9 Health Trends for
By Steve Edwards
From the Million Dollar Body Club - Join Today and Workout to
It's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.
They say that knowledge is
power, but who's got time to sift through all the muck and decide what's truly
worth reading? At Beachbody, our aim is to keep you at the top of the learning
curve about things that matter. Here are nine hot topics that will become big
news in the upcoming year. And if they don't, they should, because all of them
will have an effect on the health and well-being of you and your friends and
- We'll eat more
locally produced foods. Get to know the acronym CSA, which
stands for Community Supported Agriculture, because eating locally is going to
become more and more popular. Eating food prepared in your area is the easiest
way to ensure it's safesomething that's becoming more and more of a
concern lately. When you also factor in the cost and environmental effects of
transporting food, it makes even more sense. Not only are foods from afar
harder to monitor, the adverse effects of transportation on our environment,
and hence the food, are becoming very hard to ignore.
known only as your local farmers' market, CSA organizations are becoming more
popular and prices for these foods are now competitive with corporate giants.
All of which will create a positive effect on the health value and safety of
the foods we eat.
- Preventative health
care will become more prevalent. Without a national health
care plan it's tougher than ever for Americans to use their doctors for most of
their health needs. Not only that, but given that many of us use HMO plans that
limit our ability to easily get to the right doctor or specialist, we need to
take more responsibility for our personal health issues than we have in the
the downside of this issue is obvious, the upside may have a bright future.
First off, we're becoming aware that we need to get more educated where our
health is concerned. Secondly, we're more aware of the
value of getting a second opinion. But the biggest change
is that insurance companies are finally beginning to acknowledge the fact that
preventative health care, in the form or diet, exercise, and alternative
medical practices, is worth covering.
bodies get sick less, injured less, and require fewer visits to hospitals and
doctor's offices. By adding incentives for healthy habits we'll save so much
money on sick care (what happens when preventative health care is ignored) that
we might even begin to agree on a national health care plan.
- We'll learn what pH means to our
diet. Our diets are too acidic, which is something we've
been dealing with in various ways over the last 50 years. First, it was too
much fat, then too little protein, then too many carbs, then too many of the
wrong types of carbs, then too little fat. What we end up with is a diet that
has too much acid. Welcome to the pH diet, the next generation of diet books
about to hit the best-seller list.
you jump on the bandwagon, allow us to simplify it for you. Foods tend to be
alkaline, high on the pH scale, or acidic, low on the pH scale. Our bodies
digest foods better when the mix is towards the middle or upper range of this
scale. Unfortunately, most of our favorite foods tend to be on the low end.
Sugar, meat, alcohol, coffee, chips, fried stuff, most processed foods, and
almost anything we refer to as "junk" has a low number associated with it. High
pH foods include most plants in their natural state and Rolaids, Maalox, and
other stuff we use when we suffer from "acid indigestion." Since the latter
ones have no food value, the best way to stay healthy is to eat more fruits and
vegetables. And you don't need a best-selling diet book to tell you
- Food safety will
become a major issue. This will lead to more scrutiny as
to how we raise and harvest the things we eat. Finding E. coli and other
pathogens in our food and water has become so real it's almost commonplace.
Once the safest place to eat and drink on the planet, the U.S. news headlines
are starting to make us look like a developing country. While there are many
reasons for this, the bottom line is that we can no longer just assume it's
safe to eat the food and drink the water just because we're, well, Americans.
We've allowed our agriculture and meat industries to fly under the radar for a
long time and now we're paying for it.
Thankfully, we're not a developing country and have government
agencies like the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention to help us out. They are our health watchdog
and provide a lot of useful information about keeping you and your family safe.
Checking their Web site regularly will help you to stay informed.
- We'll acknowledge childhood
obesity as a serious issue. The latest numbers estimate
that between 32 and 44 percent of our children are overweight by the time they
hit preschool. And these numbers are rising. With type 2 diabetes (which stems
from obesity) the fastest growing disease on the planet, we've hit the economic
point where we can't literally afford to ignore this issue any longer. Not that
we've been totally ignoring it but we haven't given this issue the attention it
deserves, probably because, by far, poverty-stricken children are leading the
way. Now that it's blown into a full-scale socioeconomic problem, expect to
begin to see some changes.
- We'll name our
poison. We'll have some say over whether or not we eat
genetically modified foods and other artificial or altered products. Outlawing
trans fat is getting all the headlines but these synthetic bits of
artery-clogging gunk are just the tip of the humankind-messing-with-nature
iceberg. GMOs (genetically modified organisms) have been an insidious part of
our diets for decades. Finally, we're starting to become educated about them
and they've hit the mainstream radar.
more on this issue, buy or rent
The Future of
Food, an inside look at the history of GMOs and their past and future
health risks to you. We'll have a review for you in an upcoming
- Organic will come
under fire. There is no doubt that the trend towards
producing foods that are grown by more natural methods is a good one, but
expect some controversy in the upcoming months. Having an "organic" label has
made an impact on the market and big business has been buying up small
traditionally organic companies and lobbying to weaken organic standards.
you dismiss this as a conspiracy theory, consider some of the companies that
have joined the organic movement: Chevron, Disney, DuPont, ExxonMobil, General
Electric, McDonald's, Monsanto, Nike, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Phillip Morris,
Starbucks, Target, and Texas Instruments. This list is not exactly synonymous
with health and is more often associated with words like smog, obesity, toxic
waste, greed, and cancer.
is the fastest growing segment of the food industry so it's not surprising that
the big players want in. But with the almighty quarterly earnings statements
replacing health as the industry's Holy Grail, things are getting rocky.
According to Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers
Association, "Congress voted to weaken the national organic standards that
consumers count on to preserve the integrity of the organic label. The process
was profoundly undemocratic and the end result is a serious setback for the
multibillion-dollar alternative food and farming system that the organic
community has so painstakingly built up over the past 35 years."
health vs. money war is just getting started. As consumers, we need to do our
best to stay informed and make our voices heard. Your local
CSA affiliate is probably the best place to
- We'll begin consuming less soy.
It's not that soy's bad for you; it's that we're eating
way too much of it. One of the GMO world's star pupils, soy is now found in
many foods that don't conjure up thoughts of tofu and it's beginning to have
some serious effects on our health. For more on this issue, check out
Soy to the
- We'll question our
reliance on prescription medications. The war on drugs is
becoming the war on prescription medications and it's time we began to see the
connection between Scarface and pharmaceutical companies. We've joked
about the drug-addicted celebrities, but prescription drug addition has moved
far beyond a microcosm of the Hollywood elite with paychecks that exceed some
countries' gross national product.
our pharmaceutical companies have been bombarding the airwaves with
advertisements, prescription medications have become the number one escalating
area of teen drug abuse. In fact, it's the only growing area. According to the
annual study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 840,000 fewer teens are
using illegal drugs compared to five years ago. However, overall drug abuse is
only slightly down, meaning virtually that same number has turned to using
various types of prescription medications.
course, prescription meds serve a great purpose in our society. But they are
also drugs and can have far worse effects than marijuana and alcoholby
far the two most popular illegal teen drugsif the problem is left
unchecked. Banning, or at least heavily restricting, the pharmaceutical
companies' advertising ability to advertise substances where the side effects
can be far worse than what's being treated is where we should start. After all,
we already restrict alcohol adsand just imagine the outrage over an ad
like this, "Stressed? Why not try some medical marijuana?"
Churning out obese, drug-addicted, and undereducated kids is not
the cornerstone of creating a great society. The revolution begins in
2007and it starts with you.