Today, obesity is a problem in a large number of countries particularly in the Western world. Since the 1980's the number of obese people in the UK has tripled and today almost 60% of the population are either fat or obese. Even more worrying are the growing numbers of obese children in our society, as the majority of these children will grow up to be obese adults.
Obesity is caused, according to doctors and researchers, by an inactive lifestyle coupled with unhealthy eating patterns.
As more and more fast-food restaurants open and ready-made meals and unhealthy snacks fill our supermarket shelves, our society is rapidly growing in size, waist size.
As a large number of people are experiencing today, being overweight brings many problems, not only health problems but emotional issues also.
Overweight people are at a much higher risk of suffering some form of illness at some point in their life, usually a lot sooner than they expect. Health problems can range from backache, shortness of breath, type-II diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and more recently studies have linked a poor diet to certain forms of cancer.
Not only this but many overweight people, children in particular, may be teased and bullied, which could lead to depression and low self-esteem. To make themselves feel better, they will turn to food for comfort and thus be stuck in a vicious cycle.
Even though a lot of people who do not eat healthily are not fat, they would still experience other effects of eating a poor diet. This could include rotting teeth from eating too many sugary sweets and drinks, mood swings, headaches, tiredness and lethargy, constipation, poor concentration, dull hair, skin and nails, osteoporosis, insomnia, and heart disease due to high levels of cholesterol in the blood amongst others.
Heart disease today is the most common single cause of death in our society. Many of these deaths could be prevented solely by a change of diet and an increase in exercise.
Many unhealthy eaters complain that it is due to a lack of time that they do not eat more healthy meals, which may sound like a good excuse, but it is just an excuse. More often than not, the problem is that most people are uneducated about eating a healthy diet and what a healthy diet actually consists of. Most people do not realise what effect food has on our body and this problem should really be treated and discussed at home and in schools.
Eating healthily does not mean that you have to spend hours in the kitchen peeling and chopping vegetables. In this guide we will provide you with a number of healthy options and recipes for those people with a busy and hectic lifestyle.
Also in this section (links below) we will introduce you to the healthiest foods around, most of which we can find in our local supermarket or health stores plus some exciting recipes to try out at home.
We will inform you of which foods are good for you and which you should try to reduce or cut out altogether and why.
We will also take a look at some of the healthiest diets around the world, such as the Mediterranean and Japanese diets and offer lots of interesting information and recipes.
For information about basic nutrition and the components of a balanced diet, see our guide
to nutrition and various articles.