Poor eating habits and lack of physical activity are the major contributing factors to being overweight or obese in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. If people made the choices to eat better, engage in more physical activity and quit smoking, at least 80 percent of all heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes – and up to 40 percent of cancer – could be prevented, WHO says. Healthy eating can reduce the risk of chronic illness and disease, including the three leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer and stroke.
Healthy eating tips to follow:
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Make half the grains you eat whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice.
- Choose fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks, such as soda.
- Choose lean sources of protein, such as seafood, turkey and chicken breast.
- Choose foods with less sodium – look for “low sodium” or “no salt added” on food packages.
- Pay attention to portion size – when eating out, take some food home for later and avoid “supersizing” your meal.
For substantial health benefits, adults are encouraged to engage in 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week, such as:
- Taking a brisk walk at lunch
- Going for a bike ride after work
- Working in the yard
- Cleaning the house
- Joining a sports league
- Going to the gym to work out