The alarm bells have been going off for many years from the healthcare community that we are crossing the obesity threshold in greater numbers than ever before.
As a nation, we continue to fan the flames with poor health, eating habits that contribute to an overweight society. From all fields, including policy makers, local state health officials, we need to push for healthier opportunities for all.
We can begin to get those numbers down as a nation dedicated to healthy lifestyles for ourselves and future generations. Health advocates are uniting to help us take control of our health and it’s up to us to do our part.
How did we get here?
Obesity goes back throughout human history but took hold in the 20th century. In the 1960s -1970s, only 13% of U.S. adults and 5-7% of U.S. children were obese. By 1997, the World Health Organization (WHO) formally recognized it as a global epidemic.
Today’s numbers tell a story, and according to the CDC, obesity affects 35.7% of young adults aged 20-39 years, 42.89% among middle-aged adults age 40-59 years and 41.0% among older adults aged 60 and over. Almost 1 in 5 children and more than 1 in 3 adults struggle with obesity.
What are the health concerns?
The Centers for Disease Control outline the following health issues related to obesity:
- Heart conditions
- Type 2 diabetes
- Certain types of cancers that are some of the leading causes of preventable, premature death
Why do we gain weight?
We can pick any number of reasons for weight gain and try to justify why? No time to fix a meal, work is hard, the scale is broken and no time to exercise. Many people can eat desserts, donuts, and ice cream without gaining a pound. But for many, just the smell of fresh-baked cookies adds pounds.
If you are consuming more energy (calories) than you expend, you’ll gain weight. What are the reasons we gain weight?
- Too many processed foods
- Too much sugar
- Inactive lifestyle
- Yo-Yo dieting
- Undiagnosed medical condition
- Not enough sleep
- Not enough whole foods
- Stressed out
- Eating too many calories
Where do we start?
By supporting one another through positivity, compassion and caring for health and wellness. No blame game necessary when you have committed to improving your life. There are some expert tips for losing weight and keeping it off from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 – 2020 recommending a healthy eating plan:
- Include lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, reduced-fat milk and dairy products
- Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts
- Limit saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, sodium and added sugar
- Stay within your daily calorie needs
What exercises will help?
Take the challenge to keep off the weight with a combination of diet and daily exercise. Be sure to talk with your physician first before deciding on an exercise routine to ensure a healthy fitness program. Healthline recommends the following:
- Weight training
- Interval training
Make 2020 the year for dropping the pounds, upping the motivation and determination to become a healthier you!
The information on this site is intended to raise awareness and understanding of specific health issues. It should not be used for diagnosis or a substitute for health care by your physician.