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SCIENCE

This week : Are we really what we eat?

©

Text by Eve IRVINE

Latest update : 2009-06-22

The WHO predicts that 2.3 billion adults will be overweight by 2015, HEALTH finds out that chewing your food is vital in the fight against obesity. Meanwhile too much salt is raising blood pressures of one in three people.

In the 4th Century BC, Hippocrates said "let food by thy medicine," this week HEALTH looks at how much food can protect our bodies.

 

Already known as the home of good eating, France has recently launched a nationwide survey that will follow the eating habits of 500,000 people over the next five years. The goal is to see whether or not what people eat can play a part in the illnesses they get. In the north of France, for example, there are more cases of cancer than in the south.

 

On an average day a person in the West consumes 12 grams of salt, twice the amount they should according to the experts. There is in fact a growing consensus that salt is one of the main reasons behind hypertension which one third of the population suffers from.

 

By 2015, the World Health Organisation predicts that 2 billion adults will be overweight, some 700 million obese. It’s a worrying figure as obesity, reports show, is as hazardous to your health as a lifetime of cigarettes. What’s more, nutritionists tell HEALTH that nine out of ten cases of obesity begin with a diet, an illness for which they say they have no cure.

 

A balanced diet is the best diet. Health professionals say there is mounting evidence to suggest that a balanced diet can reduce the risk of cancer. There are no magic foods but overdosing on certain meats can increase a person’s risk of developing the disease.

 

Date created : 2009-05-24

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