Five Lifestyle Choices that Keep Other Countries Healthier Than The U.S.


My travels to other countries have opened my eyes to a disturbing fact about American culture – we are lazy!  There is no mystery why the United States has some of the highest obesity rates in the world.  Our society revolves around comfort and convenience, while efficiency is a major determinant for cultures in much of the rest of the world.  Here are five ways other countries remain skinnier and healthier than Americans.  By adopting the following lifestyle changes, our country can save itself from the plague of obesity.

Locals in Santiago, Chile are seen here walking and waiting on the bus.

Walking or Riding a Bike to Work In Puerto Montt, Chile, I told some locals that the act of driving around a parking lot for several minutes simply to get the closest parking spot was typical in the United States.  They responded in laughter, truly thinking I was telling a joke.  While owning a car may seem like a necessity to the average American, the people of Chile and other nations rely on public transit, bicycles, or their own two feet to get them to work.  The average person can burn over one hundred calories walking at a moderate pace for thirty minutes.

Spending LESS time on the Computer The average American works all day in front of a computer screen, only to come home and spend more time on his personal computer.  Video games and the television have also replaced more traditional modes of entertainment.  In parts of Mexico, many households do not own a single computer or elaborate video game equipment.  Instead, the children play outside, and the adults do much more physical labor.

Taking the Stairs When I was traveling home from England, the people in the busy London airport were fighting to use the stairs, while the escalators held only the elderly and disabled.  Once I landed in the United States, the stairs were deserted and the escalator was overflowing.  As Americans, we tend to look for an elevator or escalator before even considering a staircase.  As simple as it seems, taking the stairs and other small changes to daily life can be a great way to start a healthier life!

Eating Smaller Portion Sizes From Chile to France, portion sizes are significantly smaller than in the United States.  I actually lost seven pounds in Chile partly because I was eating less at each meal.  Try splitting your plate with someone when eating out, or use a smaller plate when eating at home.  Either way, you will be guaranteed to eat less than you would have otherwise.

Drink More Water and Less Sugary Drinks  In the United States, we definitely enjoy drinking high calorie, very sweet beverages.  The popular Grande Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha at Starbucks has 470 calories!  Trade that in for a Latin American alternative – a cup of coffee with milk and sweetened with honey.  Instantly your 470 calorie splurge has been reduced to around 35 calories (mostly from the milk).

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One Response

  1. […] A doctor and a friend argue for the increase of the population as a reason for the increase of illnesses.  Wellness by Nature takes a position that this is arguable.  There are regions of the world with populations equal or greater than ours where the people are healthier than we are.  Their problem might be access to medical care, but not the deterioration that we are seeing in this country.  Chile is a good example of a much healthier society even with less.         […]

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