Editor’s note: This is part 1 of a two-part column from the YMCA about how exercise and eating habits can prevent or lower the risk of many diseases. Part 2 will be published on next Wednesday’s Healthy Life Page of the EagleHerald.
The entire world is facing a terrible plague of diseases that could be completely preventable through better eating habits and exercise. Here is some information for you to digest before we learn about what we need to do to eliminate our chances of acquiring these preventable diseases.
¦ The human race is facing an obesity epidemic, and the US is no exception. More than 2/3 (68.8 percent) of adults in the US are considered to be overweight with 1/3 (35.7 percent) of those adults are considered obese. More than 1 in 20 (6.3 percent) have extreme obesity. The US is the most obese country in North America and is ranked No. 12 in the world according to percentage of population. Almost 3 in 4 men in the US (74 percent) are considered to be overweight or obese. The world obesity rate has skyrocketed to 2.1 billion in 2013 compared to 857 million in 1980. That number exceeds the total world population of just 86 years prior in 1927 when the world population first hit 2 billion.
¦ We have an extreme amount of people living with Type II diabetes. There are more than 29.1 million people living with the disease in the US, and up to 8 million may be undiagnosed and unaware of the condition. One in 3 people have prediabetes. Being overweight, eating a poor diet and lack of exercise increases your chances of obtaining the disease. Did you know The Y has a Diabetes Prevention Program?
¦ Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in the US, killing over 375,000 Americans every year. Having Type II diabetes, being overweight or obese, poor diet and physical inactivity are lifestyle choices that put people at greater risk.
¦ Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths per year. One in 4 deaths in the US is from cancer attributing to 564,800 deaths. Up to 1/3 of cancer-related deaths are in part due to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, including two of the most common cancers in the US: breast and colon cancer. Did you know The Y provides LIVESTRONG at The YMCA?
Now that we discussed those facts, next week, I’ll let you know about what we can do to not only eliminate our chances of becoming a statistic, but how we can achieve a level of fit. Although not a topic of this column, not mentioning the importance of proper nutrition would do you injustice. Proper nutrition containing a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, lean animal and fish proteins and nuts and seeds is the first step in optimal well-being and disease prevention.
Use the 80/20 rule: Eat clean (real food, not processed) at least 80 percent of the time and no more than 20 percent of the time you can enjoy other foods. At that percentage, your body has no choice but to become healthier, more vibrant and a disease destroyer.
Next week’s column will focus on how various exercises that can lower the risk of many of these diseases. Steve Campbell is a Wellness Coach and Les Mills Instructor at the YMCA. For more information, people may contact the YMCA, 1600 West Drive, Menominee, at 906-863-9983.