Thursday, January 18, 2007

Are Our Drinks Making Us Fat?

Recently obesity has become American's number one health concern. The level of obesity in this country has risen to shocking proportions.


  • 58 Million Americans are overweight

  • 40 Million Americans are obese

  • 3 Million Americans are morbidly obese

  • Eight out of 10 people over the age of 25 are overweight

  • In 2001 25% of Caucasian children were overweight

  • 33% of African American and Hispanic children were overweight as of 2001


    Doctors and researchers have been looking for clues to why the obesity rate has risen so dramatically. Obviously, our lifestyle habits have changed, and our new habits are making us fat. The habits that seem to be significantly contributing to the rising obesity rate are:


    Activity Level


    More of us than ever are sedentary. Even today's children seem to spend most of their leisure time participating in activities that involve sitting on the couch. The number of children who have never participated in any sports activity has risen each year for the past ten. Regular exercise is one of the important keys to losing weight and keeping it off.


    Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day at least 3 times a week. In addition, if you can supplement with weight training, you'll build muscle, which in the long run, will help keep you slim. Muscle, even when resting, burns more calories than fat, so the more muscle you have the more calories you burn all the time.


    You don't need to join a gym or have expensive equipment in your home to be able to get regular exercise. Walking, for example, requires no special equipment, other than a good pair of shoes, and is an excellent way to get your exercise. Walking works your heart, strengthens your core and build muscle in your lower body.


    Where your children are concerned, you needn't plan significant exercise outings. Running and playing in the yard are a great way for your children to burn off that excess childhood energy and keep fit at the same time. Just get them off the couch!


    Diet


    We are a fast food, on the run, never eat at the table society. And, it's catching up with us. When we eat takeout and fast food we're eating far more calories than if we ate a home cooked meal at the table. So, try to consider the following things for your family's diet.

  • Stop the fast food and processed foods

  • Try to eat meals cooked at home as much as possible

  • Watch the white flour and the processed sugars

  • Include more lean protein and less simple carbohydrates


    Try to include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Fruits and vegetables are low calorie and extremely filling. Plus, they ensure that you're getting your daily dose of anti-oxidants, which are critical to a long and healthy life. Try adding green tea as a favored beverage. It's low calorie, and will also help ensure you get the anti-oxidants you need.


    Stop the Soda!


    One of the big differences in diet between this generation and the one before it is the amount of soda and other sweetened drinks we consume. High calories soda can add hundreds of calories a day to our diet.


    One study, reported by the UK Tea Council highlights the significant calorie increase our society has seen in terms of sodas and other high calorie beverages. This study concludes that 50% of our excess calories today come from sodas and other sweetened beverages.* One of the ways that we can make a huge impact in the number of calories we consume each day is to ensure that we cut out the high calorie drinks, particularly the ones that provide no nutritional value.


    Keep in mind that when we consume milk and fruit juice, we are taking in calories. However, we are getting vitamins and other nutrients from the calories in these drinks. With sodas and other high calorie sweetened drinks, we load up on the calories, but gain no nutritional value. The study mentioned above concluded that we could significantly cut the excess calories that are leading to our overweight society by simply replacing high calorie, low nutrition drinks with low calorie ones.


    To be sure, the battle of the bulge is no easy one. It takes time, education and motivation to keep the calories under control. However, it's critical to our health that we get our weight under control. Obesity leads to a number of illnesses, all of which are entirely preventable by maintaining a healthy diet and activity level, and a healthy weight. Some of the most significant weight related health disorders include:

  • Type II Diabetes

  • Heart Disease

  • High Blood Pressure

  • Sleep Apnea

  • Higher risk for many forms of cancer

  • High Cholesterol

  • Congestive Heart Failure

  • Arthritis

  • Stroke

  • Gout

  • Pregnancy Complications



    Our country must get the wake up call and learn to control our weight. Our health, and the health of our children is dependent upon our ability to get our eating habits and our activity level to a healthy balance.


    About The Author:


    Jon M. Stout is the Chairman of the Golden Moon Tea Company.
    Golden Moon Tea carefully selects the finest rare and orthodox
    teas, which are processed slowly and handcrafted with extreme
    care. At their website, you can learn more about their current
    tea offerings, including their exceptional green tea,
    white tea, black tea, oolong tea (also known as wu-long and wu long tea) and chai. Visit http://www.goldenmoontea.com for all details concerning the Golden Moon Tea Company's fine line of teas.

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