Monday, April 23, 2012
In 1990, the rate of obesity was less than 15% in every state, now its nearly 30% in a quarter of states. Obesity does have many genetic factors but it is still a personal and society decision, for the most part. Obesity is considered a disease and will likely reach the level of a full global pandemic by 2030. As in, on the same level as malaria or influenza. But obesity is not a communicable or infectious disease and it is very much preventable. Obesity won't usually kill you directly, but it is much like smoking in that it increases your risk significantly to other diseases, primarily heat disease, cancer, and diabetes, which will lower your life expectancy.
But sugar has toxic effects other than just weight gain. Watch this video from 60 minutes. We heavily tax tobacco because it is unhealthy. If soda were 30 cents more expensive, would you still buy it? Many Americans would probably still drink soda and buy foods with sugar. The good thing is that a sugar tax would bring in money to the government. Our team proposed that we could use this money to in turn fund grants for employers to offer healthy lifestyle benefits to their employees. For example, a business could apply for a grant to reimburse employees' gym memberships or even build a small gym in the office. Still, this would not guarantee that the employees would become more active.
The obesity epidemic is growing rapidly and I think its going to be interesting how we deal with it in the near future. Will fast food chains become as shunned as the tobacco industry? What are your ideas about how obesity should or will be dealt with?
Sunday, April 1, 2012
I love Mexican food! The salsa, guacamole, cheese, black beans, tortilla chips are so amazing! Tex-mex style food seems unhealthy but can actually be made quite healthy because you can use lots of vegetables like tomatoes and substitute meat with beans. This mexican pizza is easy to make, tasty, filling, and quite healthy. What makes this pizza mexican is the pico de gallo (instead of pizza sauce) and the black beans. This recipe actually makes 3 pizzas, but you can just make one and then re-use the pico and beans on other pizzas.
- Large tortillas (I love Ezekiel 4:9 Tortillas, they have sprouted grains and are available in the freezer section of your health food store - I actually even found them in my regular grocery store!)
- Mozzarella-style cheese, amount is up to you - I like mine cheesy! (I used vegan Daiya cheese)
- 3 medium-sized tomatoes
- 1 red onion
- 1 small jalepeno
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (approximately half of a bunch chopped up)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 can of black beans