As we all know if you eat too much food and do not exercise enough you will gain weight. Gaining body fat weight and obesity directly contribute towards 34 different cancers, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, arthritis, asthma and many more highly-preventable modern diseases. However, the one thing that many ‘weight loss’ studies miss is the kind of foods being eaten. It is not just about calories in and calories out, nor is it mostly about exercise – it is the composition of the foods that is the problem. The abundant array and mix of easily accessible ‘so-called’ foods such as calorie-rich pastries, high-sugar treats, processed meats, extruded breakfast cereals, fizzy soft drinks, fibre-less white flour products, fried takeaways and a high alcohol intake; this is the deadly combination that is going to kill the current generation of children and young people decades before their time.
Eat too much and move too little
The Lancet asked many scientists the simple question “What can we do about the food based global obesity pandemic?” They basically came to the same conclusion that I have. They commented “…it seems to be driven mainly by changes in the global food system, which is producing more processed, affordable, and effectively marketed food than ever before. This passive overconsumption of energy leading to obesity is a predictable outcome of market economies predicated on consumption-based growth.” I particularly love the part about our society being built on the need for growth – and we are all growing fatter as a consequence) as it places the blame fairly and squarely where it lies; eating too much of the wrong kind of food.
The five basic challenges in modern society
- Thinking your genes are to blame for your health problems
- Being genuinely uneducated on health and longevity
- Eating too much food
- Eating the wrong sort of food
- Not moving enough
The result is a vicious emotional cycle
The modern ‘sugar-rich, low-fibre and meat-heavy’ processed diet dramatically damages human beings. You end up with people whose brains have been dulled by the pretend foods in their bellies, unable to think their way out of the problem they are in; unknowingly addicted to gluten, fat, salt and sugar; unmotivated by a body slowed and aged with acidic toxins; eating what the TV “experts” tell them to eat (advertising); blaming their genes for their current situation; taking medications and drugs thinking they are the solution (then suffering side-effects from the drugs, requiring more drugs, with more side-effects…); feeling hopeless, down and depressed, without any clear direction, education or support networks around them; so emotionally stuffing more damaging pretend food in, dulling their brains… A really hard-to-change and challenging situation.
What to do? The six solutions
- Understand that your genes are usually only 3-5% of your health problems (diet, lifestyle and environment have the biggest impact).
- Learn about which foods are daily (80% of your diet) and which foods are treats (20% of your diet). This always starts with a centenarian-inspired, plant-based wholefood diet, and goes from there.
- Change our behaviour and our daily habits, sustainably, over time.
- Alter what is in our shopping baskets, cupboards and fridge (this changes your immediate environment).
- Fast regularly (this breaks food addictions and changes how your brain works).
- Be part of a regular routine-based exercise programme (walking outside in the sunshine is still the #1 longevity exercise of all time).
Your health is the cumulative experience of your lifetime
We need education about what food really does and how genetics are not to blame. This is the only solution; education and genuine behaviour change. Long-term education based on real foods and human longevity throughout history – not sponsored by cola companies, drug companies, chocolate companies, weight loss companies, cigarette companies, alcohol companies, supermarkets or burger giants with an agenda to keep you overweight, unwell and addicted (growth is their target – growth). Get yourself educated about what you eat, why you eat and your daily lifestyle habits. This will change your life and quite possibly save it, as it did mine.
Quotes taken from The Lancet, Volume 378, Issue 9793, Pages 804 – 814, & 838 – 847, 27. Contributions by Prof Boyd A Swinburn MD, Gary Sacks PhD, Kevin D Hall PhD, Prof Klim, McPherson PhD, Prof Diane T Finegood PhD,Marjory L, Moodie Dr PH, Prof Steven L Gortmaker PhD, Prof David Levy PhD, Prof Rob Carter PhD, Patricia L Mabry PhD, Prof Terry Huang PhD, Tim Marsh PG Dip.