National Nutrition & Obesity Week 2019

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It is certainly encouraging and heartwarming to see the emphasis during National Nutrition week for 2019 to be focusing on the fundamentals of our core well-being and highlighting the use and consumption of WHOLE FOODS.

Despite what we know about the impact of food choices on our health, overweight and obesity are still on the rise in South Africa, alongside a host of preventable diseases that can be attributed to unhealthy lifestyles.

The message that a coalition of health professionals, including the Department of Health, is highlighting in October during National Nutrition and Obesity Week (9 to 19 October) is that, thanks to our industrialised food system, and far greater, ultra-processed and fast food choices aimed at our ‘convenience’, we’ve got further away from eating the whole foods that are really good for us.

This year’s theme is: 

“Make eating whole foods a way of life”.

Some Facts you may not be aware of:

  • Ultra-processed foods that are high in fats, sugar and/or salt contribute to obesity and non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Research has shown that even just one additional serving of ultra-processed food daily has been found to increase the risk of death from NCDs by 18 per cent.
  • Globalisation and trade liberalisation influence the prevalence in overweight and obesity. An analysis of food imports in 172 countries from 1994 to 2010 has shown that the level of sugar and processed food imports is significantly associated with a rise in average BMI.
  • The sales of ultra-processed products in the world increased by 43.7 per cent from 2000 to 2013.
  • The 2016 SADHS found that 68 per cent of women and 31 per cent of men in the country are overweight or obese. About 20 per cent of women and three per cent of men are severely obese.
  • Approximately 13.3 per cent of children younger than five years are overweight or obese which is more than double the global average of 6.1 per cent. The 2012 SANHANES showed that 14.2 per cent of children aged six to 14 years are overweight or obese.
  • In South Africa, from 1994 to 2012, there has been an overall increase in energy intake, sugar-sweetened beverages, processed and packaged foods, animal source foods, and added caloric sweeteners, while the consumption of vegetables actually decreased. In particular, the consumption of processed and packaged food, such as soft (sugary) drinks, sauces, dressings and condiments, and sweet and savoury snacks had the most drastic increase (>50 per cent).
  • The 2016 SADHS found that among respondents 15 years and older, the consumption of sugary drinks (including fruit juice) the day or night before the survey was 35.7 per cent, with an average volume of 607.2 ml. 36.5 per cent of respondents consume fried foods at least once per week.
  • The consumption of poor food and drink choices starts at an early age with 18 per cent of children age six to eight months consuming salty snacks and four per cent consuming sugary drinks the day or night before the survey. This increased quickly to 64 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively, of children aged 18 to 23 months. Children of this age (six to 24 months) should not be having any foods that do not contribute to their high nutrient needs.
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Key Messages

  • Enjoy a variety of unprocessed or minimally processed food choices
  • Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit every day.
  • Eat dry beans, peas, lentils and soya regularly.
  • Plan and prepare healthy home made meals rather than buying ready to eat food meals/snacks or eating out frequently.
  • Always check food and beverage lables to read what your food and drink consists of.

At Balanced Healing we focus on the fundamentals of health with the pivotal emphasis being on our daily nutritional intake to be the main focus on health & wellness. Healing begins with adequate nutrition.


Balanced Healing
is passionate about creating healthy eating habits and with individual consultation & tailor made planning, assist many people with their nutritional & Lifestyle management. Thus ultimately promoting healing of chronic or sub-clinical ailments such as inflammation, digestive issues and in the prevention of escalating disease processes in obesity driven ailments such as Insulin Resistance, Cholesterol management and some endocrine / hormonal disturbances.

Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food, often ascribed to Hippocrates (400 BC), and used to emphasize the importance of nutrition to prevent or cure disease.

For more information, please be sure to visit the Department of Health National Nutrition week 2019 web page: https://www.nutritionweek.co.za/NNW2019/

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NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS – GOING BEYOND THE QUICK FIX TO OPTIMAL HEALTH

A new year brings new hopes and desires to improve health. We seem to want to lose weight, improve our fitness levels, change our look & even relook our personal & business goals and aspirations.

Personally, I am one of those that sweeps clean and starts off with great gusto on new projects and have found that without proper thought & planning - I seem to lose sight of the very goal I set out to achieve in a very short space of time due to being unfocused – probably a little ADD which in itself would probably require Mentat – Jokes aside, I do know for myself that if my nutrition is good and my exercise regime is regular I can accomplish so much more. Without the planning and structure so necessary to achieve the desired outcomes, I invariably fail to accomplish all I set out to do.

"MY GOAL FOR 2020 IS TO BE ABLE TO OFFER YOU THE VERY BEST INTEGRATED MEDICAL ADVICE AND SUPPORT YOU ON YOUR OWN 2020 JOURNEY WITH EASE AND COMFORT".

This is where I take the time to screen & evaluate my patients current status, lifestyle – and assist in unpacking the toolbox we all have within us and remind every patient that these are all achievable with some guidance, perseverance and dedication. I pride in providing an integrated approach working with the patient to achieve their personal health goals.

To achieve those New Year’s health goals there are 2 fundamentals that need to be highlighted:
1. CLEAR, ACCESSIBLE INFORMATION ON EVIDENCE-BASED APPROACHES TO HEALTH allowing you to differentiate between fact and marketing hype. Balanced Healing – Sr Bridget Spargo, can set the stage for sustained health and well-being, by better managing issues like diet, sleep, and stress.
2. A SHIFT IN MINDSET from seeking separate, disconnected solutions to treat various ailments to recognizing that many health problems may be connected. While our general approach to health care tends to zoom in on specific diseases or even individual body parts, research continues to tell us that assessing the big picture can be important to setting the stage for sustained whole-person health and well-being.

I will be continuing to educate through various articles / Blogs and useful information during the year.
MY wish for you is to gain a better understanding of the interrelationship of factors that make up your health, and I hope you’ll stay up-to-date with new findings and future directions with our blogs and make an investment in your health with a personalized consultation & screening to assist you on your journey to health & happiness in 2020.

A Healthy Happy New Year to all.

HERE IS A JANUARY PROMOTIONAL OFFER VOUCHER TO GET YOU STARTED.

Read full article & Download voucher @ https://zurl.co/zrjK
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A silent tragedy

There is a silent tragedy that is developing day after day in our homes and concerns our most precious jewels: our children.
Our children are in a devastating emotional state.
Over the past 15 years, researchers have given us increasingly alarming statistics about a sharp and steady increase in childhood mental illness that is now reaching epidemic proportions:

Statistics don't lie:
• 1 in 5 children have mental health problems
• A 43% increase in ADHD was noted
• A 37% increase in adolescent depression was noted
• A 200% increase in the suicide rate in children between 10 and 14 years has been noted.

What is going on and what are we doing wrong?

Today's children are over-stimulated and overloaded with material objects, but they are deprived of what is truly fundamental for a healthy and happy childhood, such as:
• Emotionally available parents
• Clearly defined limits
• Responsibility
• Balanced nutrition and good sleep quality
• Movement in the open air
• Creative play, social interaction, unstructured play opportunities and spaces for boredom.

Instead, these last few years we have filled them with:
• Digitally distracted parents
• Indulgent and permissive parents who let children "rule the world" and be the ones who set the rules
• A sense of right, of undeservedly everything without earning it or being responsible for it
• Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition
• A sedentary lifestyle
• Endless stimulation, technological babysitters, instant gratification and the absence of boring moments.

What to do?
If we want our children to be happy and healthy individuals, we must wake up and go back to basics.
It is still possible ... with the following recommendations:

• Set limits and remember that you are the captain of the ship. Your children will feel more confident knowing that you are in control of the helm.
• Offer children a balanced lifestyle full of what they need, not just what they want. Don't be afraid to say "no" to your kids if what they want isn't what they need.
• Provide nutritious foods and limit junk food.
• Spend at least an hour a day outdoors doing activities such as: cycling, walking, fishing, bird / insect watching.
• Enjoy a daily family dinner with no phones or technology to distract them.
• Play with family board games or if the children are very young for board games, let yourself be carried away by your interests and allow them to lead the game.
• Involve your children in some homework or homework according to their age (folding clothes, ordering toys, hanging clothes, arranging food, setting the table, feeding the dog, etc.).
• Implement a consistent sleep routine to ensure that your baby sleeps well. Timetables will be even more important for school-aged children.
• Teach responsibility and independence. Do not protect them in excess against any frustration or error. Making mistakes will help them develop resilience and learn to overcome life's challenges,
• Do not load your children's backpack, do not bring their backpacks, do not bring them the task they have forgotten, do not peel their bananas or oranges if they can do it alone (4-5 years). Instead of giving them fish, educate them to fish.
• Educate them to wait and delay gratification.
• Provide opportunities for "boredom" as boredom is the moment when creativity awakens. You don't feel responsible for keeping children entertained.
• Do not use technology as a cure for boredom, nor offer it on the first second of inactivity.
• Avoid the use of technology during meals, in cars, in restaurants, in shopping malls. Use these moments as an opportunity to socialize, thus training your brains to work when they are in "boredom" mode.
• Help them create a "jar of boredom" with business ideas for when they are bored.
• Turn off phones at night when children have to go to bed to avoid digital distraction.
• Become a regulator or emotional trainer of your children. Educate them to recognize and manage their frustrations and anger.
• Educate them to greet, to take turns, to share without remaining without anything, to say thank you and please, to recognize the error and apologize (do not force them), be a model of all those values ​​that you inculcate them.
• Connect emotionally - smiles, hugs, kisses, tickles, reading, dancing, jumping, playing with them.

Thank you for the share.

Article written by Dr. Luis Rojas Marcos psychiatry.
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