Solving America's Obesity Crisis
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The obesity crisis is the greatest threat to this nation's future. At home, at school, and in the workplace, the terrible toll of suffering is being felt. Obesity plays a central role in creating our major causes of death and disability:
- type II diabetes
- heart disease
- Alzheimer's disease
- certain types of cancer
The facts are truly alarming:
- Two hundred million Americans are overweight and 100 million are obese.
- Thirty million U.S. adults are potential candidates for risky bariatric surgery and the rate of extreme obesity is increasing twice as fast as obesity in general.
- More than 75 million Americans have high blood pressure.
- Five million people are diabetic and the number has doubled in the past 20 years.
- Forty percent of the population suffers from the Metabolic Syndrome, a complication of obesity and a precursor of type II diabetes. Having the Metabolic Syndrome also triples the risk of developing Alzheimer's dementia.
- Heart disease remains the No. 1 cause of death for men and women, followed by stroke and obesity-related cancers.
- Osteoarthritis, a complication of obesity, is the No. 1 cause of chronic disability.
- Despite excessive caloric consumption, over three-quarters of the population has a deficient intake of one or more essential nutrients. Greater levels of obesity are actually associated with lower nutritional status.
- Alzheimer's disease and related dementias impose a huge burden on family members and caregivers. The economic cost to the health care system is well over $100 billion a year and increasing sharply.
Scientists have estimated that chronic illness and premature death can be decreased by an astonishing 80 percent if all known risk factors are addressed. Epidemic obesity is fast attaining the status of number one risk factor. In fact, obesity causes greater health care costs than any other medical condition or factor, including cigarette smoking.
If not checked, epidemic obesity has the capacity to bankrupt our society.
Two concepts are absolutely key to averting the health disaster facing this country and the entire world: inflammation and nutrient density.
Inflammation is the critical link between obesity and chronic illness. Obesity creates a state of chronic inflammation, which damages the brain, the heart, the blood vessels, and the joints. Inflammation creates a condition known as insulin resistance, the essential ingredient in the Metabolic Syndrome and diabetes.
Inflammation also disables the body's mechanisms for controlling obesity. It produces resistance to the fat burning hormone leptin, aggravating the obesity problem. The galloping global obesity outbreak results from an epidemic of leptin resistance, which produces a devastating feed-forward loop: Obesity causes inflammation, which causes greater obesity.
Nutrient density is a description of the food we eat. It provides a ratio of the nutritional quality of each food to the number of calories. Foods with low nutrient density cause obesity, malnutrition, inflammation, and chronic disease. The standard approach has focused on reducing calories rather than increasing nutritional quality. It has been a dismal failure. What matters most about the calories in any food are the nutrients that are found in the food. The most critical nutrients are those we need to stop the slow-moving avalanche of obesity/inflammation by controlling inflammation.
A nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory diet is the key step in halting the health care crisis. Not only does this nutritional approach help people achieve and maintain leanness, it directly addresses the inflammation that underlies our major diseases: heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, allergic illness, and a host of autoimmune diseases and degenerative disorders of the brain.
The anti-inflammatory diet is an essential foundation for the use of nutritional supplements aimed at preventing or reversing inflammation and the damage it does to our cells.
And we, the people, have the power to implement it. This need not be costly or burdensome, but it requires understanding. Financial analyses have shown that eating a nutrient dense diet does not have to cost a penny more than eating the junk food diets that most Americans live on.
The principles and the details needed to adopt a delicious, convenient, nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory diet are described in a highly acclaimed book, The Fat Resistance Diet, by Leo Galland, M.D., with recipes by Jonathan Galland.
In addition to weight loss (up to 90 pounds in eight months), people guided by the Fat Resistance Diet have achieved tremendous health benefits.
- Diabetics have normalized blood sugar without the need for medication.
- People with high blood pressure have brought their pressure to normal and managed to stop medication.
- People with arthritis have been able to reduce pain and stop their anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Almost everyone has an increase in energy and mental clarity.
The Fat Resistance Diet is based on the most exacting and comprehensive research.
It reflects principles we can all relate to:
- High in beneficial omega-3 fats with an optimal omega-3/omega-6 ratio
- Absolutely no processed oils or trans fats
- Rich in phytonutrients, including flavonoids, carotenoids, and lignans
- Ample fiber, both soluble and insoluble
- Controlled glycemic load
- Natural, whole foods
What is unique about the Fat Resistance Diet is the way these principles are put into action, combining cutting-edge science with global flavors:
- Classic American and international favorites have been adapted to maximize anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Traditional herbs and spices with potent anti-inflammatory effects are creatively blended to create gourmet meals with exquisite flavor.
- Sweetness comes from fruits and juices with concentrated anti-oxidant benefits.
- Dietary fiber comes from seeds, nuts, and vegetables with special health benefits.
- Functional foods with bioactive components, like cruciferous and allium vegetables, are used in delicious and creative ways on a daily basis.
- All components are readily found in most natural food stores and supermarkets.
- Meal preparation is simple and convenient. Preparation time never exceeds 30 minutes, even for the fanciest dinner.
- Desserts and snacks have been designed to make them just as healthy as the main part of each meal.
The quality of food in the Fat Resistance Diet is so amazing that people who do not need to lose weight have been using the recipes to make chef-quality, exceptionally healthy dishes.
The Fat Resistance Diet is a lifestyle built around eating great food, rather than calorie restriction through the use of artificial sweeteners, sugar substitutes, and fake fats. Only through education and positive reinforcement for making healthy choices will the coming health care crisis be averted.
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