The overweight and obesity epidemic is a worldwide problem. There are no official statistics for spending on diet products, but estimates vary from $40 to $100 billion in the US alone, much of that on scams and fad diets that promise the impossible.
Research shows that 95% of people who have lost weight find that they regain it back when they return to their normal eating habits.
According to the Center for Disease Control’s Chronic Disease Center, in 1991 in the United States, only four states had an obesity prevalence of 15 percent to 19 percent. In 2003, 15 states had an obesity prevalence of 15 to 19 percent, 31 states had an obesity prevalence of 20 to 24 percent, and four states had a prevalence of 25 percent or more.
Major medical problems associated with obesity include gallbladder disease, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes, and osteoarthritis.
If that isn’t incentive enough to lose that excess weight statistics show that overweight people are usually given lower paying jobs, get lower salaries, receive little in raises, and are, as a whole, looked down upon by 40 percent of fellow employees and employers.
In 2002 The American Heart Association reported that more than 10 percent of US children ages 2 to 5 are overweight. That is up from 7 percent in 1994. The situation is probably even worse now, said Dr. Robert H. Eckel, president-elect of the heart association and professor of medicine at the University of Colorado.
The obesity problem among children has increased with school-age children as well. Four million children ages 6 to 11 and 5.3 million in age group 12 to 19 have increased by 75 percent from 1991.
Food habits adopted in childhood can be hard to change. As a result hypertension and high cholesterol leading to heart disease, strokes, and diabetes are going to become the nations top health problem with people of all ages within 10 to 30 years. These are ailments that usually afflict the middle age to elderly population. More than a million new cases of diabetes are already being diagnosed each year, says the American Diabetic Association.
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Studies with obese pregnant women show they are 50% more likely to die during pregnancy than those of normal weight. Complications such as miscarriage, gestational diabetes, hypertension, pre-eclampsia, pre-term labor, and stillbirth are also more common. Preliminary evidence shows that babies are also adversely affected, and are more likely to be obese themselves in later life.
Fast foods: Studies show that people who frequent fast food outlets twice a week or more gained 36 pounds over the course of 15 years compared to 26 pounds for those that frequented them once a week or less.
A major factor for the obesity crisis is a sedentary lifestyle, not enough exercise, and the eating of high calorie fast foods in place of nutritious natural food products.
Fast food is designed to promote consumption of the maximum number of calories in the minimum amount of time. This upsets the body’s normal metabolism. One solution is to eat smaller, more nutritious, meals more frequently throughout the day.
Physical activity reduces the effects of being overweight, but healthy eating habits have to be followed to prevent disease associated with poor nutrition according to an expert of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.
The new diet guidelines set by the Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is basically a balanced diet and good old fashioned exercise. They stress more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and limit fats, sugar, alcohol, and salt.
Many supermarkets are open 24 hours a day making a choice of healthy food available at all times.
For more tips on how to lose weight safely see The Secret to Weight Loss at: http://www.apluswriting.net/diettips/diettips.htm
Copyright: 2005 Marilyn Pokorney
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