Regardless of what is the cause of “your” excess weight, you need to understand the problem, so you can succeed in beating the “battle of the bulge”. You can lose weight easily, and in a healthy way too!

Obesity has become a major problem in the United States. Government statistics indicate that there is no state in the country in which the obesity rate is lower than 20%. Almost 70% of US adults are overweight or obese. Even more alarming is the fact that one third of our children are overweight. This includes more than 12% of children ages 2 to 5 and almost 20% of teens! This is a public health nightmare!

There is no simple explanation to account for the increase in weight issues among Americans. The situation is very complex and there are multiple factors to consider. For example:

• Heredity. Of course we do not inherit fat cells from our ancestors. However, we most certainly can inherit a tendency to gain weight from our fore bearers. Genes that we are born with play a big part in appetite, metabolism, the way we store fat, and the way we respond to exercise.

• Environment. This reflects to the common conditions which surround our day-to-day lives. For example, how much activity are we involved in … do we work at a sitting position at desks most of the day, or are we landscapers? We are alive at a time when daily diets leave much to be desired, mostly because of busy schedules and little time for cooking. We eat out too much and then consume excess fat, salt, sugar, and calories. We are also less likely to exercise because of excessive demands on our time. In addition, lack of solid scientific information often leads to bad food choices.

• Medical conditions. Diseases of the adrenal glands, thyroid, and ovaries, may be responsible for disabling the efficient metabolism of food and the way in which calories are burned. While it is prudent to check with your doctor, medical conditions and “chemical imbalance” are very unquestionably causes of weight issues.

• Medications: Drugs such as steroids and antidepressants which are used in the treatment of a variety of medical conditions may contribute to the problem of weight gain and obesity. If this is the case, there is no reason to despair. In such cases, the physician can most often order a change to another medication or pursue alternative options for weight management. Be sure to let your health care provider know if you have gained weight after starting a medication.

Regardless of the cause of a weight issue, it must be deal with because if the problem is ignored, it will not get better on its own. Whatever approach is needed, the weight must be addressed. It can make you sick in many ways and even shorten life expectancy.