Weight Management Facts Help Answer the Question, “Are You Healthy?”
Health in the United States has reached a point where many health professionals are now calling our situation one of the biggest crises our nation has ever faced. With Dr. Mehmet Oz, the extremely popular host of the eponymous daytime show “Dr.Oz,” being hauled before the U.S. Congress to answer for promoting unproven weight loss “miracle supplements,” the question of Americans’ overall health has been brought back to the forefront. Americans are yet again having to answer the tough question, “are you healthy?” Depending on the answer, they are also having to make some serious life changes. Diet: The Biggest Contributor To the Crisis
The average American looking for the cause for their ever-expanding waistline need only look in the pantry. The typical American pantry won’t contain an abundance of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains -- these so-called clean foods are widely considered to the be healthy alternatives to the over-processed items that line our supermarket shelves. Instead, corn chips, fruit packed in syrup, and corn syrup-laden granola bars fill up our cupboards. Because we eat more of these packaged, processed foods than anything else, the average American now consumes more than 56 pounds of pure, white sugar annually. For the sake of comparison, we consumed just about 44 grams of sugar every five days in 1820, or the amount of sugar in a 12 ounce can of soda. We consume that in a mere seven hours now, according to a study from Business Insider.
Our love for sugar speaks to an imbalance in our consumption of nutrients across the board. By and large, Americans consume too much solid fat, added sugar, and refined grain. Salt consumption is almost as bad as sugar, with 90% of Americans consuming far more than is recommended. Too Many Turn to Supplements As A Panacea
Thinking that taking a few pills will solve their problem, Americans have spurred the supplement industry toward geometric growth over the last few decades. According to the 2007 National Health Review Survey, 17.7% of people said they’d taken supplements within the last 12 months, with an earlier survey pointing to 53% of Americans taking at least one supplement in hopes of ameliorating the effects of poor diet and a lack of adequate exercise. What Can Be Done To Address the Issue?
As the U.S. Food & Drug Administration continues to be influenced by the deep pockets of our nation’s food industry, the increasingly unhealthy population can’t rely on sensible reforms to help take them cut back on sugar, fat, and sodium. In truth, we could all do with a bit of personal responsibility. For now, the best way to extend our lives, avoid chronic disease, and feel better is to take sensible steps for ourselves. Turning to minimally processed foods, everything from soft cheeses to whole apples, will reduce our sugar, fat, and sodium intake. Getting off the couch and simply heading out for a half-hour walk each day could also have noticeable effects.
To lose one pound of body fat, you need to consume 3,500 less calories than you need to maintain your body weight. Bumping up your weekly activity while tightening the reins on your nutritional lifestyle will help you reach that deficit week after week. It’s hard work, but when the alternative is wheezing every time you stand up, or a life where you have to stab yourself with an insulin pen twice a day, which would you prefer?