Did The Pandemic Reveal The REAL State Of Our Health?
Now that we have moved back to a 'more normal' way of life, I think it's time that we evaluate our health ... or lack of.
Another way to look at this is to consider our resilience. In other words, how well do we feel and how likely are we to pick up viruses, infections or other illnesses?
In our beautiful country most of us have access to fresh food, clean water, clean air and can enjoy spending time in nature. We have all that's needed to keep ourselves and our families healthy and well.
Our country is seen as a clean, green paradise. We are being praised by other countries for our measures and results with the current health pandemic.
We Are NOT As Healthy As We Thought!
It turns out we are not as healthy as we think and, in many areas, not even as healthy as we used to be. Most of our health issues are caused by lifestyle choices.
Lifestyle diseases cannot be treated with medications, surgery, washing hands more often, physical distancing, vaccines or vitamins.
The best way and most powerful first-line approach is to modify how and what we eat - the 'Food first approach'.
The REAL Epidemics We Are Facing:
According to the New Zealand Ministry of Health, 34% of adults are overweight; 32% are obese.
So, at least 66% of our population are either overweight or obese!
New Zealand has the 1/3 highest adult obesity rate in the OECD and it's on the rise so clearly our current approach is NOT working!
Why is obesity a concern?
Research has proven there is an association between excess weight and health problems.
Being overweight, or obese, can lower your quality of life as well as decreasing life expectancy. It makes moving around more difficult, and is harder on your heart, muscles, bones and joints.
Obesity in adults is associated with a long list of health conditions including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Ischaemic heart disease (IHD)
- everal common cancers
- Sleep apnoea
- Reproductive abnormalities
Obesity in children increases the likelihood of:
- Being obese as an adult
- Abnormal lipid profiles
- Impaired glucose tolerance
- High blood pressure
- Musculoskeletal problems
- Psychological problems including body dissatisfaction, poor self-esteem, depression and other mental health problems.
2. Diabetes Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes
Approximately 250,000 NZers have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and many more are undiagnosed. Now it is estimated 1 in 4 NZers have Pre-Diabetes!
And this is continuing to increase at a much higher rate than previously predicted.
We also have an increasing incidence of Gestational Diabetes in pregnant women.
This results in a huge burden on our current health system.
3. Coronary Artery Disease
This is the most common type of heart disease and happens when the arteries that supply blood to your heart muscle (the coronary arteries) become hardened and narrowed.
A gradual blockage can result in angina whereas a sudden or severe blockage can cause a heart attack or cardiac arrest.
- Coronary artery disease and stroke are the number one causes of death and disability in New Zealand.
- One in 20 adults have been diagnosed with heart disease. That's more than 165,000 New Zealand adults.
- Every 90 minutes a New Zealander dies from heart disease. Many of these deaths could be prevented.
Other Serious Health Issues
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Fatty liver disease
- Joint pain
- Depression and other mental health issues
- Autoimmune conditions
- Dementia and Alzheimer's
- And many types of Cancer
Health Issues Directly Affect Our Resistence Or Recovery From Viruses
There are many other health issues that we face, but interestingly, these are the ones that have been found to increase risk of having a more severe reaction to the current virus as well as other illnesses or even recovery from surgery.
Globally, reports have shown that poorer health, such as obesity, Diabetes, and those on medications, are more at risk, and tend to take longer to recover.
In a way, the virus has highlighted our weaknesses as a human population in many ways, and clearly shows that our current approaches are not working.
I believe the solution needs to be multi-pronged and the problem is not just caused by one single factor.
Starting with our food choices is the one area that can give us the most health benefits.
Getting Started With Simple Positive Changes You Can Make
Over the last few months, I've been seeing a lot of positive health changes with my clients. Here's some of the simpler things they've been doing:
- Daily walking outside in nature
- Spending more time relaxing / meditating or being creative with music or art
- Starting to grow some vegetables and planning for growing more food at home
- Cooking and eating meals at home with family and including more whole real foods and vegetables
- Reducing intake of sugary foods and packet-type products
- Spending more time having fun as a family
The choices we make now will define our health for the rest of our lives. It's never too late to make changes and often the results of making small changes, to what we eat and how we live, can be massive and life changing.
My clients have reported being able to avoid, reduce or stop medications, reverse Pre-Diabetes or Type 2 Diabetes, enable easier safer control of Type 1 Diabetes and improved energy levels and clearer focus. They've also reported improved mood and feeling younger with the changes they have made and feel in control of their health again.
If you would like help and support on the road to good health with a holistic, natural approach, I have appointments available now.
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