Obesity is a haven for free radicals.

With a death toll that comes second only to smoking, obesity as a contributing factor to death now claims nearly 300,000 lives each year in the US. The alarming increase in obesity is not limited to North America. In Japan, the prevalence of obesity in men has doubled since 1982. The most dramatic increase, however, is in Australia and the United Kingdom, where the incidence has more than doubled since 1980.

In Australia, more than 16 million Australians are overweight or obese, which is pretty alarming considering our population is only 23 million.

More than four million Australians are obese (BMI > 30.0 kg/m2).

If weight gain continues at current levels, by 2020, 80% of all Australian adults and a third of all children will be overweight or obese.

Obesity has overtaken smoking as the leading cause of premature death and illness in Australia.

Obesity has become the single biggest threat to public health in Australia.

On the basis of present trends we can predict that by the time they reach the age of 20 our kids will have a shorter life expectancy than earlier generations simply because of obesity.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians are 1.9 times as likely as non-indigenous Australians to be obese.

The trend is strong, accelerating and not limited to the developed world. Obesity is also increasing rapidly in developing nations, as they adopt the lifestyles and dietary patterns common to the West. There is no doubt about it-obesity is “widespread.”

Can the problem be resolved?

Absolutely! Obesity is, for the most part, a simple problem of biochemical economics. Just like a bank account, deposit more money than you take out and, over time, your savings will grow. Similarly, if your body takes in more energy than it puts out, over time you will grow. Most people can reduce “fat-bank” accounts through basic dietary and lifestyle changes. A low glycemic and low-fat diet, combined with regular exercise, will do wonders to maintain the proper balance in your metabolic bank account-and your heart will dearly thank you for it.

Perhaps the biggest dietary issue we face today is the lack of living food on offer. Even ‘fresh’ fruits and vegetables may have been in cold storage for up to 7 months!

Phyto-nutrients and enzymes are responsible for many of the bodily functions that we take for granted. Old, packaged and processed foods, lack any of these critical agents. Sprouts on the other hand, and young grasses, which one can cultivate at home, come packed full of all those living goodies – Lipase, an enzyme known to break down fats stored in the body, aiding in weight loss – Protease, essential in the economical absorption of protein – Amylase, needed for healthy and efficient digestion. Cytochrome oxidise, one of natures most powerful antioxidants –Super oxide dismutase, known to lessen the effects of slow cell aging and radiation on the body, and Transhydrogenase, an enzyme known to strengthen the musculature of the heart.

Sprouts and young cereal grasses are also among the most alkalising of foods. Our habitual western diet, high in sugar, meat, quick release carbohydrates and dairy products has an overwhelmingly acidic effect on the body, and is undoubtably a factor in many of the endemic health issues our society faces. Heart disease, diabetes and cancer have all been linked to acidity in the body, and likewise, can be prevented, even combated through alkalisation. Consuming alkaline food and water can help to return your body to the ideal PH state of 7.365, necessary for its optimum health and well being.