This time seven years ago my status on Facebook read “eating chicken chips, barbecue chips, sausage rolls, monte carlos, and chocolate…” I wish I had of known then what I know now, that I was quite literally eating myself to death. And I was doing it daily! No wonder I had no energy and constantly felt fatigued! I wasn’t eating real food, and all that junk food led to… well… junk moods!
I thought I was healthy because I had a flat tummy, legs that could walk, ears that could hear, eyes that could see, a heart that was beating, you get my point! I wasn’t seriously ill, I was twenty years old and invincible! Of course I would think about my health, but not as much as I would think about what I was going to wear to the nightclub on the weekend. Seriously, it was a difficult decision to make, and I couldn’t outfit repeat – HEELLLL NO!
Fast forward to today, and I’m so bloody thankful I see the world through different eyes now!
We all deep down want to live happier, healthier lives. But how much attention do we as individuals actually pay to our own personal health and wellbeing? In educating ourselves about wellness? Even in educating and empowering others about wellness? Of course the answers here will be different for everyone!
I am by no means speaking for all, but large amounts of the population are not consciously taking care of their internal system. Just take a walk down the street and observe, ask yourself if you see a world full of healthy and happy people! I see it daily in my workplace, people eating themselves to death, just like I used to. I know that if I hadn’t made changes in my life back then, that serious (and possibly deadly) consequences would have occurred.
The perception that things like high heart disease, diabetes, cancer and strokes are the leading cause of death in society is, in my eyes, completely and utterly wrong!
Common diseases can be caused by the results and effects of a malnourished body. Truth!
Non-genetically inherited diseases don’t cause death; it’s what causes the disease in the first place that causes death!
In 1993 a journal was published (see resources below) entitled “Actual causes of death in the United States”, their summary findings were that the most prominent contributors to mortality in the US in 1990 were:
- Tobacco use (an estimated 400,000 deaths)
- Diet and activity patterns (300,000)
- Alcohol (100,000)
- Microbial agents (90,000)
- Firearms (60,000)
- Sexual behavior (35,000)
- Motor vehicles (30,000)
- Illicit drug use (25,000)
This exact same study was refreshed in 2005, where the same analysis was conducted, and the same conclusion was drawn. So over the course of just over a decade, nothing had changed! Highlighting that tobacco was still (in 2005 at least) the leading cause of death in the United States.
The second study also mentioned in its conclusion that poor diet and lack of physical activity may soon overtake tobacco as the leading cause of death.
The second study is reflective of how we as a collective have made strides on tobacco use, for example by banning it in certain places. But we are also failing to make improvements in our dietary and exercise habits.
Just a few years later, in 2009, another study entitled “Healthy living is the best revenge…” was published. In this study, participants were asked four questions, namely they were:
- Do you smoke?
- What is your diet?
- Do you engage in regular exercise?
- What is your BMI?
The main finding of this study revealed that the person who didn’t smoke, ate healthy, engaged in regular exercise and was able to control their weight, had a significantly lower chance of developing major chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. With as much as an 80% reduction!
Hundreds of thousands of people around the globe right now are either seriously ill or dying, for reasons that were completely unavoidable in the first place, reasons that are not purely based on “bad genes”! The scientific literature is there which proves majority of deaths are in fact caused by factors that are completely in our control!
How is it that scientists have been able to unravel parts of our genome, but we’re still trying to unravel disease?
Don’t fear, it’s not all bad! Further studies have also shown that diet and lifestyle changes have the power to elicit positive changes in gene expression (Ornish D, 2008). Which further shows the importance that food and lifestyle play in creating longer and healthier lives for everyone!
So before you chow down your next meal, think to yourself if you’re nourishing or poisoning yourself with the choices that you’re making. Sounds harsh but there is truth to that! Of course it’s not all about food, however food is a good start for anyone who may be addicted to processed junk food.
Remember – Be happy. Be true. Be you.
Love and light,
- McGinnis JM, Foege WH. Actual causes of death in the United States. 1993;270:2207-12
- Mokdad AH, Marks JS, Stroup DF, Gerberding JL. Actual causes of death in the United States, JAMA. 2004;291:1238-45
- Ford ES, Bergmann MM, Kröger J, Schienkiewitz A, Weikert C, Boeing H. Healthy living is the best revenge: findings from the European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition-Potsdam study. Arch Intern Med. 2009 Aug 10;169(15):1355-62
- Ornish D, Magbanua MJ, Weidner G, Weinberg V, Kemp C, Green C, Mattie MD, Marlin R, Simko J, Shinohara K, Haqq CM, Carroll PR. Changes in prostate gene expression in men undergoing an intensive nutrition and lifestyle intervention. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jun 17;105(24):8369-74