After spending the majority of my current life studying academic nutrition books and journals, magazines, YouTube Channels and other health and wellbeing sites, I think I have a pretty good understanding of how the body works and what it needs to function daily. However, today, while browsing the internet of some of my favourite sites; not to mention halfway through my ‘Banana Pancake Sushi rolls’ , I suddenly stopped and asked myself, “When did we forget ‘how’ to live like Human beings?, I mean, have we become such a dumbed down version of our ancestors, that we need professionals with PhD’s to tell us how to eat, breath and sleep?”. In my previous posts The Origins of Lactose Intolerance | Where Did It All Begin? & Food Sensitivities … What Would Darwin Say? Evolution or Devolution? I posed the question ‘Have we de-evolved?’. Everyday I seem to be asking myself this question, when I read countless articles on the latest food trends to keep you skinny or what exercises are going to get you ready for your bikini by tomorrow, yada, yada, (I’m not even going to mention the ‘Thigh Brow’, I’m mean, come on! What!?). Your body’s pretty good at telling you what it needs, yet most of us have forgotten how to listen to it.
As I see it we’re weaker both mentally and physically, although I’m not talking about how much you can bench press at the gym or whether you experience first world problems on a daily basis (yes, I asked for soy milk, not cows milk, urgh! oh how life can suck in this day and age!) instead, I’m referring to the ongoing health problems, faced by most of us ‘overly blind-guided metropolitan folk’ on an epic scale. For example relatively new diseases such as asthma grew a whopping “4.3 million between 2001 and 2009” says the CDC, not only are these statistics shocking, they are costing the US government billions each year. Obesity is another epidemic, growing at an exponential rate along with the countless food intolerances such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic constipation and gluten intolerance we see these days. Give it another 20 years and where will we be? An unhealthy human race that has been simmered down to disease-stricken individuals; where food (the fuel of life) is no more than a poison to our sensitive fleshy vessels? But I digress, instead lets look at the reasons for my depressing ramblings, shall we?
There are many factors of our modern day lives that easily reflect how radically we have moved either forwards or backwards (depending on how you look at it), yet i’s these aspects that have the greatest impact on our health. For example:
- Most of us work indoors, in florescent unnatural light, which leads to weight gain and depression. Very few of us who life the city life, work outside and the ones that do are often surrounded by smog filled streets.
- We sit down for long lengths at a time
- We purchase food that more often than not comes from a factory, for which none of us truly know the real contents or nutritional value; instead only selective information which must be displayed by law. For example according to the ‘EU Technical Guidance on Nutrition Labelling’ Trans fats (the really bad stuff) doesn’t have to be listed, along with cholesterol which “cannot” be listed.
- We prefer to drive rather than walk to the shops which means we rarely meet the activity guidelines. Check out ‘Physical activity Guidelines for the UK’
- Depression has risen. The Mental Health Association UK says “Suicides rates show that British men are three times as likely to die by suicide than British women and self-harm statistics for the UK show one of the highest rates in Europe: 400 per 100,000 population“, could this be due to the fact that us British are the most overweight and therefore depression is food related?
These are just some of the more prominent aspects for modern day living and as I’ve always said you can never blame or point the finger at anyone else for the actions you choose to take, other than yourself. However that being said I feel like there could be more action taken, to educated people on the core principles of living to the needs of their bodies. A good place to start would be to target schools and families, so that they are able to make conscious choices when choosing meals and for them to also be aware of the amount of activity they have done in a week.
Don’t get me wrong, going back 10 years ago before the use of lifestyle apps, smart watches with activity trackers and the nutritional traffic light system, things looked hopeless but there are measurements in place to make a healthy lifestyle achievable. Yet my argument is why do we need so much technology to help keep us on the right track? Shouldn’t we just know how many hours of sleep we’re getting per night to stay healthy or that 1 serving of a Kit-Kat has high quantities of sugar and fat in it and that we shouldn’t be eating one everyday, regardless of it’s attractively low calorie count of 107 (imagine how much fruit you could eat instead?), isn’t this information a given?
Let me know you thoughts, opinions & rants below!