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Healthier environments on the way: What do you need to know?

Published: September 22, 2017

Too few people are getting enough regular physical activity
Too few people are getting enough regular physical activity

Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to eat healthily and get adequate physical activity?

After all, there is an abundance of information about healthy eating and physical activity.
Why then do studies show that a high proportion of western populations fall far short of meeting recommendations for healthy eating and physical activity?
Studies also indicate that people know what they need to do to eat healthily and increase their physical activity habits, but just can't put that knowledge into practice. Why not?
Think about your experiences with your efforts to eat healthily and get adequate physical activity. 
Do you ever feel as though you are some sort of freak of nature when you refuse the rich dessert and people around you respond: "Oh, you're so good...", "I wish I could be good like you", "How do you do it?", or "I just can't overcome my sweet tooth"?
Perhaps you have declined because you are not hungry or you don't like what is being offered.
Declining a glass of wine or other alcoholic beverage is an allowable response, but refusing birthday cake, Christmas cake, Wedding cake, or any celebration cake usually brings the response "Oh, but you can't refuse to share in the celebration" or words to that effect.
Such words are guaranteed to guilt you into having a slice of cake even when you are not going to enjoy it.
It seems to be ok to refuse Brussels sprouts and broccoli, but not the donuts brought in by a fellow co-worker. Yes, rich desserts, cookies, chocolate, cake and wine can be part of a healthy diet, but why isn’t it easier for you to make the food choices you want when they are not the same as the people you are with?
Oh for steamed vegetables on every restaurant menu
Oh for steamed vegetables on every restaurant menu
Even restaurant eating can become a chore rather than being enjoyed when it is impossible to identify the nutrient content of food and beverages served.
On the physical activity front, have you ever tried asking friends or fellow office workers to join you for a lunch time walk? Did you get a good response?
What about their expressions when you go for a walk (or run) in the RAIN?
From a broader perspective, people who walk, run and bike ride are often challenged by the condition of sidewalks and less than courteous behaviour of many motor vehicle drivers who seem to be oblivious to pedestrians and cyclists.
Eating and being physically active for health is not for the feint hearted.
Parents can find it very challenging to nurture healthy eating and physical activity practices in their children against the many fund raising activities which tend to promote...link to the full article to learn more.

Related Topics

Health  Food Choices  Physical Activity 

References

1.
Hartford, W. (2011). An exploration into women's understanding of nutritional health: towards a commonsense of healthy eating
2.
Centre for Science in the Public Interest (2012). Championing Public Health Nutrition 2012. Toronto, October 29 and 30th
3.
Upselling: size matters, Royal society for public health 2017
4.
https://www.ontario.ca/page/calories-menus#section-4 http://www.inspection.gc.ca/food/labelling/food-labelling-for-industry/nutrition-labelling/additional-information/restaurants-and-food-service-establishments/eng/1409850385603/1409850437890