Take a step back and reflect In today’s day and age, it’s surprising to know how much we have disappointedourselves and our race by becoming incredibly unhealthy. In doing so we affect thegenerations after, and this creates a cycle where one generation teaches our bad habits tothe next. Right now, there are currently 34,323,065 in our world today that are obese(worldometer). This issue is becoming a worldwide epidemic and people do not seem tounderstand the severity of how much it affects our world if many people are obese. Weneed to know why this number has become so high, and it starts with knowledge, theknowledge of the generation today is poorly limited to eating fast and not being introducedto home cooked meals; as well as being misguided by fad diets and by the labelling ofcertain companies and food corporations. There is also a misconception about the foodthat we do eat, little do we know about what is in our food and how much they really affectus, but this is not the leading reason why we have become so obese. The role of exerciseplays the greatest factor in regarding our health. Our generation has forsaken our bodies bynot allowing our body to attain the proper exercise that it needs on a regular basis. We areoverindulging ourselves and neglecting to perform the minimum daily physical activity thatleads us to living a healthy life. Our generation has taken for granted our luxury andresources by neglecting to take care of ourselves; and as such, we have been consumed byobesity and we need to inform ourselves of what we have to do in order to restore properhealth and knowledge to our generation, and future generations.
Obesity is best defined as an abnormal or excessive fat accumulation of a person, which may impair health in several ways. It can be best calculated by finding your Body mass index (BMI), a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a persons weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters. A BMI of higher than 25 is overweight and a BMI of higher than 30 is obesity. However, one must use their judgement, as muscle mass and fat percentage may mislead results. Overweight and obesity are the fifth leading risk for global deaths. At least 2.8 million adults die each year as a result of being overweight or obese (http://www.who.int/mediacente/factsheets/fs311/en/) .WHO global estimates from 2008 follow: 1.5 billion adults, 20 and older, were overweight, Of these 1.5 billion overweight adults, over 200 million men and nearly 300 million women were obese, Overall, more than one in ten of the world’s adult population is obese; but how is it that these many people become obese? The fundamental cause of obesity and being overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended, an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat, salt and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients; and also a decrease in physical activity, an over consumption of junk/fast food and an Intake of too much caffeine and sugar. Today, a lot of people don’t know how to cook. Fast food and pre-prepared frozen foodare easily and readily available in all forms of supermarkets and malls. For every farmers’
market selling organic apples, there are a dozen supermarkets with weekly specials ofcheaply-made biscuits. Nowadays, creating a dinner with vegetables has become too hardfor some, and others simply don’t know how and don’t take the time to learn. As a result,the kids of our generation have been affected and as such, may not even be able todifferentiate a tomato with a potato and would even go as far as to say that French fries arehealthy source of vegetables fruits and vegetables. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGYs4KS_djg,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1BOGmBKeAc) Our generation ofchildren take after us, we are not informing them of what is necessary for the body, and assuch, they do not know what vegetables are. Kids don’t eat what they don’t know, and thisstarts the trend of going through an unhealthy lifestyle. From starting at a young age, thediet of kids has been surveyed by National Diet and Nutrition. The results follow, 92% ofchildren consume more saturated fat than is recommended, 86% consume too much sugar,72% consume too much salt, and 96% do not get enough fruit and vegetables(http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/ssd/surveys/national_diet_nutrition_survey_children.aspWhat begins as children develops into adolescence, which then develops into adulthoodand what they know, they pass onto their children, and the cycle continues. This lack ofbasic information leads kids going into their adolescence to turn to fad diets in order toachieve, in their perspective, an ideal body figure and health. These diets are a quick fix forlosing weight and are supposed to work very fast. However, these fad diets make false andunrealistic promises that you can lose weight and fat in a relatively short time. People whopromote these diets may show you photographs where they claim of dieters before andafter weight loss, setting up expectations that you can experience the same dramatic
results, however in most cases, these results will never occur. Many fad diets are too low incalories and carbohydrates, which can initially cause you to lose water from your body.Within a few days, you can begin to see you are losing weight and may become inspired.Yet, as your body becomes rehydrated with water, your weight may increase, sometimesabove where it was when you began your diet. Most diets fail because you cannot sustainweight loss and this becomes incredibly dangerous for your body. (Live strong) In order forus to teach the next generation, we first need to inform ourselves. The effects of obesity are vast indeed, many of which include diabetes, various heartproblems, joint problems, cancer, and respiratory stigma. However, the two largestafflictions of diabetes are strokes, and heart attacks.(http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/health/history/heart/) They are achieved very similarly; heart disease and stroke often result from a narrowingof the blood vessels; which in turn is caused by high blood pressure and plaque build-up.High blood pressure is caused by fat constricting the blood vessels, which means that theheart experiences difficulty in pushing blood through the vessels, when plaque builds upthrough the consumption of various contents of sodium, sugar, Trans and saturated fat; itcauses blood to clot, and clog arteries and veins. When these blood vessels become narrowor clot they can severely reduce or even stop blood flow to important organs like the heartor brain; causing said stroke or heart attack. Blood carries oxygen and important nutrientsto cells in the body. Without oxygen, heart muscle cells or brain cells begin to die. However, fat does not only affect how blood gets to the brain, but also how well thebrain functions as an organ. Tests have proven that high-fat diet shows how indulging in
fatty foods over the course of a few days can affect the brain and body long before theextra pounds show up. To determine the effect of a fatty diet on memory and muscleperformance, researchers studied 32 rats that were fed low-fat rat chow and trained fortwo months to complete a challenging maze. The goal was for the rat to find the treatwithout doubling back into a corridor where it had already been. The maze was wiped downwith alcohol, so the rat had to rely on memory rather than sense of smell. All of the ratsstudied had mastered the maze, finding at least six or seven of the eight treats beforemaking a mistake. Some rats even found all eight on the first try. Then half the rats wereswitched to high-fat rat, while the remaining rats stayed on their regular chow. After fourdays, the rats eating the fatty chow were unable to complete the maze entirely. The ratswho stayed with their regular food continued the same high level of performance on themaze, being able to complete the maze (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/fatty-foods-affect-memory-and-exercise/). Clearly, obesity affects the body in a numerous waysapart from just the displeasing appearance. In order to combat obesity, two necessary precautions must be taken. First andforemost, people must limit what they eat. When people consume large amounts of sugar,body takes precautionary actions because of this burst of energy. This sugar is immediatelyturned into fat,( http://www.livestrong.com/article/131088-bad-effects-cocacola) and thenhas a negative effect of making one feel sluggish. A healthy diet must be placed instead, andit is essential that this diet consists of at least 4 servings of fruits/vegetable, 6-7 servings ofgrain/wheat a day, 3-4 servings of dairy a day, and should be limited to only up to 3 servingsof meat a day as described by the national food guide. (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-
guide-aliment/basics-base/quantit-eng.php) The other necessary course of action to take isto exercise. Exercise controls weight by preventing excess weight gain or to help promotemaintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The moreintense the activity, the more calories are burned, rather than stored. Exercise combatshealth conditions and diseases by promoting the use of the heart; the heart becomesstronger and is able to perform a healthy blood flow through the body. Exercise improvesmood, physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feelinghappier and more relaxed, enabling one to complete more in a day and promote their owngood health and well being. Exercise boosts energy; regular physical activity can improveyour muscle strength and boost your endurance. Exercise and physical activity deliveroxygen and nutrients to your tissues and help your cardiovascular system work moreefficiently, and when your heart and lungs work more efficiently, one has more energy toperform at a higher level. Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel better, gainhealth benefits and have fun. As a general goal, aim for at least 30 minutes of physicalactivity every day, and is essential for being healthy. In today’s day and age, it’s surprising to know how much we have disappointedourselves and our race by becoming incredibly unhealthy. In doing so we affect thegenerations after, and this creates a cycle where one generation teaches our bad habits tothe next. These bad habits range from the way we eat, to the way we involve ourselvesphysically. These habits translate to being unhealthy, and obese. The effects of obesityrange to a distorted appearance to fatalities, including being inclined to having a stroke, or a
heart attack. In order to avoid expanding these habits; we need to implement diets forourselves that follow general guidelines and provide ourselves with the vitamins that arenecessary, as well as avoiding junk foods and fast foods that are high in sugar, and in fat. Itis essential that we also implement a healthy dose of exercise in our lives; which in turnwould allow us to remain healthy, and to keep our body performing at the highest level.When we become aware of what we are facing, and inform ourselves of its effects, we aresusceptible to change, and when we are willing to make a change, will we be able to stopthis epidemic.BIBLIOGRAPHY • http://thesaurus.com/browse/informing?s=t • http://www.worldometers.info/obesity/ • http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/