Good Morning Friends!!
I am back home in Texas after having the fortunate experience of traveling across Europe for the last 10 days trying not to look like National Lampoon's European Vacation. My wife and I covered France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. We traveled by foot, by train, by car, by plane, and by boat. No matter where I go, weather it be in other states in the US or out of the country, I always like to be observant of the physical condition of the people surrounding me.
America has an obesity rate of over 35% contributing to the worldwide epidemic of obesity. In the United States our society tries to combat the epidemic with all sorts of fad diets and quick fixes. We have low carb, low fat, high fat, high protein, and everything in between. One of the biggest fads in America right now is the Keto diet or high protein and fat and low carb. Like so many fad diets, the Keto diet is just a repackaged diet under a different name to make us want to latch onto the next best diet.
The obesity rate in Europe is right around 25% and has actually declined in recent years. I did not know the exact percentages until I researched them but I could visually see there was a significant lower obesity rate in Europe. An interesting thing about Europe is that Europeans LOVE their bread and alcohol. Beer is the same price if not cheaper than bottled water and fresh bread is served with every meal. I only found packaged bread in just a couple of markets and never saw any Europeans with packaged bread.
One more very interesting observation is the amount of walking Europeans do. Trains, buses, and subways are a huge mode of transportation for them. How do they get to all those different types of transportation? Walk. Walk to the station and then when they arrive at their destination they have to walk to their final destination.
My observations of Europeans is that they consume a much larger amount of bread and alcohol then we do in America and walk more than we do. More bread, more alcohol, more walking, and a lower obesity rate.
My take away from Europeans lifestyle is that each individual in America needs to take responsibility for the growing obesity epidemic. It's not the bread making us fat. It’s not the alcohol making us fat. It is us making us fat. We eat too many processed foods, we drink alcohol in excess, we choose to get in our cars to go down the block instead of walking, and we want to look for the next best quick fix to make us skinny.
I am going to give you the European secret that I was able to bring back to America undetected in my carry on luggage. The secret...eat a balanced diet, have the bad stuff in moderation, and move more. The European Secret can be done for a lifetime.
My challenge to us all this week is quit looking for the quick fix, quit the fad diet, quit blaming others, take responsibility and ownership of our health. We only get one body on this earth. How are you treating yours?