Diet: The Disease of our Generation

You//Fitness and Health

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Obesity levels are rising, weight-related illnesses are at an all-time high and yet we, as a nation, continue to eat foods which are laden with sugars and processed ingredients that are detrimental to our health.

Don't believe me? Then how about some medical research to show just how bad the problem is becoming.

- Global research in the Lancet Oncology shows British men have the fourth worst levels of cancer caused by obesity.

- Latest UK figures show 67 per cent of men, and 57 per cent of women are overweight or obese.

- One in five children born at the start of the millennium was obese by the age of 11, according to the Millennium Cohort Study.

- The McKinsey Global Institute found that the worldwide cost of obesity is about the same as smoking or armed conflict and greater than both alcoholism and climate change

Here comes the good news, it's not too late to make a change, and furthermore, there are those out there who want to drive that change. Take performance nutritionist Ben Coomber and filmmaker Gareth Bowler for instance, the duo behind a new hard-hitting video that highlights the issue, but also seeks to empower people to make a change.

What makes Ben and Gareth different is that they have made the change themselves. Both used to be overweight, and both have made a lasting change to their lifestyle and now want to help others do the same.

"In 2013 I lost almost 10 stone in a year, from 24 stone down to 14, it's the greatest thing that will ever happen to me and I wanted to make a film that would inspire others to do the same," Gareth said.

"I want to help people to change, and the power of video is the perfect medium to do this," Ben said. "I am also a coach who has been there and done it and had the struggles, and that empowers people that they can do the same. Anyone can do the same as me, and I wanted to get that across in the video."

As Ben explains it is about creating a mindset within people that helps them believe they can make a lasting change to their own lifestyle.

"They [overweight people] don't think they can do it, that they are too far out of reach, that the journey will take too long, but they can do it," he said.

"Everyone wants a quick fix, the diet industry is built on this premise, but there are no quick fixes, it's about food change, health change, exercise change, lifestyle change, combined over time until you hit the end result, there are zero shortcuts."

The sad reality is we as a race have created these problems ourselves, as Ben explains these issues simply weren't a problem a hundred years ago, before the advent of processed and man-made food.

"We never had the problems we do today 100 years ago," said Ben. "Yes we had natural disease, but not man made disease as a result of the food we eat.

"If cereals, fast food and all the over indulgent processed foods disappeared we would only have one choice, to eat the food we were designed to eat, thus the problem wouldn't exist, or the problem would at least be much easier to solve, with less confusion."

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