There are many people who are struggling with their weight, in fact there are now more obese people than underweight people. The good news is that there are fewer malnourished people now than in previous years. In the developed world obesity rates are high because of the surplus of calories available to people.
Now people are wondering how they can stay fit and thin with such plentiful (and sugar filled) food options. The key isn’t exercise, it’s reducing your caloric intake. If weight loss is the goal then just eat less. It turns out that exercising is not a good way to decrease your mass. However, if being healthy is your goal then eat the right amount, eat a diversity of nutritious food, and exercise to avoid non-diet based problems.
A Cochrane Review of the best-available research found that, while exercise led to only modest weight loss, study participants who exercised more (even without changing their diets) saw a range of health benefits, including reducing their blood pressure and triglycerides in their blood. Exercise reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart attack.
A number of other studies have also shown that people who exercise are at a lower risk of developing cognitive impairment from Alzheimer’s and dementia. They also score higher on cognitive ability tests — among many, many other benefits.
The obesity problem in the USA may start to shrink. After years of constantly increasing they caloric intake Americans seem to be getting the message that eating too much can be bad for you. This is the first year that caloric intake has decreased and hopefully it’s a trend of things to come.
As calorie consumption has declined, obesity rates appear to have stopped rising for adults and school-aged children and have come down for the youngest children, suggesting the calorie reductions are making a difference.
The reversal appears to stem from people’s growing realization that they were harming their health by eating and drinking too much. The awareness began to build in the late 1990s, thanks to a burst of scientific research about the costs of obesity, and to public health campaigns in recent years.
Toronto has joined other cities around the world in banning the consumption and commercialization of shark fins. The vote was almost unanimous with only three people in council (including the worst mayor Toronto has seen) supporting the killing of sharks for soup. Everyone else on council knew better and supported the ban.
“Toronto’s action is a huge victory in the global fight against an illegal shark fin trade valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars,” said Rob Sinclair, Executive Director of WildAid Canada, who has been at the forefront of this campaign for the past five months.
Fins from up to 73 million sharks are used every year to make shark fin soup and related food products. Shark finning is a cruel and wasteful practice – captured at sea and hauled on deck, the sharks are often still alive while their fins are sliced off. Because shark meat is not considered as valuable as the fins, the maimed animals are tossed overboard to drown or bleed to death.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that 1/3 of the world’s shark species are threatened with extinction, with certain species experiencing declines up to 90%.
While the practice of shark finning is illegal in North America, current laws banning shark finning do not address the issue of the shark fin trade. Therefore, fins are being imported into North America from countries with few or even no shark protections in place.
Bans passed recently in California, Hawaii, Oregon and the state of Washington as well as the Ontario cities of Mississauga, and Brantford.
The University of Winnipeg was once lambasted in the annual MacLean’s ranking of Canadian Universities for having some of the worst campus food in the country (which is saying a lot…). Instead of wallowing in self-pity and eating another Big Mac to dull the pain, they hired a young, idealistic executive chef and completely overhauled their food services program. They now offer real food based around fresh, predominantly local ingredients, and have made this change using a business model that not only provides jobs to inner-city residents, but also manages to turn a profit.
Food is not historically a major priority of university administrations. But having taken over the school’s top job in 2004, [University President Lloyd] Axworthy, the former minister of foreign affairs, grew tired of the harsh reviews. Two years ago, he decided to buy out the contract of its large, multinational catering firm. In its place, the school established its own arm’s-length culinary company, Diversity Foods, in partnership with local non-profit SEED Winnipeg.
Jason Schwartzman cares about what you eat. Well, at the very least he has narrated a new short film on the importance of what we eat. The film looks like it covers a lot issues around problematic factory farming and the benefits of traditional farming methods.
Here’s a promo for the film:
And Gene Baur from Farm Sanctuary says:
“The way we eat has profound consequences for our own health, but also for the environment and for animals and every day each of us makes choices about what we support and the way we spend our dollars is very important. Unfortunately, most people have been spending their dollars in a way that’s been supporting an unhealthy, an inhumane and unsustainable system. By becoming more aware and making choices that are more aligned with our values and our interests we are going to see a shift.”