It may seem strange to see a reference to ‘diet’ on a web site dedicated to climate change, but believe it or not, our diet the food industry, food production and it's subsequent distribution all play a significant part in the global picture.
The old adage, ‘you are what you eat’ has never been so relevant - we have in just decades, thrown the common sense approach of yesteryear away and have, in our masses turned to the fast, the convenient the ready made, the pre-packaged and the take-away. The family meal has all but disappeared.
Our staple diet now contains too much of many of the food types that are potentially life threatening, the high salt , high sugar and foods that contain excess fats are everywhere, our bodies now crave them we are, in many ways, junk addicts -
In recent years pressure from industry and Government has improved our labeling - but in reality how many of us read the small print? We need as consumers to take back control of our trolleys! Say no to the soda, the double cheeseburger and extra fries and regain a sense of control - ditch the junk!
FACT: Saying NO to the processed, the pre-packaged and the chemically modified food stuffs will not only help our burgeoning waist lines it will dramatically reduce the waste mountain!
World Obesity Figures:
France: Concerns over the nations health moves higher on the political agenda as 11-12 per cent of French children are now classified as obese!
China: Obesity figures in China have increased by some 97 per cent in the past 10 years - some 200 million people are thought to be overweight whilst some 60 million are considered obese!
Fact: China is now home to some 800+ Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets and over 100 Pizza Huts.
Spain: Over 38 per cent of the adult population are considered overweight and the Government has taken a strong line with food companies in order to tackle the rising problem. Food companies have been required to reduce the amount of fats, sodium and salt in all of their produce. Meanwhile food and drink vending machines are being removed from schools and other public places.
India: Obesity figures have caused widespread concern, especially in many of India's growing cities where 30 per cent of adolescents are overweight.
Did You Know: India's fast-food industry is growing by a whopping 40 per cent per annum whilst 25 per cent of the population are still classified as undernourished.
Malaysia: The modern, more sedentary lifestyle is taking it's toll on many of Malaysia's young where 80 per cent of their total leisure time is now spent watching TV!
Sri Lanka: Again the modern high fat, low nutritional value lifestyle, is of growing concern as more and more of the countries children (14 %) who live in many of towns and cities are classified as overweight.
FACT: McDonald's operates over 30,000 restaurants in some 119 countries and serves some 46 million people every day!
America: The obesity crisis has reached epic proportions for here 65.2 per cent of the population or 127 million adults are overweight and 60 million or 30.5 per cent of them are classified as obese.
FACT: Children who are given fizzy and sugar-sweetened drinks on a regular basis are much more likely to have a weight problem.
Improving our diet, contrary to what we may believe, is not hard, nor will it cost us more in terms of time or money. The first step is to recognize, that a diet high in fat, salt and sugar is of low-nutritional value and with every additional meal, we are increasing our chances of becoming overweight or obese. As obesity figures soar, the cost of treating many often, life threatening diet-related diseases including, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart problems will spiral ever upward.
The Golden Rules
As boring as it sounds READ THE LABEL
Learn the food groups, each day we need to eat food from all 5 categories for more information visit
Avoid the ‘E" - Foods containing the many E-numbers are not good so avoid them! a great guide to the E- numbers in food can be found at http://www.ukfoodguide. co.net
Eat breakfast - breakfast is them most important meal of the day it wakes our metabolism and gives us the energy to concentrate through our morning slog! Replace high sugar and sugar coated cereals with low sugar alternatives - too much sugar sends your blood sugar levels spiraling and then you crash - which starts you snacking its a vicious cycle.
Say NO to mid-morning snacks - snacking in between meals is NOT good - if you want something make it a healthy option.
Throw a dinner party! spend some time with people you like!
Encourage - your children to cook
Start a vegetable patch! another great way to teach our children about the food they take for granted
Reduce Your salt /sodium in take. Switch to a lo-sodium alternative
Did You Know? Each slice of bread can contain an almighty 200mg of salt! and hidden in your bowl of cornflakes is another 360mg of the stuff.
NB 1 teaspoon of salt is the equivalent to 200 mg of sodium.
Make Your Own - if you have time why not make your own bread ! Or buy a bread maker!
Cut Down On Additives.
Cut Down On Preservatives.
FACT: Children who constantly snack in between meals are, invariably fussy eaters - so banish the snack and they will soon feel hungry at meal times!
Remember: Chips are not vegetables - they are potatoes which are carbohydrate - we can still eat chips ‘hurrah’ but we cannot eat them every day!
Say no to low sugar alternatives - ban the sweetener!
Did you know? Aspartame E951 (Nutrasweet) is 200 times sweeter than sugar.
FACT: Tartrazine E102 - Is a common yellow food colourant that experts believe has a direct link to hyperactivity!
Make mealtimes fun - Let's face it our lives are pretty chaotic - so why not step back and enjoy some quality time together.
Picnic - Remember the good old days? - so next time you fancy going out for the day say no to the drive through and pack a tumultuous picnic the kid's will love it and so will you.
Did You Know? There are literally hundreds of thousands of easy to prepare meals in under 20 minutes! so make one today!
Join - The slow food movement is gathering momentum across the world to find out more visit http://wwwslowfood.com
Remember No Matter What It Is. . . Enjoy Your Food
Christine Farrell is the founder of http://www.climate-information.com the first web site to put the subject of climate change into a global context. Developed to help everyday people understand the role we play in the bigger picture. Climate-information.com delivers timely, global information on climate change, deforestation, our diet, water, saving energy and much much more. .