Overeating and Overheating

| by Victor Cherubim

( July 23, 2012, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) Globesity is one of the major health challenges of our time. Its occurrence has now reached epidemic proportions not only in many industrial nations but increasingly in less developed countries. The sedentary lifestyle can partly contribute to rising obesity rates. Cutting the fat is no easy matter. The growth of fast food and comfort outlets, television and media prompts and coverage can also be part of the problem.

We may not realise how much we are eating, what we are eating or why we are overeating, until it is too late.

Studies show the reason why many people gain weight and “keep it on,” is emotional rather than physical eating, while once this cycle of craving to satisfy our appetite has taken hold, breaking free from food seduction, is more than just will power.

So what are the real causes of overeating? “I eat because I am ravenously hungry” “I eat because I am bored or lonely.” I eat because I feel hungry when I pass MacDonald’s or Burger King or Pizza Hut.” “I eat because my Mother or my wife has cooked it and I didn’t want to disappoint them.” “I eat because I am depressed.” These replies convey a daunting prospect.

Many of us overeat at a celebration or at a time of grief, as such occasion will not be complete without food or drink.The uncontrollable urge to eat is connected to a sense of inner feeling. This emotion makes us powerless. The only way to recover that power is to search for other options besides eating which can satisfy us when something really troubles us.

Food is fine when it is a source of life’s energy. Food is necessary for our health and wellbeing. Nourishing food can even help us to lose weight, lower cholesterol and reduce our waistline. When it comes to a healthy diet, balance is the key to getting it right. This means eating a wide variety of fresh and cooked foods in the right proportions and consuming the right amount of food and drink to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.

Eating well on a budget has become more than necessary for many households, with money being tight. Whether it is fresh or frozen, tinned (canned) or loose, avoiding buying on impulse is one way not to buy too much, or waste limited resources. People now shop online comparing prices and get their shopping delivered to their homes. Besides, I found many supermarkets, including M&S (Marks & Spencer) Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Morrisons, all using various strategies to attract customers with enticing offers, including cutting prices by almost half, on sell by day items, one hour before their closing times,

To address this problem of obesity, we need to first look at children at school and the fast food they consume. We need to have regular checks of body mass index for all employed. We need to especially target the obesity issue in the security services including the police, as is being commissioned in UK. We need to better manage individual lifestyles.

Fat may not be good for people’s health, but according to analysts at a well known American bank, efforts to tackle obesity is good for business. With more sick days being taken by the obese than normal weight employees, there is going to be a thriving investment business of firms producing slim diets, a new pill, a new exercise plan or a new surgical solution for controlling weight loss in the next 25 years, worldwide.

Globesity is the name of the game for slim down America, and the theme for mega bucks investment.

Overheating on the other hand causes unnecessary expense of energy and unwanted side effects in health. Overheating which is understood to be the accumulation of warmth within a building to an extent where it causes discomfort to the occupants. Research carried out show that most people begin to feel warm at 25 degrees C and hot at 28 degrees C, while above 35 degrees C, there is significant danger of heat stress.

Cost savings on energy in U.K. due to the economic situation is also an impending situation. Architects and house builders are now researching ways and means of reducing heating costs.

Historically overheating in homes, inconsequential in past years is now a priority concern for new builds. Higher standards of air tightness and increased thermal insulation are making overheating a growing problem in new build houses and a health hazard.

According to new research, the advantage of older homes where the gaps in the building fabric such as chimneys and sash windows enabled ventilation. They have made older homes less energy efficient, but have provided added ventilation that helped them cool during the summer. New built homes in contrast, are usually doubled glazed and far more airtight to improve their energy efficiency.

The health impacts of overheating can include an increased risk of illness from respiratory and cardiovascular disease. The consequences of extreme temperatures sustained over a period are significant, as seen in the summer heat wave in 2003 resulting in more than 2000 extra deaths in UK.

Not only is overheating a potential risk to health, but the discomfort of living in an overheated house could lead to occupants offsetting the energy efficiency by using fixed or portable air conditioning units. With rising unemployment,cost cutting is paramount today.

With power cuts imposed for a minimum of two hours daily in selected areas in Sri Lanka by the CEB due to collapse of power generation at two thermal plants, energy saving strategies for individuals and businesses could be introduced. This will be inconvenient but here again cost cutting comes into play.

In both situations, overeating and overheating, the issue is cost, although health is impaired.

There is no comparison whether in Sri Lanka or in the UK if health of individuals is sacrificed for cost saving. There is no price for good health.

( The writer can be reached at victorcherubim@aol.com )