RobardUser Robard Corporation | January 2015

Should You Be Told What to Drink?

"All the credible evidence highlights that, as a nation, we are consuming too much sugar in our diet.”

From what you continuously hear, if I asked you what nation this person is referring to your first guess would most likely be the United States. Correct? However this quote shows that obesity is a global problem just as much as it is a domestic one.

The person that said this was Amanda Avery, the vice-chair of Dietitians in Obesity Management for the British Dietetic Association (BDA), think of them as the UK’s Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Amanda was commenting about a statement made by the BDA suggesting new policies be implemented in an effort to stymie the over-consumption of sugary drinks throughout the United Kingdom.

Polices entailed amongst other things:

·         A range of public policies to reduce the frequency and amount of sugary drinks consumed by children and adolescents

·         Tax on sugary drinks

·         School based education programs

If this sounds familiar, it should. New York City issued a policy in 2013 on soft drinks. Even though the court of appeals denied the policy to proceed in 2014, the reasons for its implementation have a striking resemblance to our friends across the pond.  “A historic step to address a major health problem of our time," was the words of Former New York Health Commissioner, Thomas Farley.

Some may argue that there is overreaching in attempts to regulate what someone actually eats or drinks, but can it be argued that their heart is in the right place? Obesity is a growing epidemic in the United Kingdom, and over half the adults in New York City are overweight, as well as 40 percent of kids in public school. However, the “ask for forgiveness, not permission” approach may not be the best way to go about convincing people to eat healthier.

You have to wonder if efforts maybe better invested if we continue to create ways to teach people how to eat healthier and covering all bases of a healthy diet as oppose to just focusing on one part of it. What do you think?

Source: DNAinfo,  British Dietetic Association


Couples More Likely to Lose Weight

One of the main roles of our significant other is to be our support system; it’s no different in our weight loss journey. There was actually a study done to observe the benefits of lifestyle changes in couples. What they found is more a reinforcement as oppose to a revelation, we’re more likely to make adjustments to our lifestyle and stick with them if our significant other joins us in changing their lifestyle as well.

"Unhealthy lifestyles are a leading cause of death from chronic disease worldwide. The key lifestyle risks are smoking, excess weight, physical inactivity, poor diet, and alcohol consumption. Swapping bad habits for good ones can reduce the risk of disease, including cancer,” says Professor Jane Wardle, one of the study’s authors and director of Cancer Research UK's Health Behavior Research Centre at UCL (University College London).

Lasting lifestyle adjustments can be difficult to keep up, especially if you go at it alone. However, having someone consistently providing encouragement is needed to get going and if you can provide encouragement in return it only increases the likelihood that both parties are successful. Remember, support and encouragement doesn’t stop at your significant other, don’t hesitate to include your friends or co-workers as well in this journey as well. 

Source: Cancer Research UK


Being Overweight is Too Expensive

As if there was another reason you needed to lose weight other than improved health, a recent study showed how much damage obesity can do to your wallet. Researchers at the University of Illinois sought out to see how much health care cost differs between people that are obese and smokers compared to people that are not.

What they found is that smokers and obese patients pay as much as $1,300 more in annual healthcare expenses than their non-smoking and non-obese counterparts.

Where does the additional cost come from? “Out-of-pocket medical expenses, inpatient and outpatient care, emergency room visits and prescription drugs all contribute to the added health care expenditures, with inpatient prescriptions contributing the most,” says Ruopeng An, professor of kinesiology and community health at the University of Illinois, as well as the conductor of this study.

As we have mentioned before, obesity comes with other ailments. The unfortunate reality is when those ailments need to be treated, in ways such as doctor visits and prescribed medication; it cost money, not only in the short-term, but in the long term as well.

When you look at your $30 a month gym fee or how much you spend on produce, it pales in comparison to what the potential and realistic rising cost your healthcare may take continuing down a less healthy road. Maybe we should treat obesity as those expensive shoes or clothes we at times need to pry ourselves away from and just say “I can’t afford it.” 

Source: University of Illinois