Looking around you in your company, you might not think that obesity applies to you or your company. Perhaps you work in a trendy warehouse office doing PR? Or in the City where you know what a vibrant energy diet looks like?
Even if you think you know what a so-called “healthy” diet looks like the truth is you probably don’t. You might know it’s about fresh fruit and veg but do you know what order to eat them in so that you maintain sustained hormone (insulin) levels throughout the day? Most of the messaging you receive will be through advertising, and un-joined up sound-bites from the TV. Also, you may be aware of parts of well meaning legislation taken out of context, for example the “Five A Day” where food companies use it as part of their advertising or marketing strategies. Note that in other countries the government give the advice of a 9 a day campaign. Are we dumbing down our messaging and suffering the consequence?
Even if obesity doesn’t apply directly to you, it will apply to your staff, your clients and customers (for example legal claims of unfair dismissal in employment law) and those you employ in the future to sustain your company and its growth. At the very least the effects of obesity might be:
· Lack of energy
· Lack of motivation
· Poor self-esteem/Unhappiness
· Back and muscular skeletal problems
And at the more serious end:
· Type 2 diabetes
· Certain Cancers
· Heart disease
BUPA states that Obesity is costing British Business £2.6 billion a year – this is not the cost to the National Health (£4.2 billion) who tend to be on the more critical end of obesity management. The everyday cost of obesity is a huge, and growing problem. The problem is especially acute in companies where the hours are long, and the vending machines packed with cheap food that quickly picks up and drops the blood sugar (creating a surge of the hormone insulin which stores fat).
This week perhaps many of us were shocked to learn that being over-weight is becoming the “new normal” I cant quite believe this so I am going to give you the website reference here (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26765078) but it seems that 75% of the adult population is obese or overweight but 52% of men and 30% of overweight women thought they were about the right weight. This figure is based on a body mass index of above 25. This is about double the numbers in the early 1990s.
So even if you think that obesity is not your problem, is it?
Dump The Diet
You may think the answer therefore is about the whole country going on a whopping diet and getting more exercise (certainly important). We as a country have had a philosophy of calorie management which has guided our thinking certainly for the whole of the 20th century (actually the calorie was discovered a lot early). Whilst knowing the energy of food is important, it may be argued insulin and blood sugar management are a vital part of a healthy weight but how this might work in practice is a mystery to most dieters. People needing to lose weight often try harder and harder in a system that is out to defeat them (eg low calorie treats that a plainly not good for the health or for maintaining the blood sugar – eg Malteser sweets are 11 calories each but Maltesers, which are manufactured by Mars, contain 505 calories per 100g – a more relevant nutritional measure as people are unlikely to eat just one).
In explaining to workforces how to play the food game (where it actually starts to mean something) Its less about going on a diet (restriction and rebellion) but knowing how to actually make sense of the choices. That is why we call our weight loss programme “Dump The Diet” – its actually so much simpler than the pundits would have us believe and something you know in your heart:
1. Eat a good breakfast which will balance your blood sugar and energy levels
2. Eat “real” food and plan this into your life and work
3. Eat more vegetables than fruit, and make sure you have enough protein
4. Make sure you are well hydrated
5. Take enough exercise
I have been leading the Dump The Diet programme for 14 years and introduced it into some of Britain’s leading companies. The feedback is really amazing, not only normalising weight but improving sleep, mood and energy but contributing to people actually reporting they are happier as a result.
Get in touch with me now if you want to find out how I can help you tackle obesity in your company.