Posts Tagged ‘Overweight’

We hear it again and again. Obesity is killing us! Are we listening, or maybe the question is do we care? A report, The Heavy Burden of Obesity 2019, identified obesity issues from a compilation of data from 52 countries as well as the US. Within the next three decades, obesity will result in 462 million new cases of cardiovascular disease and 212 million cases of diabetes. In the US, obesity will reduce life expectancy by nearly four years. In most of the countries, more than half of the population is overweight. In the US, that figure is nearly 70 percent. Most people have succumbed to sedentary activities, and 40 percent fail to consume enough fruits and vegetables. That’s a message for all of us whether we are obese or not. It matters.  Image result for free clipart pixabay obesity

This study and others show that obesity by itself isn’t the only culprit decreasing life expectancy. Many food-related practices under gird the reason for overweight societies.

The Lancet published a study from 195 countries on the relationship between dietary habits and chronic non-communicable diseases between the period 1990-2017. Diet-related deaths were highest in Uzbekistan and lowest in Israel. The US ranked 43rd. In 2017, eleven million deaths worldwide were linked to consumption of poor diets high in sugar, salt, and processed meat that contributed to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Subjects drank more than 10 times the recommended amount of sugary drinks, a common factor in obesity. They consumed less nuts and seeds, whole grains, and fruits than suggested by national dietary standards and used excessive amounts of sodium.Weight Loss, Weight, Nutrition, Scale

A study of nearly 45,000 French 45 years-of-age or older found that those who consumed greater amounts of ultra-processed food had a greater risk of early death. Ready-to-eat or-heat foods from ingredients combined with additives signified ultra-processed foods. Those of younger age, lower income, lower educational level, living alone, having excessive body weight and less physical activity were likely to choose ultra-processed foods.

These studies aren’t the first concerning obesity’s impact on longevity nor will they be the last. Most studies found obese men more susceptible to disease conditions leading to early death than were obese women. In some studies, obese men lowered their life expectancy as much as 20 years compared to 5 years for women. That’s significant.

In the US, obesity directly or indirectly impacts healthcare costs. Obesity accounts for more than 20 percent of healthcare dollars due to conditions caused or complicated by obesity. As we consider why healthcare costs continue to escalate, remember that the increasing number of people with obesity is a major cause. When society improves eating habits and decides to take positive action about the rising number of overweight and obese citizens, healthcare costs can decline. Issues of excessive weight and unhealthy food choices affect all of us. Are we listening? What are we willing to do about it?

Obesity, Health, Fitness, Identify, Disease, Symptoms

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Is any one diet more effective than others? People with excessive weight extend well beyond borders of the United States. It is a worldwide dilemma. The purpose of World Obesity Day on October 11, 2019 is to draw attention to the need for all nations to address this escalating problem.

Many continue to look for the perfect plan to lose weight, and reading diet books has become an American pastime to find the secret. Numerous books promote special foods, meal plans, and food restrictions. Guidelines show authors’ viewpoints whether they are qualified to address the subject or not. Do they work? If all those directions are so good, why are multitudes in our society overweight or obese? Interestingly, most diet plans may work―for a short time.

The Christmas story about eight-year-old Virginia, the little girl who wrote the editor of the New York Sun, asked, “Is there a Santa Claus?” The answer reminds all of us “He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and . . .  they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy.”  Yes, the perfect diet also exists, but we won’t find it on the best seller’s book list. The perfect diet for each of us is the one that keeps us well-nourished to maintain appropriate weight and remain active and healthy to give us “highest beauty and joy.”

My writings and blog posts address weight issues and our addiction to trying the latest fad or weight-loss potion. Recently, I published God’s Diet Plan: Seek Him First, my version of how to find our perfect diet. The foods we consume are personal and individual preferences―something each of us chooses. Nowhere does my book say to “eat this” or “don’t eat that.” We get to pick and choose the diet we want based on taste and the knowledge we gain about wise food choices. My book equips each of us to find the perfect diet for us with appropriate guidance in how to choose the healthiest foods and avoid overindulging.


You can find God’s Diet Plan: Seek Him First on Amazon/Kindle, Apple, and Nook by clicking the link or typing in the name of the book on each site. Read the preview and reviews on Amazon to consider if it may help you find the perfect diet. Let’s curb the worldwide obesity epidemic―one person at a time starting with each of us.




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If you’ve wondered if exercise is really as important as touted by health professionals, now comes more proof. A report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in January 2015 found exercise can help prevent premature death.

For couch-potatoes who want to continue to live an inactive lifestyle, this study is bad news. Almost everyone knows the perils of smoking and the effects of obesity on health. Recent evidence from a twelve-year study of more than 300,000 European men and women support reasons to get up and move. Even twenty minutes of brisk walking per day may reduce by thirty percent the risks of dying prematurely. Other studies in Asia have found that fifteen minutes per day of mild exercise improved longevity by nearly fifteen percent. These levels of activity are less than public health recommendations.

If you are one of those trim and slim or you are just a little overweight, that’s no cause for smugness. The most striking results of increased physical activity occurred in those who were of normal weight and free of abdominal fat (pot belly). Moderate exercise had a greater effect on preventing premature death in normal weight people than it did in the overweight or obese. The European study found that increased exercise lowered the risk of death twice as much as losing weight. However, increased physical activity also made a difference for the overweight and obese.

The fact remains. Any physical activity makes a difference. If you want to live longer, whatever your weight, get up and move. The longer you wait to start, the more likely you are to die before your time.

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I stood before the yogurt case contemplating my grocery needs. A young woman rushed up. “I need to lose ten pound next week,” she said to no one in particular.

“Good luck,” I replied as she hurriedly looked into the refrigerated case and then scurried away.

I could only speculate. Did she have a class reunion the following week-end and suddenly realize she had gained ten pounds since that last momentous gathering? She wasn’t morbidly obese. Nor did she look overweight. But here was a sudden crisis for her. How did she think she would get that weight off so quickly?

Many like her want to do just that. I would like to lose a few pounds myself. I recognize multiple reasons, however, why ten pounds in one week is impossible unless I want to drop dead. From an energy standpoint, most know that 3,500 calories equals one pound. Theoretically, if you eat 3,500 more calories than your body uses, you gain a pound. Likewise, if you burn 3,500 more calories than needed, you lose that same amount. Our bodies need about 1,000 calories just to meet body-function needs even when still or sleeping.

How is it some people actually do lose a great amount in a brief time?That’s difficult to  answer. The very obese are more likely to lose large amounts at first than those closer to their recommended weight. Often the loss is in fluids. Abrupt diet changes may alter metabolism and thereby increase weight loss. Nutrition experts agree that many weight-loss diets are unhealthy, but initially people may lose weight regardless of the type of diet. Once your body adjusts to that diet, weight may plateau, and it becomes difficult to keep losing weight.

Is losing ten pounds a week possible for you? Probably not. To reach and keep a healthy weight, it’s better to decrease calories while increasing exercise or activity and to continue with that changed lifestyle. Before you become discouraged, consider other factors. Losing weight is complicated, and new research seems to pop up every day. Here are a few items that tend to impact weight loss in addition to food and exercise.

  • Do you get enough sleep?
  • Do you drink adequate water?
  • Do you limit artificially sweetened beverages to less than one per day?
  • Do you have stress in your life?
  • Do you take any medications that may cause weight increase? (Ask your physician or pharmacist to see if similar drugs that don’t cause weight gain would be appropriate.)
  • Are you middle aged yet continue with the same eating pattern and exercise routine? (Metabolism slows with age and you need fewer calories and more exercise to keep the same weight.)
  • Have you had a recent health examination to rule out any conditions that may cause retention of fluids or weight gain?

This list is not conclusive. Many things affect weight, but attempting to lose ten pounds in a week isn’t a good idea. Good luck as you strive to reach and keep a healthy weight.



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You’ve heard the statistics. More and more Americans march (or eat) toward the realm of overweight and obesity. Countless reasons cause excessive weight—overindulgence, too many fast-foods, gobs of fried, sugar-laden delights, and more. The Body Mass Index (BMI) scale serves as one guide to show us where we rank from underweight to obesity.

Do you believe you weigh too much, or do you think you’re about the right size? A Gallup poll, conducted annually, tracks how Americans classify their weight. In 2011, surveyors calculated the BMI of more than 1,000 people based on self-reported height and weight. Nearly sixty-two percent were either overweight or obese. However, most (sixty percent of men and more than half of the women) thought their weight was about right. For both men and women, actual body weight was about twenty pounds more than the BMI ideal. Additionally, perceived ideal body weight climbed to about ten pounds more than two decades past.

The average woman today weighs twenty-two pounds more than her ideal weight compared to thirteen pounds twenty years ago. In 1991, the average man weighed nine pounds more than his ideal body weight compared to fifteen pounds in 2011. The Gallup poll indicated that Americans are getting more overweight and don’t even recognize it.

Even those of us who register a normal weight on the BMI charts may actually be obese. The threshold of percent body weight for obesity is twenty-five for men and thirty for women. Records for BMI and body fat scores of more than 1,300 people found that nearly two-fifths had appropriate weight based on the BMI scale but were obese according to fat scores. The discrepancy may have resulted from the aging process, especially in women, and greater loss of muscle tissue due to lack of exercise.

Are you sure about your ideal weight? How does thinking and actual weight compare with twenty years ago? Perceptions tend to cloud reality as added flesh becomes more acceptable. And now, we can’t even rely on our scales. That should joggle our brains. The best indicator of healthy weight probably is body fat—and few know that percentage. Two things we do know and don’t want to confess. We may not be as small as we like to think.  And we’re reluctant to exercise to help keep those extra calories from turning into blubber.



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One-third of America’s children are overweight or obese. The beckoning calls of fast-foods, grocery aisles laden with high-calorie temptations, and ubiquitous bloated vending machines with high-salt high-fat offerings often sabotage healthy eating. What can be done to help children choose wisely and lose weight?

Education programs with simple solutions for weight-loss help children and parents. Studies in the 1990s showed that when overweight children attended educational classes on nutrition, one-third decreased their weight by twenty percent. Education of parents without their kids showed equal weight improvement for their off-spring. Parents recognized the damage of excessive weight to their children’s health.

What do parents need to know? They generally control food brought into the home. When buying trends shift toward more healthful eating, it impacts the entire family, especially children. Parents, who more readily understand the seriousness of their children’s weight problems, prepare and present meals lower in calories and higher in nutrient-dense foods. Substituting healthful snacks of fruit, vegetables, nuts, cheese, or other nutritious foods for salty, fatty, and sweet foods offer a great start for controlling children’s weight.

More importantly, parents serve as role-models. Young children mimic what they see at home. Parents who eat healthy foods and exercise provide an invaluable example that will encourage children. What will you do? If you are a parent, check reliable sources for information. Below are resources that can guide you in combating excessive weight gain in your children.




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If you’re interested in a hot topic, just mention weight. Through the years, different guides have indicated a healthy weight. Since 1998, health professionals have used the Body Mass Index (BMI) as the standard. The BMI identifies normal, overweight, obese, and extreme obesity.

Weight May Number Your Days

The number of pounds you lug around on your body may help determine how long you will live. Overweight and obesity escalate probabilities for many chronic illnesses and worsen others. As the BMI increases, mortality risks for all ages rise. A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 constitutes a healthy weight. Men with a BMI of 23.5 to 24.9 and women with a BMI of 22.0 to 23.4 show the lowest mortality risks.  

What is your healthy weight? For complete information about BMI and to find the chart to evaluate yourself, go to http://www.win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/PDFs/Weightandwaist.pdf    To find your weight-related risk status, start with an accurate scale to assess current weight. Next, decide your correct height. Now go to the BMI chart at the website above and, if possible, make a copy. In the far left-hand column of the BMI chart find your height and follow with your finger across the chart until you reach your current weight. Move your finger up that column and locate the BMI directly above. Indicate that juncture with an X or make a note of the number if you did not make a copy. If that number is 25 or beyond, mark the weight that would lower your BMI score to 24. Make a note of the weight difference between where you are and where you should be for a healthy weight.

For example, if you are 5’4” and weigh 157 pounds, your BMI is 27. To have a score of 24, you must reduce weight to 140 pounds. That means losing seventeen pounds to have a healthy weight.

Congratulations. You have a starting point. You know where you are physically and where you need to go to lower weight-related risk factors. Now, get ready to lose that extra weight to become a healthier you and maybe live longer.

A graph of body mass index is shown above. The...

Image via Wikipedia


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Do you think weight is a personal issue? Think again. Extra pounds affect everyone in some way.

The Society of Actuaries released a dollar figure on obesity in January, 2011. Based on reviews of 500 articles between 1980 and 2009, researchers looked at the relationship of obesity to mortality and morbidity. Overweight and obesity cost as much as $270 billion a year in the United States. Because of increased need for medical care and loss of economic productivity due to death and disability, cost to the U. S. economy in 2009 ranged from $72 billion for the overweight to $198 billion for the obese.  Economic expenditures from overweight and obesity in both the U. S. and Canada were:

  • Total cost of excess medical care resulting from overweight/obesity: $127 billion
  • Loss of economic productivity due to excess mortality: $49 billion
  • Loss of economic productivity due to disability for active workers: $43 billion
  • Loss of economic productivity due to totally disabled workers: $72 billion

Obesity results in several adverse medical conditions. Obesity increases per-capita spending for those expenses and for health-related lost productivity. Costs run as high as $16,000 for obese women who weigh at least 100 pounds more than a healthy weight and $15,000 for obese men.

Although many workers are unwilling to attempt healthier lifestyles, monetary enticements through company programs influence decisions. In a survey of 1,000 Americans 18 years and older, 83 percent stated they would be willing to follow a healthy lifestyle, such as health and wellness programs, if their healthcare plans provided incentives.

While those with excess weight face greater risks of medical problems and decreased longevity, the problem goes beyond themselves. Issues of too much weight are no longer personal. They impact the national work force and our economy. Excessive weight costs everyone.

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