It’s no secret that the average human body weight has increased in the last few decades. With the terrifyingly high number of obese and overweight people in the world, the planet overall has gotten a lot heavier.
To illustrate the point, a team of researchers at Cancer Research UK has taken the time to calculate just how much weight the British population has gained. According to their findings, people in England have gained almost 1.5 billion pounds in the last two decades. That’s a lot of weight gained, and just in the UK alone. Imagine how high that number would be in the U.S., where obesity is much more rampant.
According to the researchers, obesity is putting a strain on existing healthcare systems. With an increase in obesity comes an increase in health risks. More and more cases of heart disease, diabetes, heart attacks, and strokes occur every year. After smoking, obesity is the second most common preventable cause of cancer. A significant number of the deaths around the world—especially those from cardiac disorders—could be fully prevented.
What do the researchers recommend to reduce the strain on healthcare systems and lower the collective weight of our country? Simple: make small changes in your eating and drinking habits and be more physically active. These two things can make a huge difference in your overall health. If everyone took steps to fight obesity by eating, drinking, exercising, and living right, the number of preventable deaths would drop significantly.
A huge part of making smarter, healthier choices is better education. For decades, people erroneously believed fats to be dangerous and carbs to be the best source of nutrients. Now, it’s being understood that carbs (especially refined, empty carbs) are the real danger, and fats (particularly healthy plant-based fats) are what your body needs more of.
Better education could help everyone to make smarter food choices. By improving eating habits, we can reduce our risk of disease (particularly cancer) and improve our overall weight and fitness. Adding in exercise and a lifestyle free of smoking and low in caffeine and alcohol will only make things better. Every step we take to improve our health is one step farther from excessive overall weight gain and premature, fully preventable death.
1. UK, Cancer Research. “Shocking adult weight gain in UK.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 14 Dec. 2016. Web.
21 Dec. 2016.