Tag Archives: obesity

Time to Cut Out the Bacon and Alcohol, Research Says

For most of us, bacon is one of our favorite meats to eat. It can go with anything and everything in our meals. The same can be said about alcohol, once you have turned 21 and you drink responsibly. But research says it may be time to cut out both alcohol and bacon from your diet.

In a study that sampled data from 51 million people, The World Cancer Research Fund found that even a small amount of processed meats and alcohol can increase the risk of a number of different types of cancer by at least 40 percent.

Their study also found that obesity will overtake smoking as the “number one risk factor for cancer” within decades.

We have known from previous studies that obesity is becoming a worldwide health epidemic as more and more people look for ways to cut time preparing food and buy pre-made foods as a result.

Studies have also shown that obesity is linked with at least 12 different cancers, which include breast, liver, and prostate, to name a few.

The results of the findings will be presented to the European Congress on Obesity in Glasgow, Scotland at the end of April.

The recommendations from the fund are to drink mostly water and to reduce intake of all processed foods, which include fast food and foods high in fat.


A tax on sugar could prevent millions of cases of obesity

In 2008, over 1.4 billion adults were overweight and over half a billion were obese, nearly doubling since 1980. Around 2.8 million individuals each year die as a result of being overweight or obese.

Globally, 7 to 41 percent of certain cancers, 23 percent of ischemic heart disease and 44 percent of diabetes are attributable to obesity.

Image from feedstuffsfoodlink.com
“Junk” food, high in fat and sugar, is easily accessible, extensively promoted and very cheap. Image from feedstuffsfoodlink.com

A 20 percent sugar tax could decrease obesity rates in the UK by 5 percent (which equals 3.7 million individuals) by 2025 — as stated by a new report published by Cancer Research UK and the UK Health Forum.

The report forecasts the effect a 20 percent tax on sugar could have on obesity if current patterns continue steadily. This defined number of 3.7 million individuals is equal to the combined populations of six different cities in England.

The study also forecasts that the tax could save the National Health Service about £10 million (around $14 million) in social care and healthcare costs in the year 2025 alone.

Being overweight and obese is a notable root cause of illness that would otherwise be able to be prevented and death in the UK.

“Junk” food, high in fat and sugar, is easily accessible, extensively promoted and very cheap. The study demonstrates that the price of food influences what individuals buy, so introducing a sugar tax gives a reason to either purchase less or switch to a more healthy alternative.

Adults and young children consume double the maximum suggested quantity of added sugar. And 11 to 18 year olds eat and drink three times the recommended limit — sugary drinks being the main source of added sugar.

Recent surveys additionally demonstrate that a tax on sugar is supported by the majority of the public with 55 percent supporting the measure and only 36 percent opposed to it.

To decrease the effect obesity has on society, Cancer Research UK is calling for action by the Government to put a tax on sugary drinks, ban junk food adverts on TV before 9 pm, and introduce goals for decreasing the measure of sugar and fat in food as part of an all-inclusive plan.

BMI may be an inaccurate indicator of health

As claimed by a new study, the body mass index, or BMI, may not be an valid predictor of an individual’s likelihood of getting a metabolic disorder or heart disease.

Obsessed with your BMI and stepping on the scale? BMI may not be as effective at weighing your health. Image from militaryspot.com

The outcome of the study proposes that around 75 million adults in the United States might be misdiagnosed. The researchers suggested that adults might have a genuine likelihood of diabetes or heart disease that is either lower or higher than advised by their BMIs.

Jeffrey M. Hunger, co-author of the study, said to maintain their health, individuals should “prioritize eating well, staying active and getting enough sleep,” instead of focusing on their weight. Hunger is a doctoral candidate, meaning he has completed all of the requirements for his degree, except his dissertation, at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The researchers focused on the BMIs of around 40,000 adults in the United States. Additionally, they looked at information on the individual’s “cardiometabolic health,” which is their likelihood for diabetes and heart disease.

When looking at the relationship between the individual’s cardiometabolic health and their BMIs, the researchers discovered that almost 50 percent of the individuals with a BMI in the overweight section, 29 percent of individuals with a BMI in the obese section and 16 percent of very obese individuals were cardiometabolically healthy.

A. Janet Tomiyama, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles and lead study author, said ”many people see obesity as a death sentence, but the data show there are tens of millions of people who are overweight and obese and are perfectly healthy.”

Additionally, over 30 percent of the individuals whose BMIs were considered to be a normal weight were discovered to be cardiometabolically unhealthy.

Preceding research on the topic of BMI has likewise proposed that using BMI as a measure of health may an issue. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity in 2010 concluded that waist size was a better indicator of children’s future likelihood of heart disease than BMI. A separate study, distributed in the journal Pediatric Obesity in 2014, discovered that one fourth of children who were not labeled as obese based on their BMI were obese based on their body fat content.

The study’s findings were published in the International Journal of Obesity on February 4.

Conflicting messages on body image

“Big is beautiful” and “embrace your curves” are regular phrases in the media regarding body image. With society beginning to shun the increasingly thin frame of actresses and models, a new breed of role models has emerged.

Photo from Creative Commons.

With the claim that Marilyn Monroe, one of the most, if not THE most, celebrated sex symbols in history, wore a size 13, plus-sized women shed light on the dire need of a full-figured role model. In reality, her size would reflect a modern size of an 8 or a 10. These are average sizes and a size 13 is not. That would be the size of someone who is obese.

While I don’t believe you need to be a size 0 to be healthy, this trend to embrace the weight worries me. Our nation has an alarming obesity rate among adults and children alike. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three American adults and one in seven American children are obese.

Photo from Creative Commons.

Obesity is linked with high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. These are just some of the effects of being overweight. Our country has a health problem, with our generation being the only one with a life expectancy shorter than our parents, and Hollywood is glamorizing overweight women.

On the other end of the spectrum, just because you’re genetically a size 0 doesn’t mean you’re healthy. I’ll use myself as an example: I try extremely hard to eat healthy and exercise, but when I don’t, I stay a size 00. I got extremely lucky when it comes to my gene pool.

However, that isn’t an excuse to eat McDonald’s and sit on my rear all day. One day, I said I needed to start running again and a coworker told me that I was skinny enough and didn’t need to exercise. But she failed to realize my family has a history of, well, just about every heart problem known to man. That’s why I exercise.

Having some extra padding or a body type not seen on Hollywood elite isn’t my problem. Women should be comfortable in their own skin, especially after years of pressure to be almost impossibly thin. Like I said before, you don’t have to look like a Pussycat Doll to be healthy.

Ashley Fink from "Glee." Photo from Creative Commons.

My problem is the glamorization of girls like Gabourey Sidibe, the actress who played Precious in “Precious,” and Ashley Fink, the actress who plays Lauren Zizes on “Glee,” because they’re obese. Their body type shouldn’t be praised. That much extra body fat causes so many health problems that it’s irresponsible for anybody to encourage that.

I feel uncomfortable talking about this problem because girls have been told to be OK with their weight and that being plus-sized isn’t a bad thing. But, at times, isn’t it? When I bring this problem up, people call me a skinny bitch and tell me that I don’t understand.

I think the media and Hollywood need to get their message straight. There’s a difference between accepting yourself and ignoring a very significant health problem.