by Ruth A. McKinney, D.C.
After 33 years of practice I’ve noticed the physical makeup of the general population has changed. More people are overweight at younger and younger ages, causing all sorts of physical problems. In fact in the past twenty years there has been a 76% increase in Type 2 diabetes. 1 in 3 Americans will develop this condition, and they will lose an average of 10 to 15 years of their life. Those are frightening statistics. As one of the wealthiest counties in the world, how did this happen?
According to the US Census Bureau the top ten states with the highest levels of obesity are also the states with the highest levels of poverty. Tennessee and Georgia rank just outside this “top ten” at #11 and #14 respectively. In the US there is a well-documented correlation between hunger and obesity. How can someone be hungry and overweight at the same time?
The answer is simple. Foods containing fats and oils, high fructose corn syrup and refined grains are cheap to produce. These are exactly the foods that are most frequently linked to high obesity rates. Healthy foods that are high in nutrition are fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. They are also several thousand times more expensive per calorie. People are eating high calorie food that is essentially devoid of nutrition, and they are hungry because they are literally starving for good food.
“Fast food” is junk food. If it comes out of a can, box, package, or through a drive-through window, it’s not real food! (The exception to this rule is that most fruits and vegetables that are canned or frozen are fairly healthy. Watch for added sugar and sodium.) Additives and chemicals are frequently added during processing by the food industry to make it looks and taste better. This food is manufactured for profit, not good health.
How do we combat against the insidious problem of obesity in the face of abundance?
1. Shop around the perimeter of the grocery store. In these aisles you will find fresh and frozen fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. Stay away from the middle isles where the packaged food is located.
2. Learn to read labels. The products with the shortest ingredient list are usually the healthiest. If you can’t pronounce a word you find on a label, why would you want to eat it?
3. Drink more water. The new standard for water consumption is “body weight divided by two.” As an example, if you weigh 200 pounds you should be drinking 100 ounces of water every day. Drinking soft drinks, coffee and tea that contain caffeine actually make your body lose fluid. Don’t count these types of drinks in your daily water intake. It’s water…..period.
4. Exercise moderately to increase circulation, lower blood pressure, remove fat from the blood, and improve blood sugar. Just 15 minutes of brisk walking makes a difference. If you don’t move it you lose it!
Reverse chronic malnutrition, obesity and diabetes by changing the road map of health by using the four steps above. It starts simply with making better choices. Life is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ll be glad you took the first step.
To learn how Chiropractic can help you on the road to good health, call our office at 423-485-8480.
When it comes to your health, we’ve got your back!