Few people realise how much their health is impaired, and their life expectancy shortened, by carrying excess weight. Entering into a state of denial regarding our unhygienic life style may ease our anxiety, and assuage our guilt, but does nothing to increase the quality of our lives. ‘Eat, drink and be merry’, seems nowadays to be our overriding motto. We live for today and ignore tomorrow. We’re interested in our current well-being, and give little thought to our future well-becoming. Some months ago we drew attention to certain of the risks that lumpkins face. Here are six more of these sobering facts: –
1. Low calorie, quick loss diets don’t work A recent study revealed that nine in ten British women have been on a diet. In fact the typical female spends 17 years of her life trying to lose weight. Before she finally gives up the unavailing struggle, she diets twice a year for seven weeks, temporarily shedding an average of 11lb each time.
2. Fat children run the risk of being mentally thick as well as physically fat Researchers from New York University have found that the brain power of obese children, and their ability to carry out cognitive tests, can be impaired if they put on weight and develop the metabolic syndrome, which hampers their ability to control blood sugar levels.
3. Performance tests the best measure of children’s fitness levels Doctors in New Zealand believe that rather than relying on bodily weights and measurements, the best test of a youngster’s health is to determine how quickly they c
an run a course of 50 metres Children are competitive and ‘love to run’, said the researchers, and this sprint challenge gives them ‘something to aim for.’
4. Step up your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables Our primordial ancestors lived on a diet consisting largely of nuts, fruits and vegetables. This was supplemented from time to time with meat, which is rich in calories and saturated fats. Meat-eating animals have a bowel length which is roughly three times the height of their trunk. Our gut, in keeping with that of most other vegetarian creatures, is about ten times the length of our trunk. This means we’re at risk of absorbing a surfeit of calories if we consume too much meat.
5. The more you exercise you take, the longer you’ll live People who walk briskly for 90 minutes a week have been found to live three years longer than their couch potato peers.
6. Cut down your intake of sugar–filled drinks Sweetened lemonades and colas are now the single biggest source of calories in the American diet. A large study of normal weight school children in the Netherlands divided the children into two groups. The first was assigned to take a sugary drink during their morning break, the other received an identical drink with no added sugar. After 18 months the youngsters drinking the sucrose laden drink group weighed on average two pounds more than the control group.