The World's Fattest Countries 12/21/2009
In countries around the world, waistlines are expanding so rapidly that health experts recently coined a term for the epidemic: globesity. One in three of the world’s adults is overweight and one in 10 is obese.
Here are the Top 10 Fattest Countries in the world, based on national health surveys the World Health Organization (WHO) compiled between 2000 and 2008.
1) American Samoa, 93.5 percent (of population that's overweight)
Traditionally, Pacific Islanders ate native foods high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat. That began to change dietary habits as family members abroad introduced those back home to Western eating.
2) Kiribati, 81.5 percent
Between 1964 and 2001, food imports to the least developed Pacific nations, such as Kiribati, increased six-fold. Those imports led to a huge influx in fatty food and processed meat, such as Spam and mutton flaps (fatty sheep scraps).
3) U.S., 66.7 percent
In the early 1960’s, 24 percent of Americans were overweight. Today, two-thirds of Americans are too fat, and the numbers on the scale keep going up. Health experts attribute the rise to an over-production of oil, fat and sugar -- the result of government farm subsidies started in the 1970’s that made it much cheaper to manufacture products like high fructose corn syrup, a common ingredient in processed foods.
4) Germany, 66.5 percent
When Germany found out that it was the fattest nation in Europe, health experts blamed the usual suspects: beer, fatty foods and lack of physical activity. Like the rest of the world, Germans are suffering from an easy availability of junk food and more sedentary jobs and lifestyles.
5) Egypt, 66 percent
In the 1960’s, Egypt produced enough food to feed its people a steady diet of red meat, poultry, lentils, maize and dairy products. But by the 1980’s, the population had outgrown food production, leading to an increase in food imports that created poorer eating habits.
6) Bosnia-Herzegovina, 62.9 percent
Smoking, drinking and eating unhealthy foods spiked during the war that ravaged the country from 1992 to 1995. Those living just above the poverty line are gaining weight the fastest, partly because of the tendency to fill up on cheap processed foods high in calories and low on nutritional value.
7) New Zealand, 62.7 percent
Researchers found that how much time New Zealand children spend watching television is a better predictor of obesity than what they eat or how much they exercise. The study found that 41 percent of the children who were overweight by age 26 were those who had watched the most TV.
8) Israel, 61.9 percent
In the past 30 years, the number of obese Israelis has tripled. As in most developed countries, obesity is most prevalent among Israelis with less education.
9) Croatia, 61.4 percent
Croatia is a victim of the globalization of the food market, which tends to suppress traditional diets as cheaper processed foods from the U.S. and Europe flood store shelves.
10) United Kingdom, 61 percent
A recent survey ranked the British among the bottom third of European nations in physical exercise, leading Health Secretary Andy Burnham to comment, "We're really in danger of being known as the best in the world for watching sport, but one of the worst for getting out there and doing it for ourselves."
7 Diet Choices that Combat Depression 12/21/2009
7 Diet Choices that Combat Depression
Food is not just something that tastes good. What we eat and ingest really is our fuel for life. Food can also alter brain chemistry and physiology. Every system in the body is inter-related. The following 7 dietary choices can help combat depression.
1. High Nutrient Content
Refined and processed foods contain very little nutrition as compared to whole foods. Vitamins and minerals synthetically added to foods, as in “enriched” products are often in forms that aren’t easily utilized by the body. The synergy involved in the many compounds that make up whole foods adds to their effectiveness.
Trans-continental and industrially farmed and raised food products have much less nutrition than organic and local sources. Genetic engineering, the use of pesticides and herbicides, high-volume planting methods, feeding methods and transport time all degrade the nutrients in food.
2. High Antioxidant Content
High levels of antioxidants in plant foods protect the body from free radicals. The brain is especially vulnerable to damage done by free radicals. Important antioxidants include:
Beta-carotene (found in apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, collard greens, peaches, pumpkins, spinach and sweet potatoes)
Vitamin C (found in blueberries, broccoli, citrus fruits, peppers, strawberries and tomatoes)
Vitamin E (found in nuts and seeds)
3. Healthy Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates boost the calming neurotransmitter, serotonin. Simple carbohydrates wreak havoc on our blood sugar levels and can increase depressive symptoms over the long run. Healthy carbohydrate choices include sprouted whole grains, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds.
4. High Protein Content
Protein-rich foods contain the amino acid tyrosine, which boost levels of the neurotransmitters, dopamine and norepinephrine. These alertness chemicals are raised by protein-rich choices like beans and peas, chicken, lean grass-fed beef, raw milk and turkey.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D levels are very low in those who suffer from depression and heart disease. Sunlight is our best source of Vitamin D, but supplementation of Vitamin D3 has been found to help those suffering from winter depression. Foods fortified with vitamin D usually have the not-so-effective D2 form, rather than the more bioavailable D3.
Vitamin D levels are linked to melatonin levels. Melatonin is secreted as we sleep normally and increases during seasonal changes in daylight. Melatonin increases appetite, decreases alertness, and affects mood.
The recommended upper limit for vitamin D intake is 2,000 IU, but many researchers now believe that number should be the baseline instead, and that 5,000-10,000 IU is a better bet. You can order testing kits on the Internet to test your Vitamin D levels at home.
Selenium supplementation has been found to decrease depressive symptoms in a study of the elderly. It’s easy to take too much selenium in supplement form so whole foods are a better choice.
Selenium is found in beans, lean meat, legumes, seafood, nuts and seeds and whole grains.
7. Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids include omega-3’s, omega-6’s and omega-9’s. I talk a lot about the importance of adding omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, but what most people don’t realize is that it is the proper balance of these fatty acids that matter for both physical and mental health.
Fatty acids are most concentrated in the membranes of brain cells.
The western diet is high in omega-6 and 9 fatty acids, which leads to imbalance of fatty acid levels. The deficit of omega-3 fatty acids is linked to depression. The low incidence of depression among Mediterranean peoples is thought to be partially due to their ingestion of fish—a good source of omega-3’s. Studies of those who eat little fish find that depression increases in such populations.
Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include oily, cold-water fish, dark and leafy green vegetables, flaxseed, and nuts.
Depression should be addressed at every level: mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. That’s how I would recommend anyone to address their health in general. The foods we eat really do affect every system in our bodies and can have a tremendous impact on someone suffering from depression.
1.Change your shopping habits. Look for locally grown, organic produce and protein sources. Farmer’s markets and organic co-ops are great resources for this.
2.Replace all refined grains (like white bread, white rice and white pasta) with healthier carbohydrate choices such as vegetables and sprouted grains like Ezekiel bread.
3.Supplement with 1 Tbsp. of cod liver oil or 1 krill oil capsule daily for the Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin D found in them.
4.Spend at least 15 minutes in direct sunlight each day with at least half of your body exposed. If this is not possible due to the weather, consider having your Vitamin D levels tested and supplementing with Vitamin D3.
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Healing Headaches with Chiropractic Care 12/21/2009
Since she was a child, Erin suffered from migraine headaches that would keep her in bed and black out her vision. It wasn't until she took a high school job at a chiropractor's office that she cracked open a cure.
"I thought I was cursed with debilitating headaches for my whole life."
When I was having headaches as a child, there were days that I could not go to school, there were days that I could not get out of bed, I could not see because I was blacked out. I couldn't go out and play with my friends.
My mom took me to the medical doctor, who thought I was having muscle spasms and muscle tension. I was put on muscle relaxers, but I still had headaches. Nobody knew what could help me. I never thought I would get rid of them.
"I took a job with a chiropractor, and it changed my life."
When I first started working for this chiropractor I had no idea what chiropractic was. I had never even heard of it, and I had no clue what a chiropractic adjustment consisted of. My chiropractor diagnosed me with migraine headaches and started to help me. I was on a really good treatment plan, about three times a week for awhile, and by the end of it I had no headaches.
"I get adjusted every two to three weeks, and rarely do I get headaches."
Every once in awhile I do get headaches due to stress and tension, everyday stresses, but I still get chiropractic care. My headaches are nothing like they used to be. Taking that job saved my life, and I couldn't imagine what the case would be if I never saw a chiropractor. It changed my life.
"It helped me so much I decided to be a chiropractor."
I have worked for chiropractors since I was 16; I have never left chiropractic. It has been a huge part of my life, and I ended up going to school to become a chiropractor and open my own practice. I have been able to educate people into understanding why they get headaches and how chiropractic can help them. For instance, most headaches are caused by a misalignment of the upper cervical vertebrae, C-1 and C-2. Simple adjustments can correct the misalignment and provide relief for headache sufferers.
A lot of temporal mandibular joint (TMJ) problems are caused by upper cervical misalignments as well. I have been able to help people with TMJ syndrome by helping fix the misalignments in their upper cervical spine and then fixing the muscles associated with the TMJ joint.
Ever since I was introduced to chiropractic it has completely changed my life, and I went into practice knowing that I was going to change the lives of others the way it has changed mine.
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Did you know that people who are under regular wellness chiropractic care spend an average of 46-69% less on their overall health care expenses? 12/16/2009
Did you know that people who are under regular wellness chiropractic care spend an average of 46-69% less on their overall health care expenses? They also spend fewer days in hospital's an nursing homes, take 50% fewer medications and report more active overall lifestyles than those NOT under regular chiropractic care...
President Obama told ABC News’ Charles Gibson in an interview that if Congress does not pass health care legislation that will bring down costs, the federal government “will go bankrupt.”
The president laid out a dire scenario of what will happen if his health care reform effort fails.
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CDC Study Expected to Announce 1 in 100 Autism Rate—A Startling 50% Jump in Just Two Years. Evidence Points to an Environmental Trigger. 12/16/2009
CDC Study Expected to Announce 1 in 100 Autism Rate—A Startling 50% Jump in Just Two Years. Evidence Points to an Environmental Trigger. SafeMinds calls for more targeted environmental research and vaccine safety studies to begin immediately.
Atlanta, GA – Researchers report that autism has risen to an epidemic rate of 1 in 100 children in a study to be released on Friday by the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network office of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), This rate represents a 50% increase between the two birth cohort years of 1994 and 1996 and mirrors a recent study released by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which found a rate of 1 in 91 children, 1 in 58 boys.
The monthly blogs you find here are written by various members of the Discovery Wellness Team with the intention of inspiring you to lead an informed, healthy, and balanced life.