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Stay-Healthy Lessons From Around The World

First Posted: 08/28/2011 12:28 pm EDT   Updated: 10/28/2011 5:12 am EDT

By Brenda Keams for iVillage

A recent report has found that half of U.S. adults are expected to be obese by 2030 if some serious changes don't take place -- and we're clearly among the obesity leaders around the world (the global obesity statistic right now is 0.5 billion, according to Reuters).

So what can we learn from other countries? Take an around-the-globe look at these stay-healthy tricks from our various international neighbors.

Britain: Eat Breakfast
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The Brits love breakfast, and they're 60 percent more likely to make time for it than on-the-go Americans. In America, people often eat small morning meals -- or go hungry until lunch, says endocrinologist Daniela Jakubowicz, M.D., author of "The Big Breakfast Diet." But in Britain, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and Brits make the effort to eat it -- without obsessing about calories, she adds.

Why it Works: Regularly digging into a tasty, filling morning meal -- without worrying about the calorie count -- will help you shed up to 15 pounds every year, say scientists at Tufts University. Eating early improves blood sugar control and dampens hunger pangs enough to potentially help you cut 150 calories a day, say study authors.

Even better? You'll feel sharper, too. Harvard studies show that breakfast ramps up production of the brain-nourishing hormone acetylcholine, which can increase focus, concentration and memory by as much as 40 percent.

Recipe for Success: Don't have time to make breakfast each morning? Make a stack of these over the weekend and keep them in the freezer. Pop one in the microwave for 30 seconds in the morning and voilà, instant breakfast: Whole Wheat Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce.

More from iVillage:

The 13 Most Dangerous Teen Health Risks
Get Your Kid Moving! Homework Dances, Camel Poses And More
An A To Z Guide To Heart Health: How To Protect Your Ticker
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