How healthy are we, actually?
Almost 3 years now since the Covid Pandemic started and you may be wondering – How healthy are we, actually?
Well, I’m here today to provide you with some facts, figures and numbers and try to explain how we got here in the first place.
This is the first time in modern history that we have seen a decrease in life expectancy, it has decreased by 1.5 years. In addition there are the statistics below:
- 6 out of every 10 Americans are diagnosed with a chronic disease
- 4 out of every 10 Americans are diagnosed with 2 or more chronic diseases
It gets even worse. A new study looking at metabolic health (blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, weight, heart attack, stroke, etc.) has also stated these scary facts:
Only 6.8% of Americans have not had some sort of Metabolic Disease.
Which means 93% of Americans are “sick” to one degree or another.
Now I am not here saying that I have all the answers, but I do know that having a fast food restaurant on every street corner, with the largest food suppliers and food scientists creating the best tasting, fully processed foods out there, is not helping us.
I also know that we DO have a choice in this matter.
Here is the most miraculous thing about the human body. The body WANTS to heal itself. If you are eating a mostly processed food diet, your body is constantly working to heal itself from the inside out.
For all the drugs out there that will manage symptoms for the 93% of Americans who are “sick” what we fail to realize is that FOOD is actually the most powerful drug. So let’s start there.
If we are going to start with food, we have to start with the first release of the US Dietary Guidelines in 1980 by the Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. I am not going to dive into super great detail except to say there was a direct correlation in 1980 being the start of the “Obesity Epidemic” with the new release of these dietary guidelines.
(Want to check out the ORIGINAL pamphlet from 1980?! Here it is!! ) Some of the guidelines are good – like “avoid sugar.” But what got us into this huge mess in the first place was the recommendation to avoid ALL fats like the plague, and instead REPLACE fat intake with carbohydrates (Section 4 of the pamphlet).
And then the guidelines go on to say “If you limit your fat intake, you should increase your calories from carbohydrates to supply your body’s energy needs.” This was taken quite literally in the 1980’s, and all fat was demonized, so we loaded up on carbs instead, and look what happened:
From 1980 to 1990, obesity climbed by almost 15%! And now in 2023, most of the US population (almost 7 out of every 10 American) is overweight or obese.
Here are a few more facts:
- 60% of our daily calories currently come from ultra-processed foods (Corn, Wheat, Soy)
- For kids, that number jumps up to 67% of foods being ultra-processed
- For every 10% of your diet that is ultra-processed, your mortality and risk of mortality (death) goes up by 14%
So let me repeat that last one…for every 10% of your diet that is ultra processed, your risk of dying goes up by 14%.
Let’s use the 60% example:
If 60% of our diet is ultra-processed, then our risk of death goes up by 84%!
If that doesn’t get you motivated to make a change, I’m not sure what will.
As someone who was diagnosed at a young age (35) with a very rare form of Leukemia, I have always wanted to lower my risk of death with the things I could control.
That is why in part 2 of this blog post, we will talk about all of the positive ways YOU can make small habit changes, starting with your nutrition and health.
Looking for a kickstart to get your healthy habits started right? Check out our 14 Day Kickstart program below:
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