According to the WHO organisation facts-sheet summary page, world obesity has tripled since 1975. Currently, 650 million of the world’s adults over age 18 are obese.
This amounts to 39% of adults aged 18 over the world are overweight and from 39%, 13% are obese.
Children too are not spared from this epidemic. There were 41 million of them classified as obese in 2016 statistics. Australia is not far behind the U.S. in the epidemic of obesity according to WHO’s interactive chart.
It was once thought that obesity was an epidemic in high-income per capita countries. However recent case studies show that the obesity epidemic is spreading to middle and lower-income per capita countries.
The WHO fact-sheet summary page says the fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended.
In short, it’s calories in and calories out – the law of thermodynamics – in truth, it is much deeper than researchers have verified.
Most research studies on human calorie consumption only examine the first law of thermodynamics and fail to consider the second law of thermodynamics in which this energy transformation occurs as an expenditure.
For many decades we were led to believe that if we lead an active lifestyle, spend more energy and eat less we are able to reduce our fat. Yet many of us are still stuck in limbo with the fat around our bodies and still continue to be sick.
Of course, there are a number of factors that cause us to be overweight/obese and these can be divided into reasons below:
Currently, many of us work in offices and spend most of our time sitting on our desks compared to the last few decades. Even though there are many news articles and research shows sedentary lifestyle does have an impact on weight gain. Yet it is not the primary reason for our fat accumulation.
It is advised the required movement that most of us need is less than an hour a day. Yet after following the standard exercise programmes were are still fat. But one has to wonder why there are a certain number of people who are able to maintain their weight or lose it and not get fat with their exercise.
The over-reliance on the pharmaceutical industry
The advance of modern medicine seems to make us think that there is a magic pill for everything.
Need a cure for a cold? Take a pill.
Need to get rid of headaches? Take a pill.
Need to lower your blood pressure? Take a pill.
Regulate insulin? Take a pill.
Birth control? Take a pill.
Need to lose fat? Take a pill.
See where this is all going here? Modern medicine gave us many conveniences. But it’s not a definite answer to illness prevention and our obesity epidemic. Modern medicine should be taken only when you are terminally ill or bedridden. Besides consuming medicine for a long term will cause unknown side effects and cause further complications to your health.
If you’re still able to walk and think with clarity, it is optimal to use any means to reverse your ailments naturally.
The Supplement Industry
Vitamins, diet shakes, protein shakes, grape seed extract, calcium tablets, liver detox and the list goes on!
Many of us only need a few of these supplements to keep ourselves in optimal health. Most supplements are not necessary if our diet consists of nutritious food filled with the correct macro and micronutrients.
Taking 10 different types of supplements a day when not in any medical prescription is too much. You may want to reassess why you need them in the first place.
An example you don’t need a liver detox if you’re not eating junk and drinking alcohol all the time. Even if you do take liver detox is not effective if you don’t make changes to your overall diet.
The same goes for calcium tablets for osteoporosis prevention. The best way to osteoporosis prevention is through resistance exercises. Besides calcium overdose may cause higher chances of kidney stones. The body can only absorb 30% – 40% calcium of our calcium intake and having more is inviting trouble.
Most of the calcium intake from our nutritious daily diet is adequate enough for the body to digest.
It’s better for you to pocket that $25 – $50 on each of these unnecessary supplements and go join a gym. Your body and bank account thank you for it.
Find the gym intimidating when you’re a beginner. Join a dance class, yoga, pilates, or mountain climbing as long as there is muscle resistance in the mix you can build up your bone density.
If there were magic pills for our health problems would be screaming for joy like this guy here.
The Food Industry
A $131.3 billion turnover industry in Australia in 2017-2018. It’s one of the major influences on Australia’s obesity epidemic and the world.
Fast foods, restaurants, supermarket packaged food, online apps for home delivery – Our food choices are endless.
Again with all these conveniences with a call away on our phone/app, there is little reason for many of us to even cook our food which leads to the point below.
Environmental Influences and eating habits
Ever walked down your street or driven around your suburb by yourself, friends or family only to spot an eatery and go “Hey that looks good let’s have that!”.
Ever watched a movie on TV and seen a commercial ad about a food outlet about their latest meal deal or new food recipe only to reach for your phone?
With the constant barrage of these conveniences, it’s no wonder many of us are having a hard time keeping the fat off our waistlines.
Lack of Knowledge and mentality
The primary reason why we have ever-increasing waistlines is due to our lack of knowledge about food and the choices we make for our bodies.
Now if you think by keeping off from junk food sold by fast food chains you’ll be alright but it’s a complete furphy. There are certain foods that may seem healthy but are kilojoule/calorie traps. These will set back your efforts on your weight loss for all the exercise you do. These foods will be explained in upcoming articles.
Eating out in restaurants doesn’t help either as they tend to use cheap ingredients especially processed oils. These oils have very oxidative properties and will cause free radicals. Free radicals lead to cellular damage in your body which can manifest as internal damage such as organs/glands or externally ageing skin, acne, etc.
The trade recipes/secret sauces in these outlets are very addictive, delight our taste buds and keep us going back for more. This is where the lack of mentality or willpower comes into play to reject such foods.
Assume most of these outlets do not have your back on your health. They are after profit margins while draining your wallet by serving food high in calories/kilojoules, low in nutrients and lots of free radicals. Even so, the supermarket chains or grocers are not free of guilt as many of them have stacks of processed and packaged food which contains, high in sugar or salt, artificial flavouring and free radicals.
Sugar, spice and everything nice with chemical X made the Power Puff girls.
But the secret sauces in the food industry sure didn’t turn us into superheroes.
But Joe, are you telling me I have to eat boring food every time?!
Yes and no. If you’re a beginner on your fitness journey it’s recommended to ease in and only if you’re aiming to get your total body fat from 30% – 35% down to 25% – focusing on the right food choices is a good start. Staying in the 25% body fat range may be good but it is easy to return to your original weight.
There are many news articles about fat loss participants in TV contest shows regaining their weight once they’re off their diets. For obese/overweight people there is a certain organ that is overworked from the over-consumption of food – the pancreas.
It is a small organ around the length of the palm of your hand which sits below the stomach. What’s its primary function? The regulation of blood glucose within the body by secreting insulin.
What is insulin?
It regulates the metabolism of carbs, fats and protein by promoting the absorption of carbohydrates and glucose. It then goes into the liver, fat cells and skeletal muscles.
You can see why the modern age of food habits of constant eating promotes the secretion of insulin which then promotes fat storage.
Now, what happens when there is too much insulin in our bodies when we keep eating?
The result of insulin resistance will occur. This is where our organs, liver and fat cells start ignoring insulin signals and will continue to take on more glucose. When fat cells get larger it produces more hormones called leptin which is the appetite suppressor for the body. Similarly, when the body has high levels of leptin in the bloodstream the brain develops resistance and ignores signals of being sated. We will then tend to eat more.
It’s a vicious cycle.
This is the reason why overweight and obese people regain their body fat shortly after going off their diet. And skinny/fit people are able to stay thin.
Hence you will want to keep your body fat as low as possible.
Joe, you said that if I am fat I will stay fat?! I might as well do nothing.
So you say, but do know when you do have elevated insulin for long periods of time you are susceptible to Type2 diabetes. Another global epidemic stems from overweight and obese people.
Since your organs are resistant to insulin, your pancreas fails to regulate high glucose in your bloodstream what results next is inflammation. This will make your body react and produce more of the fat-like substance called cholesterol. 75% of this substance is produced from the largest organ in your body the liver.
An inflamed liver will tend to produce more of the LDL cholesterol. The consistent accumulation of LDL cholesterol will turn it into fatty liver disease. Also, the high level of LDL produced by the liver will cycle through the bloodstream, clogging up your arteries and later your heart.
If that’s not the cause of alarm there is another concern which you need to heed. There is a forgotten research paper that indicates Type 2 diabetes will cause thyroid-related diseases.
The thyroid is the main regulator of metabolic hormones what happens if these hormones in your body go out of control?
It will invite a host of other problems such as:
- abnormal heart rate
- excessive sweating
- blurred vision
- bulging neck
- dry skin/rashes
- laboured breathing
- mood swings
- over-development of breasts (man boobs)
- reduced libido
On a serious note if there is no change in your diet or lifestyle you may acquire:
- Autoimmune Disease
- Heart disease
- Fatty Liver disease
- Motor disorder
- Kidney disease
You can see from the list above that these things are related to one another. Now you know the cause it’s time for you to take action!
Please click here to read a new article on fat loss strategy.