Fat Kids

A recently released study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that about 32 percent of children were overweight, 16 percent were obese, and 11 percent were extremely obese.

Meanwhile junk food companies continue to promote so-called healthy choices, such as diet sodas, and low-fat chips. Many cereal products are way less than healthy too, containing large amounts of sugar or the ubiquitous High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS).

Whatever the recent commercials from the corn industry might say about HFCS, the bottom line is that it’s still empty calories, and eating less calories is one way to lose weight. Quite simply, if you burn more calories than you take in, you’ll eventually lose some pounds.

Pay More Eat Less

Is that crazy? No, it makes perfect sense when you think about it.

Most of us eating a Western diet eat far too much. Too much of the wrong stuff to a large extent as well.

Eat more fruit and vegetables. Eat more whole grains. Eat more fish.

Eat less fried food, eat less sugary food, eat less white rice and bread. Eat less red meat.

I know you like fried eggs with some syrup, and accompanied with steak, and toast, and some sweet tea.

It doesn’t hurt occasionally. Like once a month.

Healthy Snacks

Where folks trip up, is that they’ll tell you they only eat pizza once a week. They only eat a Big Mac once a week too. Same goes for Chinese take out, fried chicken, doughnuts,  pancakes…

You get the picture?

Sure they only eat those things once a week, but they eat plenty of it when they do, and they eat one of those items most every day.

So cut back on your portions if you eat out. Don’t supersize everything. I guarantee you’ll still feel full in about twenty minutes in any case. That’s how long after eating that it takes your stomach to tell your brain to stop sending the triggers to tell you to eat more. It probably derives from when man lived in the wild, and had to gouge as much food as he could, in any given time, as he didn’t know when his next meal would be.

Thing is too, with all that processed food about these days, that’s super high in calories, you end up eating way more calories than you need to, even before you feel full.

So, spend more on better quality food, and buy less of it. That works however large or small your food budget is.

Mediterranean Eating

It’s good for you right? Yes it is.

So if I go out and eat Italian, that’s a Mediterranean diet, and so that’s good for me too, right? Not necessarily, no.

That fried calamari that you’re so partial to at the local Italian chain restaurant can have as much cholesterol in as eating a large omelet.

You see, Italians are big on pasta. That’s great, but it’s the sauce you get with it in many American Italian restaurants that is the killer. Italians also eat a lot of vegetables.

In your average US Italian restaurant, you’ll end up with a plate of watery iceberg and a few bits of tomato, and carrot. Not so bad, but once you put that dressing on top, you might as well go to the fast food drive thru down the street, and eat a portion of fries.

Chinese food is usually lower in fat, but there’s all the added sodium to deal with then.

Our advice. Stick with dishes that have a high pasta content, are low in sauces, particularly meat based (high fat) sauces, go easy on the cheese, and if you’re somewhere like Olive Garden fill up on the salad, as you can have as much as you like. Just don’t flood it with that dressing.

Better yet, find some healthy low-fat recipes (that avoid read-made processed sauces) and try your hand at cooking Italian at home. That’s just what we’re doing this evening.

Is Obesity In Your Genes?

Professor Mike Gibney of the new Institute of Food and Health at University College, Dublin thinks it could well be.

He has taken the statistics and turned them around to show that most people are not in fact obese. Why is this? Did they live in a different area, go to different schools or eat different food to their obese counterparts?

No.

Studies on indentical twins have shown that they show huge overlap in their tastes, and also the amounts of food they eat, and the rate at which they eat it.

People aren’t simply choosing food based on income or a lack of education, but on similar choices to other family members, and not simply those they live with.

Professor Gibney also feels that physical exercise is important, and that we need to move our environments to encourage that.

Desks could be arrnage so that users can stand at them for periods of time, instead of being constantly seated, and also there could be communal exercise bikes in offices for example.

If food scientists have been finding so many ways to make more and more profits for food manufacturers at the expense of the consumer, then perhaps it’s time for science to work the other way around, and for the benefit of those that are actually eating the end product.