What do we really need as far as daily food intake? Are we determining this need based on calorie needs alone, or do we factor in our vitamin and mineral needs? If you were to ask the average person, the only consideration given would be to his or her calorie needs. Vitamins and minerals are still a fairly new topic for everyone, and not really considered when determining food intake needs.
Calorie consumption on the other hand, has obsessed our nation for the last several years, and is the only factor we consider when determining our food intake requirements. This factor will probably not be changing anytime soon, since most everyone in the medical, health, and fitness professions equate food requirements with calorie needs, also.
So, what contributes to our determination of our daily food intake requirements, from a purely caloric standpoint? What do we use as our guide to determine these levels? Most everyone looks at your current body weight, your physical activity, your age, and your gender. There are established guidelines for combining each value from each category, and then being able to configure your needs. It’s amazing that this much effort has been given to calorie and food intake alone. Could you imagine the possibilities if as much time was dedicated to deterring vitamin and mineral values as well, and then working with each person to accomplish these levels.
Since obesity is marching aggressively to the front of the “current epidemics” line, we should take a moment to address the number one cause of obesity. It isn’t the improper functioning of the thyroid gland, or any other system in the body. It is our problem of overeating. We simply eat too much.
In the area of medical inventions, an arm band has been created that can tell you your caloric burn, through every daily activity. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to take that one step further, and be able to distinguish caloric intake, caloric burn, how many calories you actually need, and how many you have left to consume. If you had such an instrument, persons wearing them would be more conscious of their food intake, and if it were equipped with loud sirens if you were to overeat, do you think anyone would overeat? No. You can bet they wouldn’t. Who wants to be accused of overeating, especially if they know that they have reached their limit?
It’s the regulation of our food intake, the provision of tools we need to make healthy decisions, and preventive education that would prohibit many of the health problems we are experiencing today. A population that is health conscious and controls their daily food intake is not an obese population. Nor are they a population with extreme hypertension, diabetic, and cardiac problems. All of these problems can be associated with obesity and nutritional abuse.
Can you imagine, however, how many doctors and prescription drug companies would have far less income, if our nation were healthier, leaner, and had fewer diseases? As our baby boomers age, and strive to retain their youthful looks and health, more and more emphasis will be placed on educating ourselves about our food intake and what we do and do not need. Maybe at some point, someone will say, “hey, what about an armband to help control caloric intake?”