighbors and possibly start your own healthy neighborhood project. Go break the ice with your neighbors. One benefit other than getting to know your neighbors is getting some physical activity out of the way as you walk from door to door. :D
*If you wish to read more about this report go to: ACE ProSource August 2014

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