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Editorial | Fork over knives

Let us have a respite from the excitement of Monday’s electoral exercise and dwell on some issues that confront us, elections or not.

Health should never be taken for granted. And with the rising number of people with diabetes  and hypertension, nutritionists and doctors are looking at ways to keep illness at bay. There is a documentary shown at Netflix  with the title ‘Fork over Knives’ that traced how Americans and later, the world, became unhealthy as their economy improved over the years. It bears watching.

People living in highly urbanized areas lead a more fast paced and stressful lives, and compounded with pollution and quick greasy food, all redound to a lifestyle that is less than ideal. While there is a trend in eating healthy, nutritious food, many people, especially the younger set are still gaining excess weight.

A study shows that being overweight cuts lifespan by one to 10 years.

The University of Cambridge released a report that the “risk of dying before your 70th birthday grows steadily and steeply along with an expanding waistline.”

The risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and cancer are increased. In The Lancet medical journal, a study using data from almost four million adults in four continents found that “overweight people lost about a year of life expectancy on average, and “moderately obese” people about three years.”

Lifestyle changes have to be made at this time when everything seems to happen at a faster pace. Our diet which is rich in processed food and less in vegetables and fruits is obviously not good for our health. Being inactive is not helping, too.

So how do we respond to this trend?  First, studying the diet of our ancestors might give us some answers. Vegetables and fruits have given way to sugar-rich and calorie- packing fastfood and beverages. Second, people need to have space to walk around or engage in enjoyable activities. Lastly, let us strive for a wholesome lifestyle with less stress and more quality time with the family.

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