Archive for September, 2007

Less than 1 in 7 Americans Eat Well and Exercise

Posted on September 29th, 2007 in active, diet, drink lots of water, exercise, five days a week, food, fresh fruit, fruit vegetables, healthy snacks, obesity, overeating, program target, staying healthy, studies, weight loss diet, weight loss products | No Comments »

I recently ran across a study done by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) released earlier this year that reported that just under 1 in 7 Americans eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily and are moderately active for at least 30 minutes five days a week.

In one way I found this surprising since billions are being spent each year on diet and weight loss products and apparently they're not working.

On the flip side, I'm not surprised since there is a growing amount of processed, fat laden, sweetened, modified and just plain bad food on the market. And it's not stopping, companies are continuing to roll out new products which entice first and then addict (with the addition of special ingredients) you to want more and more. There is a great video titled 'How To Get Fat (without even trying)' that shows exactly how our government policies actually encourage overeating and obesity and what you can do about it.

I'm puzzled since staying healthy and at a normal weight is simple.

Eat as much fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and natural grains, drink lots of water and stay active every day. Stay away from processed, fast and packaged foods, which means anything in packaging and most anything served when you eat out. Get plenty of rest and reduce the amount of stress in your life.

I did say simple, but maybe not easy as the statistics don't lie. In fact, since this study was self-reported, and research has show that when asked most people 'see' themselves doing more of something than they actually do, so these numbers are probably high. Also, in reality, the amounts of fruits and vegetables the government recommends are low so the number of Americans in the study is far lower than reported.

If you can't stick to this on your own, I would recommend a planned diet program. It gives you guidelines, step-by-step actions and makes you accountable.

You see, there is no second chance for better health. You either have it, or you suffer with poor health, a shorter life-span and a significantly diminished quality of life. Period. There are no shortcuts to good health.

It's amazing how much of what hurts folks today can easily be resolved with a change in diet and activity. I hope if you hurt, you decide to change your lifestyle today, if only a little. You'll soon see and more importantly feel the benefits that you'll never want to give up.

To your best health!

Mark

http://www.HealthyLivingTalk.com

[ An effective way to start making changes in your diet is to stick with plain old good healthy food. But in today's fast-paced, profit driven society it's harder to find it. Check out what you can get conveniently, and the amazing, life changing stories from those that made just one change in their diet. ]

What Does Cheap Food Really Cost?

Posted on September 17th, 2007 in children, diet, disease, eco living, food | No Comments »

I recently ran across a great article about how we view (or in the words of the author, "demand cheap") food . The point is well taken. We want cheap food, but what price are we really paying for it? Not necessarily dollar wise, but are we sacrificing our health? I believe we are. We buy mammoth SUV's, high end electronics and castles (or homes to some) and expect (demand) to pay $1.99 for a meal? Read on for more.

WHAT CHEAP FOOD REALLY COSTS

Grocery money is an odd sticking point for U.S. citizens, who on average spend a lower proportion of our income on food than people in any other country, or any time heretofore in history. En masse, even in school lunches, we broadly justify consumption of tallow-fried animal pulp on the grounds that it’s cheaper than whole grains, fresh vegetables, hormone-free dairy and such. Whether on school boards or in families, budget keepers may be aware of the health trade-off but still feel compelled to economize on food — in a manner that would be utterly unacceptable if the health risk involved an unsafe family vehicle or a plume of benzene running through a school basement.

It’s interesting that penny-pinching is an accepted defense for toxic food habits, when frugality so rarely rules other consumer domains. At any income level, we can be relied upon for categorically unnecessary purchases: portable-earplug music instead of the radio; extra-fast Internet for leisure use; heavy vehicles to transport light loads; name-brand clothing instead of plainer gear. “Economizing,” as applied to clothing, generally means looking for discount name brands instead of wearing last year’s clothes again. The dread of rearing unfashionable children is understandable. But as a priority, “makes me look cool” has passed up “keeps arteries functional” and left the kids huffing and puffing in the dust.

To read the full article, visit Mother Earth News.

Think about it this way.

Eat cheap, processed food. Get sick more often, most likely become overweight, and accumulate related diseases and health problems. Still drive the expensive SUV, get the HD flat screen TV, satellite TV with thousands of channels (so you can unproductively sit and eat more processed food), buy designer clothes, makeup, hairdressers, ball games, salons....

In this scenario you most likely have high medical costs, illnesses and a fast paced life. Yes, you didn't pay much for your food, but you're paying a mighty high price in exchange: high health care costs (drugs, doctor visits, hospital stays, etc), shorter life span, regular discomforts and/or illnesses, high risk of a large number of diseases and less time to live happily.

Consider the alternative.

Pay a little more for fresh or dried organic and/or local fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, take less time to prepare meals and eat conveniently. You avoid most health care costs (since you don't get sick often), feel great and enjoy your life more since you spend less time in and out of doctors offices, hospitals, pharmacies etc. And, you also have more money to spend on all those things you enjoy.

It's hard to understand "that penny-pinching is an accepted defense for toxic food habits". Hey, I got cancer, but I saved a buck on my lunch at Taco Bell!

What is your choice?

To your best health!

Mark

Your Health and Weight Loss Coach
Diets Don't Work
http://www.HealthyLivingTalk.com

Want health and convenience? Learn about the delicious, healthy, organic and convenient foods that you can take with you anywhere... and keep you smiling, satisfied and healthy. Guaranteed. Work, school, car, bag lunch, snack, kid's lunch box... Learn more about healthy organic food and snacks now.

Obesity, A $100 Billion Dollar A Year Crisis

Posted on September 15th, 2007 in diet, disease, health insurance, obesity | No Comments »

The real cost of obesity is not necessarily to the person themselves, but to society in general. One of the main costs are in the increases in insurance premiums due to increased costs insurance companies incur by paying claims of patients that are overweight and have health challenges as a result of being obese. Dr. Nayer Khazeni puts it well recently writing in the San Francisco Chronicle:

"Today, cutting across all income groups, obesity remains a dangerous medical condition and a national public health crisis, costing Americans $100 billion in health care expenditures and more than 400,000 premature deaths each year. A number of studies have now demonstrated links between obesity and a host of medical conditions, including depression, gastroesophageal reflux, sleep apnea, gout, osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease, kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, stroke, pulmonary hypertension, blood clots, dementia and several cancers (endometrial, breast, pancreas, kidney, esophageal, multiple myeloma, lymphoma, prostate, liver and colon).

A July 2007 study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health estimates that 75 percent of American adults and 24 percent of American children will be overweight or obese by 2015. During my residency, patients weighing more than 325 pounds used to be transferred from the hospital to local zoo scanners for imaging. Even with newer machines that accommodate larger patients, radiologists need to use high levels of radiation to acquire images because of increased body mass. Scanners designed for patients weighing as much as 615 pounds are in the works."

And the costs to the insurance companies are passed on to everyone, not just those filing claims, everyone shares the costs. A study in the respected journal 'Health Affairs' reported that "estimates reveal that the public sector is responsible for financing nearly half of overweight- and obesity-attributable medical spending." So those covered by insurance plans that never file a claim, are healthy and use the insurance for emergencies (as I believe it was originally designed and ought to be used) end up paying higher premiums along with those that file more often due to health issues like obesity. Those that are healthy pay up to half of the 100 billion a year in extra medical expenses attributed to obesity.

But the costs to society don't stop there.

There are also costs to local, state and national governments to provide access to those that are obese, who are also sometimes handicapped. There are costs to private companies to provide equal access and accommodations to both employees and clients. Health insurance premiums and more.

The American workforce is also losing it's edge from this crisis. With obesity increasing, workers become less productive, use more sick days, work less and cost their employers in more time and money than other employees.

And who benefits from this crisis?

Well, health insurance companies continue to raise premiums (and profits), doctors and other health care providers are busier than ever, drug companies are salivating at the prospect of creating more drugs to 'help' with a 'magic pill' and the list goes on.

Can you see why this is truly a 'crisis' that effects more than just the one obese individual?

And let's not forget, obesity is a direct result of poor diet and lack of activity.

Let me know what you think.

To your best health!

Mark

Health Insurance Rates Skyrocketing

Posted on September 13th, 2007 in diet, health insurance, obesity | No Comments »

Health insurance rates are climbing, but why?

Read this story with more details on why they are on the rise, although the answer to the problem is simple. The health insurance industry is overwhelmed with paying for the health care expenses of those that are overweight, obese, smoke or related issues. The health care costs related directly to being overweight is over $100 billion a year alone... and rising. The answer: make simple lifestyle changes and take responsibility for your own health.