Modern Day Malnutrition
The state of our health has become very disordered lately, with the alarming increase of chronic disease, obesity, digestive issues, depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. The World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization published a study in 2002 (WHO/FAO TRS 96) clearly indicating the correlation with diet and lifestyle that shows if we made simple changes we would prevent many of today’s common health problems. We have become a nation of 1st world malnourished people. How can that be?
First of all, our bodies are an amazing combination of machine and chemistry lab. When finely tuned they run smoothly and we don’t even have to think about them. With the proper raw ingredients, our machine performs the right chemical reactions at the right time to fuel its performance and maintenance. These chemical reactions include processes such as digestion, hormone production, detoxification, mood regulation and energy production. But like a high performance car that runs on high-octane fuel, our bodies need high quality food for optimum performance.
What people don’t realize is, when we don’t fuel our bodies properly with the nutrients we need, all of these processes break down quickly. When we are missing key nutrients for one process, our bodies try to borrow from another process: a “robbing Peter to pay Paul” scenario. This leads to short-term stress, which leads to acute illness, which leads eventually to chronic disease. One of the most common chronic disease risk factors today is obesity. While it tends to be thought of as a disease of excess, it is almost always accompanied by malnutrition, because a healthy well-nourished body doesn’t have the cravings for the sweets and carbs that a malnourished body has. When in a deficiency state, the body is going to demand to be fed and no amount of willpower can resist until our body is satisfied.
The other disturbing trend finds these chronic diseases affecting people at younger ages. A 2013 longitudinal, cohort study called Today's adult generations are less healthy than their predecessors: generation shifts in metabolic risk factors: the Doetinchem Cohort Study quotes Gerben Hulsegge in a EurekAlert! press release: "The prevalence of obesity in our youngest generation of men and women at the mean age of 40 is similar to that of our oldest generation at the mean age of 55. This means that this younger generation is '15 years ahead' of the older generation and will be exposed to their obesity for a longer time." We are clogging our medical system with highly preventable conditions. We know everything we need to improve this situation, but why aren’t we doing it?
We need to move away from highly processed foods from which nutrients are removed for improved processing and storability and toward nutrient dense, whole food that is raised naturally and sustainably. Do we want our food to last on the shelf for 3-5 years and beyond or do we want to add this shelf life to our bodies?
To quote 90s fitness guru Susan Powter, it’s time to “Stop the Insanity” and nourish our bodies to look and feel great and have the energy to do what we want and be alive and vibrant to care for our families, our communities and the planet.
So if you'd like to "Stop the Insanity" and find out how to change your malnutrition status click here to read more about our programming and schedule a free initial assessment and see what is right for you.
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Tanya Sullivan is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant with many opinions on the state of our food and health.
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