Britain is getting fatter by the day
George W. Bush is apparently the fittest president of the United States in recent history. A few months ago he personally advised the nation to slim down and avoid obesity. It seems that on this side of the Atlantic we have a similar problem with the bulge. All the papers focused on how fat we have become as a nation.
The Daily Express hit us with the happy news that one in three of us looks destined to be obese by the year 2020. In the past two decades, obesity has become four times more common in men and three times more common in women and children. Why is this so? It certainly isn’t due to better television. Or maybe the dumbing down of our national pastime has actually turned more people into snack-munching couch potatoes.
Let us be clear about this word ‘obesity’. The most reliable indicator of your ideal weight is your body mass index or BMI. This is calculated by dividing your mass in kg by the square of your height in metres.
Thus BMI = kg/m²
Okay, I know it’s a hassle to calculate and you also need to factor in your age. Fortunately there is a website that makes this all incredibly simple.
Go to http://www.halls.md/body-mass-index/av.htm and simply put in your weight, height and age in pounds, kilograms, metres or inches and it will calculate your BMI. Then you will know just how fat/thin/normal you are.
If you are 1 – 10% heavier than you should be, call yourself ‘slightly overweight’
If you are 10 – 20% heavier than you should be, call yourself ‘overweight’.
If you are 20% heavier than you should be you are officially obese.
Regular readers of this column will know how much I dislike and distrust ‘diets’ of all kinds. Every year some new diet guru becomes a multi-millionaire by duping people into believing his or her particular fad diet is the answer. Thin people eat what they like but only when hungry. They also tend to exercise. If you are overweight and want to lose weight you are going to have to endure being hungry for a while and you are going to have to do some exercise. When you feel hungry and you don’t immediately gratify that hunger, you lose weight. On reaching your ideal weight, you only eat when hungry and you try to make healthy foods the mainstay of your eating habits. Simple isn’t it? Don’t take my word for it; ask any slim person.
Homeopathic Tip of the Week: Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil really is good for you. Our grandparents used to recommend it for everything but nothing was proved. Now the men in white coats at Cardiff University have proved that cod liver oil helps keep cartilage healthy. This is very important as cartilage protects the ends of bones in our joints. Unhealthy cartilage predisposes us to osteoarthritis, the arthritis of ‘wear and tear’. Apparently cod liver oil reduces the level the enzyme that causes cartilage damage and this was proved in clinical trial in which patients getting 2g of cod liver oil (that’s 2 big capsules, much less than our grandparents’ recommended tablespoon!) had much less cartilage damage than the patients in the trial receiving a placebo. And we know that fish oils are also good for lowering our cholesterol. So next time you visit your granny, be sure to listen to her advice.