Obesity Statistics And What This Obesity Epidemic Is Doing To Us

We are a fat country! Adults are overweight and we are making our children fatter than ever. Sadly, these obese children tend to become obese adults.

  • In 1980 the national average for adult obesity was 15% of the population and in 1991, no state had an adult obesity rate above 20%.
  • By 2010 – 38 states had adult obesity rates above 25 percent and for 28 of the states there was an increase in the level of obesity. The rest maintained tier high level [except for Washington, DC, which had the only declination in obesity.]
  • And in the same timeframe [since 1980] childhood obesity rates in the US have more than doubled.

We are fat and getting fatter!

According to the CDC [Center for Disease Control] these are the definitions of overweight and obese:

For adults, overweight and obesity ranges are determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the “body mass index” (BMI). BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat. * An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. * An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.

You can find many BMI calculators online by searching for the term.

What is obesity doing to us?

  • Obesity leads to many illnesses
  • Obesity makes many illnesses worse
  • Childhood obesity is a leading cause of young children having heart problems and diabetes – once considered diseases of adulthood
  • Obesity leads to an increase in healthcare costs for everyone

We have an obesity epidemic and we need to do something to curtail the situation but the most typical solutions pushed are the various diets, diet pills and surgery.

Diets do not usually work because if your body is starved it holds onto every gram of fat as that the way the body is designed to work. Our body needs an amount of fat to work and – yes – it IS possible to do this in moderation.

Our body is smart – it knows what it needs – but our food is no longer nutritious and so we tend then to eat more and more “foods” because we do not understand which nutrient our body is needing. And many of the “foods” are filled with chemicals.

Yet – no matter how much, or how little, we eat – if we do not provide our body with the needed nutrient or nutrients – all we are doing is adding calories.

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Healthy Weight Lowers Breast Cancer Risk

Obesity has been linked to numerous ailments and a new study just released suggestions a link between postmenopausal women and an especially aggressive breast cancer that does not depend on estrogen to grow.

The study looked at the body mass index (BMI), a measure of height and weight, of 155,723 women between the ages 50 to 79 years of age … and the results were shocking.

Women with the highest BMIs had a 35 percent higher risk of developing the aggressive form of breast cancer known as triple-negative. Triple-negative is marked by a lack of estrogen, progesterone and HER2 protein expression.

Those subjects were also more at risk of developing other forms of cancer as well.

The study followed the women for roughly eight years monitoring their BMIs, exercise habits and weight and height; 2,610 women developed estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer, which is fueled by estrogen and 307 women developed triple-negative cancer.

“The new part of this is the triple-negative,” study leader Amanda Phipps, a postdoctoral fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle said. “While the findings call for further study, there's already reason to repeat the message that keeping a healthy weight is critical with age.”

Just because the study focuses on postmenopausal women does not mean the younger generations including women in their 20s and 30s should ignore the finds.

Good health begins in your early years. If you take the proper precautions now you will not end up overweight or obese in your later years. How we take care of our bodies today makes all the difference in the years to come.

This study should come as an eye opener to all women. It should suggest and influence all ages to maintain a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise.

One third of all cancer deaths are related to diet and activity factors.

Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among American women. It is also the second leading cause of cancer death in women falling behind lung cancer. Women have a 1 in 8 chance of developing an invasive form of breast cancer during some point of their lives.

Men are also affected by breast cancer and should become aware of prevention and detection.

Do what you can now to help prevent the onset of breast cancer or any other form of cancer: maintain a healthy weight, stay physically active and eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables and whole grains.

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Obesity – Does Your Family Enable You Or Support You?

I have found that in most cases when one person or an an family family is obese or over weight that they feel very much alone at times and isolate themselves from society because of their situation. So no one in the outside world really knows the dangers that they face with their overweight condition.

Now the real question is if your obese or over weight does your family enable you or help you with your weight management. One of the first things you can do is have a meeting with your family and explain the situation and what you plan to do. Sometimes your family will not even know your situation until you bring it to their attention and once you do that you should have a list of goals you have written down to let them know you are serious about your weight condition and what you plan to do about it.

Once you have done that you should wait and see what reaction you get from your family and ask everyone how they feel about your situation. Now once you have seen how everyone feels and if they are willing to help you, you know where you stand and can go from there. Now most family members may say they love you for who and what you are and if they do you must stress to them you are not and want to change your life.

If they are not willing to support you in your weight loss journey that is fine and if that is the case you have to stick to your guns do not be mad at them but let them know that that is what you are going to do. Make no mistake there are multiple people in your community just like you maybe at your work or a friend, so find someone to team up with you. Once you find someone to exam up with you make a workout schedule, a diet plan and you can set specific times every week were you a weight in together so you can celebrate your success.

Now if your family is behind you then it is very easy to get support. Your family can help you plan a weekly menu. They can also help you workout. Not only that, but you will always have support and someone looking out for you so you do not snack between meals. Sit down with your family and create a family weight loss program so everyone is involved. Form a weekly meal schedule with healthy foods a diet plan, if you will.

The most important thing to remember is to celebrate your success every week and be proud of your accomplishments no matter how small you think it is. I do not care if you lose only one pound. You still lost that pound and you should be proud. I wish you the best. I know you will succeed.

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The Connection Between Childhood Obesity and Bullying

Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is becoming an epidemic within the United States. According to the Mayo Clinic, childhood obesity is, “a serious medical condition that affects children and adolescents.” It occurs when a child is well above the normal weight for his or her age and height. start children on the path to health problems that were once bound to adults, such as diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Childhood obesity currently boasts some scary statistics, with almost 60% of children in America being classified as obese. Childhood obesity studies also reveal the fact that 40% of obese children and 70% of obese adolescents become obese adults. By the time an obese child turns six years old, his / her chance of becoming an obese adult is over 50%.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), children who are overweight are more likely to be at risk for cardiovascular diseases, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Obese children (not just adults) also have a higher risk of bone and joint problems, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, cancer, and arthritis. Children who are obese may also suffer from a range of serious psychological problems including depression, anxiety and poor self-esteem. With cyber bullying becoming more prevalent, studies have begun to examine the link between childhood obesity and bullying. But could bullying be one of the reasons these children are overweight to begin with?

The Link between Bullying and Obesity

Playground taunts may seem like harmless child's play, but bullying may keep overweight children off the playground, making it more difficult for them to shed pounds. Most kids are bullied at some point in their lives, but overweight children are more often the targets of bullies. A University of Florida study reveals that frequent bullying leads children who become victims to avoid situations where they have been picked on before, such as gym class or at afterschool sporting events. Aside from causing those being bullied to avoid events where they might be teased, bullying is also linked to depression and loneliness. Overweight kids who could benefit from sports and regular exercise are often discouraged from doing so as a result of being taunted or teased. The problem is if kids are avoiding physical education class or sports out of fear of being bullied, their health is very being affected.

What Should Parents Know?

Understanding the link between bullying and long-term psychological and physical health problems in children is essential. When a child is overweight or obese, parents should understand that these boys and girls are at an increased risk of being bullied and at risk for future health problems. Recognizing the signs of bullying in a child is an important step in breaking the chain of negative outcomes. Some signs to be aware of include; increased stress, depression, and submissive behavior. The best way to approach the growing problem of bullying in overweight children is to help fight obesity in your children.

Worried about your child's weight? You can do more than just nag him or her about eating too much junk food. Implementing healthy family habits may help:

Control Portions

It's no wonder that obesity in children is on the rise when you see the servings of food considered normal. Prepare smaller servings or have children share between one or two others. Encourage kids to eat slower. Perhaps engage them in conversation over the meal so they slow down their intake. Eating at a slower pace, allows the brain time to receive the message from the stomach that it is in fact full.

What About Snacks?

Let's face it; kids can be bottomless pits when it comes to satisfying their appetites. It may seem difficult at first, but keeping the junk food out of the house is a good place to start! Start healthy habits at home. When kids are hungry enough, they'll eat what's available, so make their choices healthier.

No More Couch Potatoes

Activity is the name of the game! TV, computer and video games, although sometimes unavoidable can contribute to obesity in children. If they do not want to go outside and play, or do sports, then compromise and put in video games that are activity oriented (like Wii sports for instance). Obesity in children is a huge problem and requires the attention of those people who are responsible for their care. Bullying can have negative effects on overweight children. Negative attitudes toward exercise can last a lifetime, making it more difficult for these overweight children to lose weight and make it easier for them to become obese adults.

Bullying is unacceptable and parents need to be actively involved to ensure that the issue is handled properly. Fighting childhood obesity and bullying starts with you. What will you do to ensure your child is healthy and bully free?

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Causes of Obesity Include Keeping Warm In Winter?

A recent study from the UK finds that higher temperatures indoors to ensure you're keeping warm in winter may be one of the causes of obesity contributing to the increasing levels of obesity in the US and other western countries. In the last few decades indoor temperatures in the US, and UK have gone up, meaning all of us are spending more time in warmer temperatures … certainly more so than any generation before us.

While research into the environmental causes of obesity has focused a lot on diet and exercise, there may well be other environmental factors, including the temperature indoors during the winter months that have an impact.

Obesity, an epidemic in the United States (one in three of us is obese), is a chronic condition that's defined by your doctor as an excess amount of body fat. While some fat is needed for storing energy, insulating the body and such, too much causes trouble.

The normal amount of body fat for women is 25-30%, while for men it's 18-23%. Anyone over these limits is considered obese. The BMI is the tool most commonly, and reliably, used to get an idea of ​​how much body fat you have.

The researchers believe that because we spend so much time inside we restrict the range of temperatures generations before ours have experienced in daily life. This has two impacts in terms of staying at a healthy weight.

1) We do not need to expend as much energy to stay warm, and

2) We reduce the body's natural ability to produce heat.

This reduced time spent experiencing cooler temperatures may well affect overall energy balance according to researchers.

In the UK average living room temperatures rose from 18.3ºC (64.94ºF) in 1978 to 19.1ºC (66.38ºF) in 2008, and bedroom temps also went up, from 59.36ºF to 65.3ºF. In the US the temps of living rooms remained at a toasty 70.34ºF between 1987 and 2005, while the average bedroom temperature went from 66.74ºF to 68.36ºF.

Metabolic rate in humans is at it's lowest at 77ºF to 80.6ºF.

One area of ​​particular interest to the research team was the role of so called brown fat in heat production. Brown fat is different from the white kind in that it can burn energy to create heat, and exposure to cold is believed to trigger its production in the body.

More time spent in warmer, milder conditions may bring a loss of brown fat, thus the reduced capacity to burn energy. In one experiment, researchers found that by cutting the ambient temperature from 71.6ºF to 60.8ºF they were able to detect brown adipose tissue in almost all the healthy volunteers.

Food consumption can also be affected by thermal conditions – appetite decrees in warmth. But while the models might suggest that intake is suppressed at higher temperatures, this would not compensate for the reduced energy expenditure of the warm environment. Add some great smelling, delicious looking snacks and it's all over.

So should we all be turning down thermostat this winter and putting on a sweater to keeping warm in winter in order to fight one of the causes of obesity? It certainly could not hurt, and may be beneficial in reducing potentially dangerous carbon emissions as well.

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Stomach Banding – An Overview of the Benefits and Risks

With the rise in obesity more people are opting for stomach banding to assist them to permanently lose weight. This is a radical step but can be beneficial if you have struggled for years to lose weight and keep it off for any length of time, and particularly if your health is suffering or likely to suffer due to your excess weight. The stomach banding procedure involves the placement of an inflatable silicone band around the upper portion of your stomach in order to shrink your stomach, causing you to feel fuller after meals and to 'force' you – so to speak – into taking smaller meals. It also slows down digestion by reducing the size of the digestive outlet.

In considering whether to have this procedure done it is important to be aware of the risks as well as the benefits. The list below outlines some of these, but is not exhaustive and you'll need to speak to a specialist medical professional to assess your individual needs and advise on all the benefits and complications associated with stomach banding.

Benefits can include:

• It is reliably safe when compared to more invasive procedures such as gastric sleeve and bypass.
• Risk of complications is comparatively low.
• Most patients can typically expect to lose 50-60% of excess weight within a reasonable period after the procedure.
• It does not involve removal of any of the stomach nor does it require any stapling.
• The band can be adjusted as the patient's needs require without additional surgery.
• The procedure is completely reversible.
• These days it is usually performed laparoscopically, so there is minimal invasion or cutting of the abdomen involved.
• Recovery is generally reliably fast and if all goes well it involves only a short hospital stay of 1-2 days.

Risks can include:

• Stomach banding involves the same risks as any type of surgical procedure such as blood clots or blood loss.
• Stomach infection.
• The band may slip out of place or leak.
• You may find you have stomach pains or nausea after eating, particularly if you over-eat.
• Possible nutritional deficiencies from the new diet.
• Obstruction in the digestive outlet.
• It is a guarantee for long-term weight loss, and it requires your cooperation in making dietary changes and exercise for long-term success.

You should also consider that if your health severely suffers as a result of obesity, the risk of severe illness or death may outweigh the risks associated with stomach banding surgery. For many patients, the procedure can really help to get the weight loss process started and improve their health and lifestyle. Speak to a specialist today about stomach banding to find out more and assess your suitability. It may change your life.

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Obesity: 7 Tips to Lose Weight This Week

Two-thirds of Americans are considered to be overweight, and one-third of those are deemed obese. Does that mean that everyone is just sitting around gorging themselves and doing nothing about it?

No, it does not. Most Americans are very well aware of the dangers posed by carrying extra weight. However, the times in which we live are stacked against us insofar as weight management is concerned.

We're too busy to cook and convenience foods are readily available but usually loaded with sugar, fat, salt, additives, preservatives … and calories! We do not have time to exercise as much as we want so we get discouraged and do nothing.

If we make a decision to lose weight, are we magically going to have more time on our hands with less pressure coming at us from every angle? I do not think so.

Therefore, we have to consider what we can do with what we've got. How can we lose weight and still function in the times in which we live?

Here are 7 tips to get started:

– Set your goals one week at a time. Trying to change too much too fast is the death of many good intentions.

– Walk 10 minutes each day this week. (Too cold outside? Stop by Home Depot on the way home and spin around the store for 10 minutes.)

– No second helpings this week.

– One cup more of vegetables each day this week.

– No food after 7 PM this week.

– Cut your lunch in half this week. (If you go out for lunch, ask the waiter to bring a take-home box with your meal. Remove half from your plate before you even start. Or, share a plate with a like-minded co-worker?)

– Start today.

It would be a shame to put off, for even one more day, what you know you must do. I'll help by providing correct information for you.

You can lose weight. It is a scientific fact that if you take in fewer calories than you put out, you are going to lose weight. It's not going to come off fast … it did not go on fast either. Take it off one pound at a time. Do not fall into the trap of setting goals that are unrealistic and doomed to failure. Plan to lose 2 pounds this week. Follow the tips above and it will happen. I promise! Until next time!

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Obesity: 4 Tips to Get Started With Weight Loss

Most of us know that the key to losing weight (or not gaining extra weight in the first place) is all about balance of calories. We simply can not take in more calories that we use up. If we do, we gain weight. It's that simple! It's equally simple that if we take in fewer calories than we use up, we will lose weight. Period. It's a fact of physics.

There's no doubt you can do it if you are willing to make changes and stick with them. And it's so worth it! It's worth it to you and it's worth it to those who love you.

There are four over-riding principals to keep in mind as you embark on your weight loss program:

  1. Stop gaining weight … right now. This is the first step your weight-loss program. The very first day you change your style of eating is the very first day of your weight loss. If you did not gain an ounce today … you have lost an ounce!
  2. Reduce your caloric intake by changing what you eat. Many of us are just simply munchers! Munch away, but change what you munch on. No more “empty calories” (candy, soda, frosting, sugar). They bring absolutely nothing to the party.
  3. Set realistic goals! The weight did not appear overnight and it will not disappear overnight. If you go on a trip, do you beam yourself to your destination? No, you get there one inch at a time. Look at weight loss in the same way. Every pound you lose is a step in the right direction. If it takes a year to get the weight off … so what? That year is going to pass anyway.
  4. Add exercise to your plan. Again, do not aim to climb the north face of the Matterhorn … just walk for 5 minutes every day this week.

We'll talk next time about some more specific ideas.

Until then!

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Obesity Surgery in Mexico

Obesity is a serious medical condition. Over the years, obesity has reached an alarming stage that affects people from different parts of the world. In the United States, obesity is a major health problem. It has been reported that in 2007, 74.1% of Americans suffering from obesity, making the United States with the highest rate of obesity health problem.

Americans are known to be food lovers. Their easy access to unhealthy food such as processed meat and those with high sugar makes them an easy target of obesity. There are many health problems associated with obesity such as heart disease, diabetes, liver and kidney malfunction, arthritis, and others. Since it is quite difficult to fight obesity, many Americans turn to obesity surgery for the easy way out and they come to Texas to have their surgeries done.

Over the years, more and more Americans go to Mexico to avail of their obesity surgery. It is practical that way way for the surgery in Mexico cost significantly lower as compared to having the surgery in the United States. In fact, an obesity surgery in the US costs around $ 20,000 while in Mexico it only costs $ 5,000 – $ 7,000. Even if adding up the expenses for travel like food and accommodation in Mexico, one will still have to save more when getting the surgery in Mexico.

With the Mexico's growth in obesity surgery, the country's medical tourism is now booming. There are medical packages that Mexico offers and these packages often include the cost for surgery, discounted accommodation, and cheaper fares. Hotels and hospitals work together to offer excellent medical packages. For instance, Hospital Angeles in Mexico partnered with Camino Real to provide medical travelers with special discount for their surgery needs. The Camino real hotel chain is owned by the Angeles Hospital group.

Before going to Mexico to get your obesity surgery, it is best to do some research first to make sure you get excellent health care.

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Treating Obesity With Orthomolecular Medicine

Treating and treating obesity and weight problems with ordinary amino acids is the basis for Orthomolecular Medicine. Large doses of naturally found proteins called amino acids can repair the imbalance in the brain and repair its malfunction. These amino acids are affordable and are used in the therapeutic doses much larger than those levels normally found in food. The concept of orthomolecular medicine is based upon the use of very large doses of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, or botanical extracts for the cellular repair and enhancement of normal brain activities. Amino acids are also key to supporting increase muscle mass needed to keep the metabolism higher as weight loss occurs. Weight loss without increasing muscle mass and exercising will result in decreased metabolic rates and the body will adapt to low daily calorie requirements as weight loss is achieved without intervention.

Many times there is a problem with the body preventing it from losing weight easily. These problems include thyroid disease, hormone imbalances, diabetes, impaired cardiac function, neurotransmitter imbalances, chronic viral infections that result in low energy and fatigue, chromosome problems in developmentally challenged people, fatty liver disease, impaired spleen function, and digestive tracts which are significantly longer than normal, problems digesting fat. A fatty liver is a very big problem in weight loss. This may be partially due to a high fat diet and high levels of heavy metal or pesticide toxins. Detoxification of toxins is a great idea along with herbs to support good liver function. Heavy metals or pesticides toxins need to be removed with far infrared sauna or hot yoga and oral chelators like cilantro, organic wheat grass, or chorella. Milk thistle is a very good herb for liver support. Fat cells store toxins and a fatty liver has additional stores of toxins which impair cellular metabolism and the normal release of fat for energy. Additional herbs that are very good for improved liver function are Gynostemma Pentaphyllum and Hawthorn Berries. These can be taken in capsule form or as a tea. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and CLA are very good to reduce liver fat that is not due to alcoholism.

Amino acid therapy is very good for weight loss and there are it works. These weight loss effects include decreasing appetite, altering glucose regulation, tweaking the metabolism of energy by the cell, and speeding the release of fat during energy production. 5-HTP, carnitine, orthinine, phenylalanine, theanine, and arginine are amino acids which are effective in weight loss. These amino acids should be used in the therapeutic doses for several months. You should be able to discern within seven to twelve days if the therapy is successful.

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How To Help Control Your Children’s Weight

Many kids today in America are starting to have a weight problem. More kids right now are overweight or obese compared to years past. There are many debts as to why it's happening, but it's the situation that many are in right now. If your children are a bit overweight, there are changes that you can make. Find out what some of these are so that your children can have a healthier weight.

Do not get lazy and buy high calorie foods for your children just because you feel you are short on time. Many times getting take out that is unhealthy is a huge problem for children since they are getting too many fats and calories each day. Instead go with healthier options.

Learn how to cook healthy. Most do not cook because of being short on time or just being too tired after a long day of work. You can just take one day a week and cook more than one meal at a time. Cook triple portions of each meal so it can be frozen and used for more than one night. This way you will never have to cook on a week night when short on time.

Encourage your children to play outside. This will get them the exercise that every kid needs. Buy your kids toys that will be used outside helping them have fun while running around. You might literally have to be involved in their play going outside with them and playing around. You can also get your children involved in sports helping them practice while having fun.

Try to feed your children more natural foods and produce. If everything your child eats is in a package, this is a huge problem. Try to get your children to eat healthy and natural foods.

Cut out bad foods like fried foods from your child's diet. Just do not bring it home or into your house at all. There are plenty of options children will eat without having things like fried food in the house.

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Laughing Your Fats Away

We often hear that laughter is the best medicine. This is also true in fighting the risks of being overweight. It is essential for person losing weight not to be stressed and be happy always. When people are stressed, they tend to forget to smile because of their busy work and they tend to gain more weight. It has been discovered few years ago that laughter and being happy is a fat burner. Laughing out is even better because for about 10-15 minutes of laughter can burn the calories in a chocolate. It is being supported by the different scientific studies that laugh can really extricate the calories and it can help burn those fats in the body. It is actually 20% of the body's calorie can be burned by merely laughing. It will not only shred the fats in the body but it will help one's whole being. The calories that can be burned by this activity may not be enough to burn all your fats

Aside from laughing it is necessary to burn the fats the natural way. This can be done by simply doing what you usually do like walking running or jogging. Most people fail to spot the importance of simple movements that they do. They tend to be more concerned about the things that will make them thin faster. Still, doing the natural exercise is the best way to burn those extra calories in the body. It is necessary to consider the three most usual exercises so that even on a little way you can burn fats slower and better for the body.

By merely walking, it can burn enough calories that will turn to fats when it is not burned. It can also be the cause of other illnesses that for sure you want to avoid as early as now or if you are experiencing it now then this is the right time for you to move. Apply all the things that you read from the fitness magazines and books to make your life lighter. It will lighter in literal way that you are thinner. People who walk more are not prone to heart attacks and other heart diseases. It can stop the root of obesity and it will help you change the way you look. A healthier, more vigorous and stronger you will be the benefits of walking.

Jogging is also one of the best ways to have great body built. Sexier for women and leaner muscle for the gents are the guarantees of doing this routine. The calories will be burned in no time and no fats will ever dare to form in your body. This is with the intake of the healthy foods. Some who may reject this exercise because it needs more of their time, the help of treadmill can be restored to. One can exercise right in the convenience of their homes. They will lose the same amount of calories and they can have a better body physique. This is also one way to make sure that you have endurance for the day's work by having jogging in your home or even out if you want to breathe fresh air while exercising.

It can be jogging, walking, running or laughing, even the results will not significantly affect the result of your weight loss wish, and it can still contribute to the overall result. This is the best thing to remember when losing weight. Most people rush but they also gain weight faster, this needs to be avoided by you. Make it a long-term goal and the change of lifestyle is the best way to fight those unwanted fats.

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Obese or Overweight: Is There a Difference?

The terms obesity and overweight are often used interchangeably and that is not without some merit. There are some things about both classifications that are the same.

How are they the same?

  • Both define a condition of body weight which is considered to be unhealthy.
  • Both categories rely on determination of the BMI. (BMI stands for “body mass index” and is a number which determines how much of a person's weight is actually fat (fat is bad).

How are they different?

It is this BMI measurement that accounts for the difference between obesity and overweight. An adult with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight . An adult with a BMI of 30 or mor e is categorized as obese .

Does this work for everyone?

These are of course general guidelines because they can not evaluate every person's circumstances. For example, let's look at a football player who is 6 feet, 7 inches tall and weights 400 pounds. According to the standard method of measuring, his BMI would be a whopping 45, well over the ceiling of 30 for obesity. However, taking a look at him shows immense muscles all over his body and very little fat.

However, most of us are not football players, right? Let's put those exceptions aside and talk about us ordinary folks. For most of us, the BMI is a perfectly valid and reliable method to determine whether we are considered obese or “just” overweight.

How can I determine my own BMI?

By this time you're certainly interested in knowing what your own BMI is … am I right? Well, there are two ways to get this information:
1. Calculate it yourself using this formula:
BMI = Mass (kg) / height (m)) squared, or
Mass (lb) X 703 / height (m)) squared, or
2. Google “BMI calculation”

Is the standard the same for kids too?

No, the analysis of the BMI is different for children and teens because of differences in body fat between boys and girls as well as at various ages. For BMI calculations for your kids, Google a site and plug in age, weight, and height.

As you know, there are many indications that overweight and obesity contribute to a variety of illness. We're going to talk about all of these in future articles. Let's just take one step at a time. We'll tackle this massive issue together!

Until next time!

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Obesity: Is It Inherited?

Obesity itself is not inherited. However, there is ample scientific evidence that the predisposition toward obsesity is genetically transferred from one generation to another.The likelihood that you will struggle with your weight is almost 45% if one parent is obese but is doubled if both parents are overweight.

Ironically, some theories suggest that the people who may struggle the most with “fat genes” are those whose distant ancestors faced conditions of starvation. The genetic ability to store fat was needed because of irregular food supply. Those “fat genes” may have survived to the present day … the threat of starvation, for most of us, has not remained.

Another explanation of the genetic tendency towards obesity claims that it is diet and lifestyle behaviors that extremely determinate whether or not one accumulates fat. Still, the theory goes on, it is genes that influence how our bodies handle food and low exercise that determinates if we gain weight or not. In other words, two people might have similar food intake and exercise patterns but they handle the caloric balance in entirely different way … depending upon their genetic make-up.

So then, while a genetic influence towards obesity seems clear, its exact nature is not. And really, the reason is not so important. The bottom line is that there is indeed a connection between your genetic makeup and chronic obesity, mysterious though it may be.

Fortunately, this scenario does not mean, however, that if Mom and Dad are obese you are doomed to the same situation for a lifetime, as are your children. You may have more challenges than your thinner counterparts, but you are absolutely going to gain or lose weight according to the balance between intake and output of caloric energy … just like everyone else.

A major factor in confronting obesity, genetics aside, is that you have probably “inherited” eating habits and lifestyle patterns from your overweight parents! In other words, if you grow up in a household in which available foods were laden with sugar, grease, salt, and calories, and the only family exercise was moving between the table and the couch and the refrigerator … you have “inherited “something far worse than fat genes! You have inherited habits that are probably almost certainly responsible for your weight problem! Did you hear me? Let me say it again. If you grow up in a home where caloric intake and output were consistently out of balance, and exercise was not a regular part of life … this is most likely the cause of your weight problem and not the genes you were born with!

Folks, this is of huge importance. Get rid of the ideas that if your parents are fat, you will be fat and that because you have always been fat, you will always be fat! These are big, fat (pun intended) lies and you must get rid of them.

Meet me next time … we'll talk about a plan. Until then.

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Obesity: Dealing With Cultural Influences

In a past article we've discussed some of the cultural effects that are contributing to the “growing problem” (indeed!) Of gain gain and obesity. We looked at over-booked schedules, fast food, portion control, and mindless eating habits.

Well, facts are facts! These are the times in which we live, and the circumstances of our daily lives are what they are. Does that mean we are helpless to fight against them? No, indeed we are not! There are many things we can do to regain control over our weight. They're not all “convenient” but obesity and ill-health are not “convenient” either. Consider, for example:

To deal with the end-of-the-day food needs when you're too tired to cook … use week-ends to make and freeze five dinners that can be ready in 45 minutes after you get home (or sooner than that if you have kids at home old enough to pre-heat the oven, or even get the meal started warming).

The suggestion above deals also with the excess intake of calories, fat, salt, grease, additives, and preservatives. We need to re-train our taste buds to enjoy the taste of food without the things that are going to kill us. (Hang in there … the kids will get over it. In the meantime, just plan for a pre-dinner snack to tide them over … cheese with their “whine”, sometimes?).

Portion control will not be such a challenge at home. You dish up the serving. You decide how much you are going to eat. I do not know about you, but if someone puts a pile of fries in front of me, I'm going to eat them … one at a time and then finish off what the kids leave behind too! (It's a dirty job but somebody has to do it).

Once you have instituted the above plan, I absolutely promise you that you are going to begin losing weight! Then, when you go to a meeting or wherever you go, that 3 inch cupcake with 7 inches of frosting (lard) is going to eventually be an assault to your senses. No, it will not happen right away, but in a few months … I promise it will be so much easier! And so worth it!

If you think you must eat at the movies … change your way of thinking because, no you do not need to eat! It's a habit and a dangerous, mindless one at that. It's making our kids sick too. You're the parent! You make the rules! Tell the kids they can have the money you would spend on the inflated movie snacks. At least if they're going to eat, make them do it mindfully and not while their minds are fully engaged in a movie.

These are lifestyle changes which are a beginning step to other changes that we will suggest. I guarantee that if you institute these ideas, each step hereafter will be easier … and you will lose weight! We can do it … together!

Until next time!

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