The food that we eat not only affects us physically but impacts our emotional and mental health and well-being. With the prevalence of unhealthy eating in our societies, it is an issue that impacts both the family unit as well as the public at large.
(1) The personal effects of unhealthy eating.
Sustained unhealthy eating habits normally results in weight gain depending on how active the person is and also taking into account their body’s metabolism. Carrying excess weight puts additional pressure on all our body’s organs. Everything within us has to work harder and this additional internal stress can and does weaken our organs and compromise our health.
We cannot see our organs in action and how they are functioning every day to know whether we are taking care of them or not. So we need to start listening to our bodies more. How do we feel…honestly? Eating McDonalds seven days a week might temporarily satisfy your taste buds but what is it doing to your overall health? Do you feel fantastic after eating burgers and chips and consuming soft drink? Your answer may be Yes. If it is, it’s not surprising when you think about the energy intake you have just consumed BUT this is part of the problem – an excessive consumption of energy which the body simply doesn’t need.
In accordance with lifestyle and heredity, long term unhealthy eating can lead to many, many health problems a few of which are:-
- Hypertension ( High Blood pressure)
- High Cholesterol
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Sleep Apnoea
- Poor self esteem
- Eating disorders
- Premature death
If you have struggled with food and establishing healthy eating patterns for most of your life, ask yourself whether you want your children to have the same struggles as you? If you don’t, then be strong and take action for the benefit of your children and yourself. It may not be easy but it may be one of the greatest gifts you could give your children; an appreciation and an exposure to good, wholesome, healthy foods and the formation of healthy eating habits.
(2) The public effects of unhealthy eating.
If the habit of unhealthy eating is not broken, it increasingly becomes a public health crisis. Added pressure is put on governments and the health care system to deal with this growing problem for which there is a solution.
In a nutshell, eat less and exercise more. Eat natural foods and avoid fast food and soft drinks which tend to be high in sugar, salt and saturated fats.
All of our choices have consequences whether we tend to believe it or not. It’s easy for us to munch on something and forget about the consequences because the process of food being digested and absorbed and hence affecting the body is largely unnoticed except for weight gain or when there is an acute problem.
The reality is everything we eat affects our bodies in some way- whether it is positive or negative. Certain foods don’t agree with our constitutions and if we are in tune with our bodies we learn to avoid such foods especially those foods we are allergic to. As we get older, our bodies can become less tolerant to certain foods as well.
We all have a relationship with food. Is your relationship with it a positive one whereby you are nurturing your body or is it a destructive one whereby you may be taking out your emotions on food, over eating for the sake of over eating or just continuing a bad habit?
If you realise your eating patterns could be improved upon to become healthier, DON’T DELAY! Seek advice and support to help you transition to a healthier lifestyle. You deserve it and so does your family.
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Wishing you all the very best.