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7 Bad Eating Habits You Should Change Immediately

People are obsessed with dieting and weight loss! Don't believeme? Just tune-in to any source of're instantlybombarded with the latest diet schemes and "Hollywood" foodfads.

Here in America, we have built a thriving industry trying tocontrol our weight and treat the consequences of over-indulgence.The cost of weight loss and obesity related health caretreatments is staggering...Americans alone spend around $114billion every year! And even with all this interest in losingweight, we continue to pack on the pounds like never before...

- A whopping 64 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight orobese...up about eight percent from earlier estimates.

- Among children and teens ages 6-19, 15 percent or almost ninemillion are overweight...triple the rate in 1980!

- Nearly one-third of all adults are now classified as obese.

For Americans, modern life may be getting TOO easy. Our cushylifestyle means we expend less energy and consequently need fewercalories to sustain our normal body weight.

Think about it for a moment...

Entertainment no longer requires energy expenditure. In fact,it's usually quite the opposite. We now entertain ourselves inthe comfort of our own home while watching TV and munching on ourfavorite snack. Whether it's television, computers, remotecontrols, or automobiles, we are moving less and burning fewercalories. Common activities that were once a part of our normalroutine have disappeared...activities like climbing stairs,pushing a lawn mower or walking to get somewhere.

And please do not misunderstand me...I appreciate comfortableliving just as much as the next person. But, here is theproblem...

With all of our modern day conveniences and "cushy" style ofliving we have not adjusted our caloric intake to compensate forour decreased caloric expenditure. We consume more calorie richand nutrient deficient foods than ever before. Consider a few ofthe following examples comparing what we eat "today" vs the1970's (U.S. Department of Agriculture survey):

- We are currently eating more grain products, but almost all ofthem are refined grains (white bread, etc.). Grain consumptionhas jumped 45 percent since the 1970's, from 138 pounds of grainsper person per year to 200 pounds! Only 2 percent of the wheatflour is consumed as whole wheat.

- Our consumption of fruits and vegetables has increased, butonly because French fries and potato chips are included asvegetables. Potato products account for almost a third of our"produce" choices.

- We're drinking less milk, but we've more than doubled ourcheese intake. Cheese now outranks meat as the number one sourceof saturated fat in our diets.

- We've cut back on red meat, but have more than made up for theloss by increasing our intake of chicken (battered and fried), sothat overall, we're eating 13 pounds more meat today than we didback in the 1970's.

- We're drinking three times more carbonated soft drinks thanmilk, compared to the 1970's, when milk consumption was twicethat of pop.

- We use 25 percent less butter, but pour twice as much vegetableoil on our food and salads, so our total added fat intake hasincreased 32 percent.

- Sugar consumption has been another cause of our expandingwaistlines. Sugar intake is simply off the charts. People areconsuming roughly twice the amount of sugar they need each day,about 20 teaspoons on a 2000 calorie/day diet. The added sugar isfound mostly in junk foods, such as pop, cake, and cookies. In1978, the government found that sugars constituted only 11percent of the average person's calories. Now, this number hasballooned to 16 percent for the average American adult and asmuch as 20 percent for American teenagers!

Unfortunately, it would seem that the days of wholesome andnutritious family dinners are being replaced by fast food andeating on-the-run. We have gradually come to accept that it's"OK" to sacrifice healthy foods for the sake of convenience andthat larger serving portions equate to better value.

It's time recognize that we are consuming too many calories andtime to start doing something about it! Each of us can decideTODAY that healthy eating and exercise habits WILL become anormal part of our life!

We can begin by exploring our values, thoughts and habits...slowly and deliberately weed-out the unhealthy habits andactivities and start living a more productive and rewarding life.And remember, it has taken a long time to develop bad habits, sobe patient as you work toward your goal!

The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any health care program.

Emily Clark is editor at Lifestyle Health News and Medical Health News where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on many medical, health and lifestyle topics.



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