Assalamu Alaikum

Obesity is a global problem. Overindulgence has become a way of life. In reference to eating, Prophet Muhammad, salla ALLAHu alaihi wa sallam, said: “There is no vessel which the son of Adam, alaihis salaam, can fill more evil than his stomach, for it is sufficient for him to take a few mouthfuls in order to straighten his back, but if he must, then fill one-third with food, one-third with drink, and leave one-third empty to breath.” This refers to how much to fill your stomach. The guidance is clear: do not overindulge in eating and drinking — sound advice for any place or time.  

Though food is intended to provide us the nutrients we need, it is not uncommon to eat for reasons other than hunger or to overeat when we are hungry, especially in more affluent societies. In addition, we often eat high energy density foods which pack calories into small servings. This has led to obesity among children and adults. According to the World Health Organization 1.4 billion adults over the age of 20 and 40 million children under the age of 5 are overweight. They also say there are more deaths globally due to being overweight than underweight.  

Despite the elimination of saturated fats and sugar from many food products, it is still not difficult to make poor food choices in today’s fast paced environment. Technology hasn’t helped much either as smart phones, remote controls and tablet computers are keeping children indoors, exercising their fingers rather than outdoors, getting real exercise. That also keeps them closer to fatty and sugary snacks. Many schools have even eliminated recess and made gym optional!  

There are many other issues involved in leading a healthy life. Diet and exercise are but two of them. In this issue we explore how to promote health and prevent disease by making the right food choices. Take a moment to consider your family’s diet and exercise habits and make the necessary adjustments for a healthy life.  


Roger M. Othman, managing editor