Most people think that obesity and malnutrition are direct opposites. In reality, doctors say they are seeing patients who are both overweight and malnourished and are treating obesity as a disease. Our growing reliance on fast food and the readily available high-fat, sugar-laden snacks, means many are lacking the vitamins and minerals essential for health, people have stopped to eat real food. This has led to a surge of nutrition-related chronic diseases around the world, and while malnourished obese people are hardly in danger of starvation, other health problems are possible along with obesity-related complications like diabetes and heart disease.
This idea, that obesity is a form of malnutrition, isn't new and there is increasing data pointing to nutrient deficiency as contributing to the growing prevalence of overweight and obesity around the world. Malnutrition occurs when your body does not get enough nutrients so that it can function properly. Deficiencies of micronutrients, such as iron, iodine, zinc and vitamin A, contribute to 'hidden hunger'. While it is difficult to believe that one could be deficient for essential nutrients while consuming so much food, the reason behind this is that when your body does not have enough nutrients it craves for food. Usually this is junk food as that will give your body the quickest "fix". However, this does not provide your body with proper nutrients, and thus you crave for more, and the cycle continues and the pounds start to accumulate.
Future generations are the biggest concern as childhood obesity grows rapidly. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, the rate of childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years. Children today more than ever are overloaded with fast food items and junk food that lack nutritional value, while also delivering a high dose of fat, calories, sugar, salt and carbohydrates. These foods are robbing kids of essential vitamins and minerals. Eating excessive amounts of these foods leads to obesity and malnutrition and a wide range of serious health problems.
In order to prevent the dangers of malnutrition and obesity, families need to start making healthy choices for their future by avoiding foods and beverages that contain refined sugars and other processed junk foods. Replace these foods with whole foods containing real nutrients that build up the body instead of destroying it. Drink plenty of pure water and add daily exercise to this winning formula for health and longevity.