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John Hudson: Obesity is a modern plague

opinion

By John Hudson

Published: 1:50PM Friday April 19, 2013

It's a modern plague threatening to overwhelm our health system.

More than a million New Zealand adults are now obese and the problem is steadily getting bigger.

If there was an Olympic games event for fatness we would probably take the bronze medal behind the USA and Mexico.

The downstream effects of course are ill-health on a massive scale. Already half a million Kiwis take blood pressure pills, nearly 400 thousand are on cholesterol -lowering drugs and two hundred thousand have type two diabetes. Much of this is the consequence of over-eating.

So what's the answer? Well the ideas about how to slim down the nation are many and varied from taxing energy-dense food to cutting the tax of good foods like fresh fruit and vegetables.

On a personal level I've decided to attack my expanding middle-aged waistline with intermittent fasting.

It's a diet with a difference and the potential to cut your spending as well as the kilos.

On two days each week (I chose Tuesdays and Thursdays) I eat just 600 calories or less. In theory I can eat anything I like. I could for example eat a Big Mac and Coke for breakfast, however I would be hungry a few hours later.

In practice I eat nutritious foods low in sugar, starch and fat that will get me through fasting days without feeling overly hungry.

Fruit and vegetables along with small slices of protein, like chicken and fish, all washed down with copious amounts of green tea.

I got the idea from a BBC "Horizon" programme I saw last year which created a massive fasting craze in the UK.

"Eat, Fast And Live" claimed fasting has far greater benefits than just weight loss - namely increased longevity through slowing the onset of killer diseases like cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

So after eight weeks of fasting how have I done? Well check out this week's Sunday programme - 7.30pm on One.

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