Obesity is a national epidemic. 58 million Americans are overweight and 80% are more than 25 lbs overweight. 70% of heart disease and 80% of all type II diabetes is directly attributed to obesity. 15% of children are obese and 70% between ages of 6-8 believe that fast food is healthier than home cooked meals. Todayís children could be first generation whose life expectancy is less than that of their parents.
Much of problems associated with obesity begin in childhood. We make concrete decisions about self-image, what food means to us and how active a life we will lead, very early in our lives. There are also cultural influences which can dictate nutritional paths we take.
Another factor is emotional and compulsive connections to food. Millions use food to feel good or to at least feel better. Food offers temporary relief from symptoms of depression, loneliness, anger and stress. Another factor is how productively our bodyís function which can have a major influence in how we look. A hypoactive thyroid slows down metabolism making it next to impossible to lose excess weight. In addition to all of this there is problem of social hypnosis or advertising which bombards us with a never ending stream of useless, unproductive and unhealthy information 24 hours a day, everyday. To make matters worse advertisers arenít even consistent with their manipulative message. On one hand they say we need to be anorexic to be beautiful, and on other they say that Ďhappy mealsí qualify as healthy nutrition.
Long term problems begin when these unhealthy patterns are repeated over time. We are creatures of habit, we are what we think. Consistently repeating patterns of unhealthy nutrition and sedentary living ensures that they will continue. Itís repetition that gets them deeply rooted in our long term memory, or subconscious mind, where they take on a life of their own.
When an individual attempts to alter path of an established pattern conflict results. This is what a smoker goes through when trying to quit on a conscious level. They experience mood swings, cravings and palpitations. Conflict with dieting occurs when an individual eat things they really donít want to eat and does things they donít really want to do, like exercise.
When subconscious doesnít get what it expects individuals become uncomfortable and stressed. The only way to make things right is to give subconscious mind what it wants. Intellectually they know changes they should make and type of body they want to have but when this inner conflict arises individual feels powerless and more often than not they revert to their old ways.