You do not have to look very far to notice that America has a weight problem. Statistics show that two out of three adult Americans are overweight and one-third of the adult population is obese. It’s more than just getting flabs here and there because of some bad grubs every now and then. Obesity is a serious health concern brought about by a string of poor choices that contribute to an overall unhealthy lifestyle. And it could be killing you.
In fact, the American Obesity Association (AOA) revealed that obesity is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States today, with alarming statistics of 127 million adults overweight, 60 million obese and 9 million severely obese. The World Health Organization (WHO) cited that excessive accumulation of fat in the body increases the risk for chronic diseases, like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. With the health heavyweights weighing in on obesity like this, it is puzzling that it is still prevalent in America and is even growing at alarming rates.
Research has proven time and again that nothing beats a proper, balanced diet, coupled with regular physical activity, in achieving a healthy weight. Recent studies particularly advise a whole foods, low-fat, plant-based diet, as these foods are much less energy-dense and contain fewer calories in each spoonful as compared to animal-based foods. Additionally, there has been growing proof of the relationship between increased risk in chronic diseases like cancer and animal-based diets. One of the leading names in nutrition, T. Collin Campbell, PhD, expounded on this in his book, The China Study, where he stated that “the people who eat the most animal protein have the most heart disease, cancer and diabetes.”
Starving yourself is never the answer. The human body obtains nutrients from the food you intake, since much of the essential nutrients that the human body needs to function well it cannot produce on its own. The key is in the food choices that you make. While it is true that you can get calcium from animal-based products, you can get as much from beans and leafy vegetables.
However, recent environmental challenges and climate change may have led to a decrease in the nutritional value of the food we eat, whether plant- or animal-based. With decreased nutritional value, they may be insufficient sources of essential nutrients. To fill in the nutritional gaps, dietary supplements will help. The Mayo Clinic likewise advises this for people “who struggle to lose weight and who have weight-related medical problems.” Just keep in mind that they are supplements meant to support, not take the place of, a healthy diet
It will take time and dedication to shift to healthier choices, but it is a struggle worth bearing. Not only will you help your body ward off chronic diseases, you also ensure for yourself a healthier lifestyle that will allow you to enjoy more and get more out of life.