The World Health Organisation states that obesity and malnutrition are becoming an epidemic, and is on the increase in younger adults and children. There are over 300 million obese adults worldwide.
In the UK, 17% of men and 21% of women are obese, and 46% of men and 32% of women are overweight.
Over the last 50 years, there has been an increase in energy-dense diets high in fat and low in unrefined carbohydrates. This is linked with reductions in activity. These changes in nutrition and lifestyle are resulting in chronic diseases (obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke), and some types of cancer, all of which cause disability and premature death.
Nature is the basis for all of our nutrition, and many wild plants are highly nutritious and exciting to eat. Managing landscapes and gardens to allow nature to provide a wide range of foods is sensible, and provides us with variety.
Naturopathic nutrition works on the principle of using food as a medicine. It stresses that the use of whole and organic foods is an effective answer to many health complaints and common conditions.
Nature has provided us with medicine since the beginning of time. It has provided humankind with a wide range of lifesaving medicines from quinine to aspirin, from morphine to many cancer and HIV fighting drugs.
Researchers estimate that less than 1% of the world’s known species have been fully investigated for their ability to provide medicines.
However, the ecosystems that have provided us with some of our most important drugs (rainforests, peat swamps, and coral reefs) are the most endangered. Preserving ecosystems and species may save lives in the future.