Research shows many obese people are suffering from malnutrition. The problem is exacerbated by poor hospital food and little training on nutrition. Drug companies are pushing expensive drugs which only treat symptoms, yet studies show a better diet can prevent a whole host of diseases. Is it time for western medicine to place a greater emphasis on good nutrition and PREVENTION?
I used to be severely obese and suffer from multiple illnesses. Whilst I guess I knew junk food was one of the things that made me fat, I had no idea that changing the food I put in my mouth could help my body to heal the diseases and illnesses that plagued my life on a daily basis.
I also ate food because I was hungry and yet sometimes I would still be hungry even after eating a huge plate of food.
Was I suffering from malnutrition?
A recent study showed despite high levels of obesity in the U.S., many people are undernourished. A leading weight loss surgeon has now spoken out on the subject, saying “The number of people who are malnourished despite being obese is scandalous”.
In an article in the Daily Mail, Dr Sally Norton says, “As a doctor, it never fails to astonish me how little training we are given in good, sound nutrition, and how little emphasis we place on the role of eating well in preventing and curing disease in Western medicine.”
“Need proof?”, says Dr Norton, “Just look at the dismal food we serve to our patients in many hospitals, or the sugar and fat-filled snacks we offer in our hospital foyers. Look too at the multi-million pound drug industry that is encouraging us as doctors to treat type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease and other conditions related to poor nutrition with expensive drugs rather than healthier food.”
Talking about the research that shows despite the USA’s high levels of obesity, much of its population is undernourished, Dr Norton says, “It may seem shocking that you can be both obese and undernourished, but perhaps it isn’t so astonishing if you look at the nutrients in many of our regular snacks.”
How many nutrients do you get in biscuits, pieces of cake, crisps, fries, pizza, white rice, pasta and bread?
Dr Norton adds, “How many nutrients do you get in biscuits, pieces of cake, crisps, fries, pizza, white rice, pasta and bread? Not a whole lot. So, if we are eating these ‘nutrient deficient’ foods regularly, we must make sure we are getting our nutrients from real, fresh, whole foods, too.”
Moving from junk food to “real” food can be challenging. Not only are fresh, whole foods often viewed as more expensive, scientists have also found that junk food can be highly addictive, with foods such as burgers, chips and sausages programming the human brain into craving even more sugar, salt and fat laden food.
Junk food has also been linked with an increased likelihood of developing depression. And what do many of us do when we feel down or depressed? We comfort eat – and typically it is junk foods we crave.
How to start improving your diet
The old me used to eat crap, feel crap, eat more crap to feel better, feel worse…
Thankfully I managed to escape the food trap and reclaim my health. How to think differently about food and break food addictions is an area I often spend significant time on with my coaching clients. I also teach it in some of the course I deliver.
I think the simplest tip I can share is to focus on adding the good stuff. Sure, you will want to cut the junk foods from your life, but if you focusing on adding the good stuff, like freshly extracted juices and whole plant-based nutrients into your diet then you will eventually crowd the bad stuff out.
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