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In the last forty years, more and more people in Western countries like the U.S.A., Great Britain and Australia have become very overweight, a condition that doctors call
. In the last twenty years obesity rates have also increased in developing countries, especially among young people who have been targeted by advertisements for Western
like hamburgers, pizzas, deep-fried chicken and donuts.
Obesity is a very serious health problem because obese people have a much higher chance of developing many serious
than people of normal weight. These illnesses include heart disease, which can lead to fatal
, Type 2 diabetes, which can cause blindness, kidney disease and the loss of arms and legs, and many types of cancer, which can be very difficult to
. But the chances of developing these terrible illnesses is greatly reduced if we can keep our bodies at a healthy
Research has found that there are three main causes of obesity. The first is
, which means eating more food than our bodies need. The second is what scientists call a
lifestyle, which means spending too much time sitting in front of a television or computer, and not enough time doing physical work or exercise. The third cause is eating unhealthy foods, especially foods that
the amount of fat in our bodies and make us put on weight.
A lot of
shows that the unhealthiest foods are those with high levels of animal fat like processed and fatty meats, egg yolks and high-fat dairy products, and those with high levels of refined carbohydrates like white bread, sugar, sweets, cakes, snack foods and soft drinks. The evidence also shows that the
foods are fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, fish and other seafood. If we mostly eat these healthy foods, and also get plenty of
, we should enjoy long and healthy lives.
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