Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) has estimated trends in obesity and overweight prevalence worldwide and by country for the years 1980 to 2013. Data were derived from surveys, reports, and published studies that included data for height and weight, both through physical measurements and self-reports. The results are released in May 2014. Body mass index (BMI) is a weight-to-height ratio. Overweight persons have a BMI greater than or equal to 25 and less than 30. Obese persons have a BMI greater than or equal to 30.
Advertising is the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need. – Will Rogers
Our health is directly affected by what we eat!
Until a decade ago, in a typical Indian diet (at least in Maharashtra state) the desserts and sweets were traditionally for festivals. Sweet drinks like lemonade, fruit juices or sweet yoghurt were for summer season. A good way to avoid dehydration during summer time when temperature crosses the mark of 35 degree C. Although sugar (or jaggery) was used in making food items but it was just to add a taste. The emphasis in food culture was best described according seasonal fruits and vegetables. Now the times have changed.
In present day situation majority of us are used to ready-made food products. No country is an exception. The grocery list is dominated by bakery products, ready-made food items and flavoured sweet drinks. People find thousands of reasons to support their wish for these items.
In the beginning of 2014 there were many articles discussing the major public health issue related to excessive consumption of sugar. Higher consumption of sugar is both addictive and toxic. This is why sugar is being called ‘the new tobacco’.
Some of the significant issues:
- Sugar is just not about desserts and chocolates but often hides under several pseudonyms and found in even the most innocuous foods (like bread, crackers, salad dressing, ketchup, and mustard).
- Cough syrups, chewing gum, mints, tomato sauce, baked beans, and lunch meats are often hidden sources of sugar.
- Fat free doesn’t mean sugar free, especially in yoghurt.
- If people want healthier food they need to accept it might look and taste a bit different.
- The British Medical Journal ran an opinion piece from a cardiologist asserting that sugar and not saturated fat was the leading cause in the rise in heart disease and diabetes.
- What prompts us to eat and drink much more than our need is the excessive sugar not the fat.
- A 20-30% reduction in sugar over time will cut our calorie intake by about 100kcal a day – and more for those who consume a lot of sugar.
There are more issues related to over consumption sugar and also fat. Instead of looking for low fat/fat free/sugar free products I would suggest avoiding ready-made products as much as possible.
I found the following articles helpful.
Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.