Earlier in the month, the Huffington Post reported that more than sixty percent of adults in England are overweight or obese. We’ve written about this before, but the trend seems to be growing—along with people’s pant sizes. Apparently Jamie Oliver‘s healthy food habits haven’t caught on in his homeland. (Maybe it’s time he turn his focus back to the U.K. after working on our American health habits!)
But wait. The United States hasn’t exactly gotten on board with healthy eating either: the nation had the highest obesity rate of all countries, as of March 2013: a reported 2/3 of all adults (people over 20 years of age) are overweight and an approximate 1/3 of Americans are obese. Right below the United States is Mexico, who has an obesity rate of about 25%.
Here in the States, we not only like to keep up with the Joneses, but also the Juans in Mexico, the Martins in France, and the Satous in Japan. In other words, we don’t like to be left out or behind even on a global scale.
This is the case with food – whose is better? – and fashion – who looks the best? But it’s also the case with fitness. Just as every other aspect of our lives differs culturally, you can believe that’s the case when it comes to working out, too. Grab your gym-going passport and take a look at what’s popular beyond our borders. You may be inspired to try something new!
The carefree lifestyle of the Spanish seems to translate to their approach to fitness, too. As a whole, they don’t seem to worry themselves too much with getting in to the gym. Their inherent lifestyle does a body good! “The majority of them eat a healthy enough diet (Mediterranean diet at its finest) and walk almost everywhere (if they live in a big city), so obesity isn’t that big of a concern,” said Kelsey Murray, an American teacher who travels to Seville to teach English. They certainly don’t give exercise the chore status that Americans do, as it’s naturally just a part of their lives.
These Euros are also not sweating out their evenings in the gym, rather they prefer to get out en plein air. Translation: They enjoy the outdoors. And why wouldn’t they? Beautiful scenery from nature and architecture provide an inspired background to walk, run, cycle, or even row. Because they are “discreet but effective,” Mireille Guiliano, author of the French Women Don’t Get Fat series of books, told Yahoo! that isometric exercises are very French. With a straight back, contract your abs for 12 seconds, hold, release, and repeat. You can do this on the subway, in your desk chair, in your office, or even at a fancy dinner date. (more…)
Restaurant industry, we have had enough! Are you deliberately trying to gross us out? Do you get a kick out of making grotesque concoctions in your test kitchens and then send them out to mass market as a punch line?
This Hot Dog Stuffed Crust pizza from Pizza Hut is about the nastiest thing we’ve seen come from a restaurant in quite a while. While we’re glad it’s not available in the U.S. (at least for now, just give it time), we feel for the residents of the United Kingdom being subjected to this culinary nonsense.
Jillian Michaels coined the term best when she started describing this over-processed junk “Frankenfoods,” meaning they resemble food but calling it that would be a disservice to all of the things that are actually food.
Dressed like any other pizza with cheese, pepperoni, peppers, and onions, the Hot Dog Stuffed Crust pizza has the slimy little sausage tucked inside the crust and comes with a free mustard drizzle. The chest pains for dessert and gastric bloat are also free. (more…)
In England, The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has come up with a groundbreaking concept to improve the health of the country. They have proposed paying those with unhealthy habits, including those who are obese and smoke, to quit their addictions.
On 20-22 May 2010, NICE’s Citizens Council met to discuss the following question: In what circumstances are incentives to promote individual behaviour change an acceptable way of promoting the health of the public?
From the September 27, 2010 press release :
While this approach is not commonly used in the UK to improve areas of public health, the Council heard of examples where local incentive schemes had been piloted. These included an initiative to encourage pregnant women to stop smoking by offering supermarket vouchers, people receiving cash for losing agreed amounts of weight, and children being rewarded with toys in exchange for eating more fruit and vegetables. (more…)
According to the UK’s Telegraph, researchers found that British children spend twice as much on junk food than their American counterparts. The average British child spends the equivalent of $570 per year on candy alone (that’s enough for 850 Mars bars), whereas an American child spends $230. Kids in the UK were also found to eat more pre-prepared meals, ice cream and sugary breakfast cereals. The study did not bode well for the success of the British Government’s anti-obesity campaign, which recently suffered from a major funding cut.
Over a third of British children are obese, and that number is projected to increase at a rate of 2.1 percent a year until 2014, while childhood obesity in the US is expected to increase at a rate of 1.3 percent. Food manufacturers, however, are disputing the claims.