DanvilleSanRamon.com

Living - January 5, 2007

Epicure: 2007: Cooking and eating for health

by Jacqui Love Marshall

Well, it's been a wonderful holiday season and I have eaten my fair share of holiday meals and homemade treats. I've imbibed my fair share of wine, cocktails and champagne. I've endured my fair share of indigestion and holiday weight gain. But, alas, all things must eventually come to an end. It's a new year and it's time to turn our thoughts to healthier eating. I hope one of your resolutions this year will be to eat and drink better than in 2006. There are plenty of good reason to make that pledge.

During the past 20 years, adult obesity has risen significantly in the United States. Recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 66 percent of adults 20-plus years of age in the U.S. - more than 136 million people - are obese. The trend is not just among adults: 25 million or one-third of U.S. children and teens ages 6-19 years are overweight. That percentage among young people has more than tripled since 1980.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity among Americans raises concern "because of their implications for Americans' health. Being overweight or obese increases the risk of many diseases and health conditions." Among certain diseases and conditions, the CDC cites the following:

* Hypertension

* High total cholesterol or high levels of triglycerides

* Type 2 diabetes

* Coronary heart disease

* Stroke

* Gallbladder disease

* Osteoarthritis

* Sleep apnea and respiratory problems

* Some cancers (endometrial, breast, and colon)

And the news only gets worse: Other recent research found that overweight Americans get sicker late in life more than normal-weight people and also die prematurely.

So, what's a food lover to do??? First, you need to evaluate your household members and the state of their weight/health. Then, take an assessment of your cooking practices and eating habits. Next, you have to decide if some changes are in order to improve the overall health of your family. Finally, you'll want to implement some strategies for cooking and eating for healthier living in 2007. Below are a few tips and guidelines from various sources. Epicure promises to do our best to provide you with more tips throughout the year and to focus on healthier recipes in the columns. Wishing you a healthy new year!

Jacqui Love Marshall lives in Danville with her vintage-car-loving husband, two pugs and binders of recipes. E-mail her at Epicure@DanvilleWeekly.com.

Five foods for added years

Ten food switches to improve your health

Strategies for healthier eating

(In)Take it s-l-o-o-o-w

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