This article covers a topic I hold near and dear to my heart – family health and wellness. As a husband and father, I take this topic very seriously, because my family is why I do what I do. They make me strive to be the best I can be, because children follow our example and ultimately become their parents.
Let’s look at obesity in the world today, as well as some simple yet effective methods to create a healthier household for not only us parents, but also for our beautiful children.
Real Talk Alert!
Globally, obesity has been on a steady incline. According to the World Health Organization, as of 2016 it has been estimated that more than 1.9 billion adults, age 18 and older, suffer from some level of being overweight, including severe obesity. That is over one-fourth of the world’s population.
Sadly, in the same time period, more than 381 million children, ages 1 to 19, were diagnosed as being overweight or obese, and that number is growing steadily. This should be completely unacceptable, but since we’re all so busy with our daily lives, we’ve turned a blind eye to the issue. Visit www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/ for more information on obesity.
Children and adults alike are suffering from obesity-related illnesses and struggling to get through life. Cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and some cancers linked to obesity are also on an incline. Lives are being lost and children are not playing with their parents or friends because of a lack of energy, motivation, or even ability to do so. This is heartbreaking to me.
We all know this needs to change. Even so, I understand when you say, “I don’t have time to make healthy meals,” “I can’t afford to feed my family healthy options,” or “I simply don’t know what foods are healthy anymore.” Like many of you, I’ve been stuck in those thought patterns before. I know what it’s like to feel helpless or lost in the vast aisles of horribly processed “food.” But one day, I decided to take a step back and really look at what was available at local food stores. I discovered a couple key things that really opened my eyes.
First, there are, and always have been, healthy options to eat – options that would leave me feeling energetically satisfied and without a horrible feeling of guilt or disgust after eating them. Secondly, convenience equals regret, health problems, and in the end, a potential lost fortune in medical bills.
Before I set forth on my journey to become a health and wellness professional, I was eating uncontrollably. I was eating when I was sad, happy, as a reward, to pass the time … you get the idea. And, almost all of it was processed, ready-to-eat meals. This, in turn, left me with an expanded waistline and lots of trips to doctors’ offices for stomach issues which led to expensive medical bills. Even after a surgery, they couldn’t resolve my problems. It wasn’t until I started eating how we were meant to eat that my stomach problems finally went away.
These truths made it clear to me how I let my “too busy” lifestyle get in the way of my health. So, I educated myself and have continued to push everyday toward new ideas, hoping to find healthy solutions.
Grocery Shopping 101
Here are a few ways you can help your household to eat right:
- Before visiting the grocery store, make a list. Studies show those who plan meals before heading to the store will often stick to the list and avoid splurge items, saving money and avoiding junk food.
- Keep it simple! Remember, if it comes in a box, bag, or can, it usually means avoid at all costs, due to chemical processing, added sugars and artificial ingredients. There are exceptions to this, such as frozen vegetables in bags, but still, it is a safe rule of thumb. Ask yourself: did this product come from a farm or factory? Avoid factory-produced items as much as you
- Stick to the outer aisles of the grocery store. Almost all the natural foods are going to be in these areas, such as meats, produce, and dairy.
More and more stores are offering free grocery pickup and/or delivery with purchase. If you plan your meals ahead of shopping, you can purchase everything you need online, then simply pick up the completed order. This saves time and pretty much eliminates splurge buying. Some restrictions may apply, so please check with your local grocery store for more information.