Over the last 25 years, obesity rates have risen in many countries around the world. As the years go on, we are getting fatter and fatter. Right here in Australia, we are alarmingly overweight. In 2014 to 2015, a shocking 63.4 percent of Australian adults were overweight or obese. This is well over half our nationâ€™s population. This staggering percentage has significantly increased since 1995, which was 56.3 percent. Evidently, the problem is getting worse and more people are becoming overweight and obese. National surveys from 1985 to 1995 showed that the number of overweight and obese children in Australia more than doubled. Adults as well as children are becoming increasingly unhealthy from the food they consume and lack of physical activity. We all know that the number one reason of obesity is eating unhealthy. But why do we continue to excessively consume processed and junk food on the regular?
Now, it is very easy to stop by a fast food restaurant and order food on the go. Fast food chains have popped up almost everywhere and the development of new fast food stores are on the rise. Fast food is undeniably quick and tasty. Not only does it fill us up, but we buy fast food because of its convenience, availability and affordability. When we drive from one location to another, we typically pass more than one fast food store, sometimes there are even multiple fast food stores in the one area. From burgers, to fish and chips, to fried chicken; there are an abundance of different types of processed and fast food to choose from. We canâ€™t disagree that fast food is relatively inexpensive and can be bought from about anywhere in Australia. Itâ€™s high convenience and availability makes it so easy for us to purchase fast food once, twice, or even multiple times a week. Not only is fast food from restaurants a contributing factor to obesity, but all types of junk food including packaged chips, chocolate and soft drinks negatively affects our health. It is completely fine to consume junk food every once in a while because everything in moderation is always best. You do not always have to eat healthy food every day to achieve a healthy lifestyle. Treating yourself once in a while with cake or your favourite chocolate bar is completely fine. We canâ€™t always stick to a strict diet of only healthy foods. Having a variety of different food leads us to live not only a healthy lifestyle but a happy one as well. Though the constant consuming of unhealthy and processed food, it detrimentally affects our health. This can eventually lead to long-term health issues such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. No one wants to have health concerning issues, but to the majority of us, it can be time consuming and too much effort to make healthy meals at home. This is why we resort to fast food, for its convenience. And to most of us, a burger is more satisfying and tastier than eating a bowl of salad.
There are a number of unhealthy foods that as a nation we consume a lot of. Processed carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, muffins and cake, sugar-filled drinks and snacks such as energy drinks and yogurt, have little nutrients and keep us constantly hungry. Our body requires nutrients to function properly. This can be obtained by eating healthy and unprocessed foods such as fruits and vegetables. When we do not receive the required nutrients, our body becomes malnourished. When we think about people suffering from malnutrition, we think about the people in third world countries living in poverty. We often associate malnutrition and hunger with those who have limited access to food. We see it on television, children and families in countries such as Africa, struggling and unable to gain sufficient food. Many of you may not now, but it is possible to be overweight and malnourished. You may have noticed when eating junk food you are never really satisfied regardless of how much you have eaten. Hunger cannot be completely satisfied with processed food. Even though you may feel full from all the junk food you have eaten, you have not been nourished due to the lack of nutrients. For example, eating a piece of chocolate may have the same amount of calories as eating broccoli. However, the difference is that broccoli has the nutrients our bodies need, and chocolate has the unnecessary calories that will later be stored as fat, resulting in weight gain. Consuming excessive amounts of calories that lack the nutrients that we need will consequently end in weight gain and will eventually lead to obesity.
Weight gain and obesity occurs when the energy we get from the food and drinks we consume is greater than the energy we burn up through physical activity, growing and other body processes. When there is a build-up of energy in the body, it is eventually stored as fat. Overweight is generally defined as a condition which an individualâ€™s weight is 10 to 20 percent higher than normal. This is defined by a body mass index (BMI) of 25 to 30. BMI is a common measure of defining whether a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. Obesity is defined in which a personâ€™s weight is 20 percent or more above normal weight, or has a BMI of 30 or more. Lastly, morbid obesity refers to a person who is either 50 to 100 percent over the normal weight. Those who are morbidly obese are significantly overweight to the point that their weight is affecting their health and normal functioning.
Overweight and obesity is a problem that goes far beyond aesthetics. It is easy to spot out someone who may be overweight due to their physical appearance. You may have noticed those who are obese or morbidly obese have trouble doing simple tasks like walking. Those who are overweight, and more specifically obese, have greater risks of diseases. Cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, some musculoskeletal conditions and some cancers can become a major health issue for those who have excess weight. Being overweight puts a significant strain on our bodies. As the level of excess weight increases, the risk of developing these health conditions also increases. Adults who were overweight as children have a higher risk of weight related health issues. Therefore, is very important to prevent and manage obesity in children because of the high risk that the problem will persist into adulthood. Overweight children have a 25 to 50 percent chance of being overweight adults. Tackling the problem earlier can significantly reduce the risks of health issues later down the track. Many of the health problems associated with obesity are preventable by leading a healthy lifestyle. By firstly making better food choices, we can help counter the escalating trend of obesity. Eating whole-foods that contain quality proteins and good fats is vital for good health. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as other food rich in nutrients will help you stay fuller for longer. This ultimately makes you less likely to overeat. It is possible to eat less and feel fuller as well as lose weight. If you make better choices and eat the right food, your body will thank you in the long run. Regular exercise can also help you achieve a better lifestyle by burning the excess fat and in the end, you will feel more energised.
Here at Parkwood Green Medical, we aim to be a leading medical provider to the community by prioritising your health needs. We cultivate healthy living and embrace the value of a healthy lifestyle. It is known that an active lifestyle combined with eating nutritious food can help you achieve good health throughout your life. There are a plethora of healthy food choices that are available without having the need to compromise your budget. At Parkwood Green Medical, we have highly professional and educated dietitians and nutritionists that can help you achieve optimum health. We are always willing to assist anyone who wishes to achieve a better lifestyle and great health. Your health and well-being is our top priority and we provide you with strategies and the motivation you need to achieve your health goals. In order to do this, we provide you with personalised practical dietary advice after thoroughly assessing your current circumstance. In addition, we offer you motivational counselling to further encourage you to further prevent health issues. We believe that education and accurate information will allow you to better understand what you need to do to address your health concerns. We promote education and provide you with individualised nutrition prescriptions to meet your nutritional requirements. Your health will be monitored regularly to ensure your goals are being met. We strive for excellence and wish to see your success become a reality. Our exceptional dietitian consultations are available upon booking. Donâ€™t wait until itâ€™s too late. At Parkwood Green Medical, our accredited dietitians and nutritionists can help you achieve a healthy and vibrant lifestyle that you deserve.