By Michael Torchia
Think before you eat
GOOD food is a source of delight for most of us. While there are people who eat to live, there are many others who famously live to eat. And it is the second category of the people who often end up turning food into a source of grave concern. In fact, food can prove fatal, that is, if we do not check our excessive urge to indulge ourselves.
Dear readers, facts speak for themselves. Over 30,000 deaths are caused by obesity in England alone. Adult obesity rates there have almost quadrupled in the last 25 years. So much so that, now two-thirds of Britons are overweight or obese. In America, about 15 per cent of the people are stated to be obese. But eating or excessive eating alone is not what leads to this state of affairs. A sedentary lifestyle and lack of sufficient physical activity - a bane of modern existence - equally share the blame. This despite the fact that most modern cities now offer sufficient channels and opportunities for exercise.
In fact, there are any numbers of fitness centers in this city alone. Dubai’s health and fitness industry is growing by 15 percent a year. Yet, how many of us have the inclination to go and shake a leg or two? We do not realize the fact that obesity is a silent killer. It kills us little by little, day by day.
Our children are particularly prone to this relatively modern problem. The lure and abundance of junk food everywhere and enticingly packaged across-the-counter fast food makes our children especially susceptible to what can be called bad food phenomenon. Children being what they are, you cannot expect them to be choosy in what they eat or think about the long-term consequences of the food they eat. It’s up to their elders and parents to make that decision for them.
Of course, I am not suggesting we police our children or lock them away. As responsible parents, we have to explain to them, patiently and pleasantly, the negative effects of junk food consumption. Or to put it otherwise, we need to explain the importance of eating right.
According to recent research, obese children and those who make a habit of lapping up fast food — with its alluring fries and fizzy drinks — are storing up health problems for later periods in their lives. Childhood eating habits can determine adult food tastes and the body’s metabolic rate. This is why, be it children or adults, it is important for all of us to think before we eat.
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