I recently started a 5 week online course through Futurelearn.com. It is about Nutrition and Wellness and is conducted through the University of Aberdeen. Now I realise 3 hours each week for 5 weeks will not make me an expert. However, I’ve always been interested in health and well-being and when I saw this course I thought ‘Why Not?’.
Week 1 has already shown me some ‘home truths’ that I’m sure we all can identify with.
One of the main questions that has resonated with me was – ‘did I actually know exactly what I eat daily and how much I consume?’
The first part of lesson one talked about how our eating patterns have changed from the ‘Stone Age’ to the ‘Obese Age’.
Obesity is continuing to rise in the western world and in Australia, statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, show that
almost 2 in 3 (or 63%) of adults and 1 in 4 (25%) of children are clinically obese. That is 10% more than in 1995.”
The statistics are higher in regional areas.
Obesity is the second highest contributor to burden of disease – even worse than smoking!
I find the figure for children very disturbing and am horrified when I see young children drinking fizzy drinks from their bottle instead of milk. This is a form of child abuse in my eyes.
Now, I’ve heard that sometimes there have been reports that children have been diagnosed as obese when they are clearly not. However, if you look around there are children who are well over their recommended weight range.
Be a positive & healthy role model for your children & grandchildrenClick To Tweet
How can you take a stand against obesity
There is so much information today about healthy living, what a well balanced diet is and exercise that I find it hard to understand that we have an obesity problem. Educating ourselves about the health dangers of being overweight and finding ways to lose excess kilos will be a good start.
Know your BMI
Your BMI is your Body Mass Index. It is ONLY A GUIDE but it does give you an indication of whether you are in a healthy weight range for your height. I went to the Doctor last week for a check up and she actually calculated my BMI then. I’m actually on the lower side of the recommended range so I need to make sure I don’t lose weight, which can be just as bad as being overweight.
How to calculate your BMI
Basically, your BMI= weight (kg) divided by your height squared (m)
This link will calculate it for you: http://www.nhs.uk/Tools/Pages/Healthyweightcalculator.aspx
TEE & TEI
Total Energy requirements vary from person to person. Your Total Energy Expenditure (TEE) should equal your Energy Intake (TEI) . That is, to maintain your weight you need to know how much energy you use each day and compare it to the number of calories you consume.ENERGY INTAKE=ENERGY EXPENDITURE should be equal to maintain weightClick To Tweet
BMA is your Basal Metabolic Rate which is the amount of energy you would expend over 24 hours if you DID NOTHING.
PAL is your Physical Activity Level – your daily activity level including work and leisure time.
Again, this is ONLY A GUIDE, however, do you know how many calories you need to consume each day to MAINTAIN your current weight? If you are overweight you need to reduce the calorie intake.
This link will calculate our BMA: http://www.globalrph.com/schofield_equation_bmr.htm
One of the exercises we need to undertake in the course for the full five weeks is to record what we eat and drink each day – with the portion size. A portion guide is provided so we can record as accurately as possible what we are eating.
A well balanced diet suggests we should be eating from 5 food groups to maintain good health and vitality. Grains, Vegetables, Dairy, Meat, Fish & Poultry and Fruit.
Why not keep a food diary for a weekand then review it, you will be surprised! Be honest though, you need to document everything you eat or drink, otherwise you are only kidding yourself.
TO HELP YOU GET STARTED, DOWNLOAD
FOOD PORTION GUIDE This food portion guide is a great poster I found through the Australian Healthy Food Guide.
If you prefer an electronic way to keep track here are some apps you might like to try: