Everything you eat either adds to more balance in your life, or subtracts from it. Your diet is a key component to your work life balance.
You’re about to see some eye-opening research.
First question: Do you weigh more than you should?
If so, you’re like the two-thirds of American adults who are overweight. About one in three American adults is considered to be obese.
What is the definition of obese? Weighing more than 20% for men and 25% for women over their ideal weight as determined by height and build.
In the past 30 years, the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased sharply for both adults and children. From 1976 to 2004, the prevalence of obesity among adults aged 20–74 years increased from 15.0% to 32.9%.
And worse than that: Childhood obesity is at an all-time high!
37.2% of children and 34.3% of adolescents were either at risk for overweight or obesity.
The time for change is now!
Overweight and obesity are known risk factors for:
• coronary heart disease
• high blood cholesterol
• gallbladder disease
• osteoarthritis (degeneration of cartilage and bone of joints)
• sleep apnea and other breathing problems
• some forms of cancer (uterine, breast, colorectal, kidney, and gallbladder)
Obesity is also associated with:
• complications of pregnancy
• menstrual irregularities
• hirsutism (presence of excess body and facial hair)
• stress incontinence (urine leakage caused by weak pelvic floor muscles)
• psychological disorders, such as depression
• increased surgical risk
Here is something really scary: Less than half of U.S. adults are at a healthy weight.
The Safety Harbor Resort and Spa has recognized this issue and implemented their own wellness and nutritional program. Because of this over-eating epidemic, many programs similar to this have been created to help people get more balance in their food and exercise programs.
Overweight people have higher incidences of cancers of the stomach and prostate in men and cancers of the breast, uterus, cervix, and ovaries in women. In one study, women gaining more than 20 pounds from age 18 to midlife doubled their risk of breast cancer, compared to those whose weight remained stable.
Most studies show an increase in mortality rates associated with obesity. Individuals who are obese have a 10- to 50-percent increased risk of death from all causes, compared with healthy weight individuals. Most of the increased risk is due to cardiovascular causes. Annually in the United States, more than 300,000 deaths are linked to obesity directly.
As the prevalence of overweight and obesity has increased in the United States, so have related health care costs—both direct and indirect. Direct health care costs refer to preventive, diagnostic, and treatment services such as physician visits, medications, and hospital and nursing home care. Indirect costs are the value of wages lost by people unable to work because of illness or disability, as well as the value of future earnings lost by premature death.
Although the numbers vary, a recent study estimated annual medical spending due to overweight and obesity to be as much as $92.6 billion in 2002 dollars—9.1 percent of U.S. health expenditures.
The cost of lost productivity related to obesity among Americans age 17 to 64 is $3.9 billion.
So…why do we eat SO much?
Perhaps it’s because we don’t want to feel our feelings, or maybe don’t know how to express feelings in a healthy way.
So…how are you with your feelings? Do you allow yourself to feel them, deal with them and work through them? Do you have a support system you use to help you with your feelings? Or do you tend to self-medicate?
The choice is yours, but the numbers don’t lie…if you turn to food to control your mood, and continue to cheat with what you eat, and don’t want to feel what all is real, then you have some serious consequences awaiting you.
Work life balance is based on you taking care of you, including what you eat.