Obesity is taking giant steps all over the planet. The increase in the number of people who suffer from obesity is becoming an epidemic on a global scale. Why is this happening? Let’s try to look into the issue.
The most mysterious component of the obesity problem is that this illness (though I don’t like the name “illness” used to describe people with excess weight) which is becoming a global catastrophe is essentially a voluntary one. Not always an illness that is realized, but always a voluntary one.
I want to soothe and assure you beforehand – obesity can be treated and is treated quite successfully. This is confirmed not only by my personal experience, but a variety of people who coped with this condition though doctors declared themselves helpless. But it should be taken into account that obesity is treated not by medicines but a full reassessment and global changes in the person’s way of life and diet. But let’s sort all these things out.
The first country to confront the obesity problem was the USA. The number of people with excess body weight in the USA is nowadays the biggest in the world (even bigger than in China with its population of over 1,5 billion people).
Why the USA? First of all, it’s a country of immigrants and there is no any fixed nutrition system there whereas other countries with ancient culture and deep folk traditions have one. Therefore, the Americans turned out to be absolutely helpless in the collision with the fast food problem.
For you to understand it I’ll mention a well-known fact which dietitians from all over the world have paid their attention to. This will help you to get geared up for success and realize that obesity is not as awful and incurable as it seems to be at first sight.
The citizens of the United States who want to have a rest abroad and then go to an “old” Europe (Great Britain, France, Germany and so on) where national cuisine traditions are quite deep and set notice with surprise that they lose kilos without applying any effort or without limiting themselves to specific food.
By-turn, European youth usually return home “heavier” after spending vacations in the USA. There is a simple explanation to this phenomenon: America and Europe are different in not only the nutrition structure (a basic set of food products) but the attitude to this vitally important process itself.
I’ve experienced it myself. I was much surprised with the fact: when I dropped in on MacDonald’s at the railway station in Germany to have a snack, I discovered an absolutely empty hall with two lonely visitors sitting at one table. Judging by their conversation, they were not Germans, they were Polishes.
Later I found out that native German almost never go to MacDonald’s. Almost all MacDonald’s buildings on the territory of Germany are the field of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. In the recent years the Vietnamese and the Africans have joined them. But the following joke still remains actual: “If you want to try your speaking skills in Russian, go to McDonalds”!
The Germans (after the Chinese) are probably the slimmest nation (plus the French). Therefore, I can assure you, you will be able to put your weight to rights without having to be on any diet or without exhausting your body with starving, if you really want it. I can state it on the basis of my personal experience, the experience of my relatives and colleagues who have achieved good and stable results. We all not only got rid of excess kilos but also began feeling far better. But let’s talk about it later.
It is only necessary for you to get to the bottom of your obesity and excess weight on the whole, draw up a definite set of simple rules for you to strictly follow. Exactly for yourself! It’s a strong psychological factor: you are not going to abide by someone’s rules, you’ve drawn them up by yourself on the basis of your personal understanding of the matter!
Some History Of the Obesity Problem
To begin with let’s consider the history of the problem. Approximately up to the middle of the 19th century only representatives of privileged classes and priests were obese. It was everywhere. The poor believed that the rich were fat because they had much money and they ate much more than other people.
But the rich didn’t eat more than others. They just had another diet. Refined white flour and sugar were considered to be the attributes of luxury, cost much money and were not available for the poor. The rest could afford these products only on great holidays.
Compared to the rich, the rest ate brown (as it was always called) bread made from raw wheat flour (whole-grain with the bran). Their diet was composed of vegetables and fruit that were grown in their gardens, beans and cereals in abundance. They consumed everything that could be picked up in the forest (mushrooms and berries). In other words, their diet consisted predominantly of healthy products that contained large amounts of fiber, vitamins and minerals that are now called “healthy nutrition”.
They just “spoiled” their digestive system providing it with everything that was necessary for its proper functioning and without accounting for this. The diet of the rich comprised easily digestible food with plenty of animal fats and “bad” carbohydrate: fat meat, refined white flour, lots of sugar and sweets, salt and other spices (substances extracted from natural products), potatoes (this vegetable was a delicacy then) and alcohol. There was almost no fiber in their nutrition, not enough vitamins and minerals in the natural form.
Add a little level of physical activity and a “bohemian” lifestyle. All this led to obesity with a full set of diseases: inhibition of the function of the thyroid gland, diabetes, diseases of the cardiovascular system.
Approximately since the 19th century many products “for the rich” have become widely available. There has been enough white refined flour, fat meat, butter, white rice, potatoes, salt and spices (for the purpose of increasing appetite).
At the same time the diet has experienced the decrease in products rich in dietary fiber, natural vitamins and minerals such as lentils and other legumes, cereals, fresh berries, fruit and vegetables. While this imbalance was increasing, the number of obese people was also growing. Peasants moved to cities and began living a sedentary life and eating processed foods that immediately affected their weight.