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Overview on Obesity by Josie Vitale

By at April 10, 2014 | 8:33 am | Print

In the United States of America, when an epidemic of any sort sweeps the nation, research for finding a cure to that infliction starts almost instantly. However, one epidemic in particular that has had a cure for centuries seems to be getting worse and worse as time goes on. Obesity, or the state of being overweight to the point that your health is in serious danger, is one of the most rapid and rising health conditions in America today. Essentially, the way people become obese over a long period of time is by consuming more calories than they are burning through daily movement of some sort. Today, a little less than 20 percent of children are obese and about 1/3 of adults are considered obese. One in every three children currently in the United States is either overweight or obese. Obesity has been called “a slow killer” for quite some time, and for very specific reasons.

There are multiple factors that cause obesity, starting with the inherited genes you were born with. If family members from past generations were obese, they may pass that gene down to you, making it easier for you to put on weight and become obese over a period of time. Genes are not the only thing causing obesity that your family has instilled in you. The way you grow up, the lifestyle of your family, and the eating habits of your family are most likely carried on by you when you are older. Therefore, if your surroundings growing up supported weight gain and low exercise, there is a high chance that you will keep those tendencies through adulthood. The other factors of obesity are exercise and diet. The effects of poor lifestyle choices that may cause obesity are multiple types of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, respiratory issues, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and arthritis. Side effects such as arthritis and lack of sleep from sleep apnea cause trickling effects on your health that all started with your “obese” body mass index, or BMI. Calculate by age, height, and weight, a BMI simply tells you whether you are underweight, a healthy weight, overweight, or obese. Anyone with a BMI at or above 30 is considered to be health threatening and obese. BMI’s can be calculated online through many trusted and free websites or at your local physician’s office.

The positive aspect of obesity, as I mentioned earlier, is that there are proven cures and lifestyle choices people can act on to combat it. Websites such as American Heart Association and WebMD have multiple information pages with tips for losing weight. These tips range from minor adjustments, such as introducing low impact exercise into your daily routine, to major adjustments, such as yearly gym memberships along with keeping track of everything you’re eating daily. Neglecting specific things from your lifestyle or diet can also be very beneficial to beating obesity. Staying away from foods with saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol will all help reduce weight and the negative effects of being overweight. Eating instead of drinking calories keeps you fuller for longer and also helps keep your daily calorie counts down. Taking breaks between stagnant behavior, such as sitting or lying down, is also a good way to burn more calories throughout the day than usual.  If people start to take their weight and health more seriously, many lives could be saved and our country, as a whole, would be healthier and stronger. People would be living longer, kids would be growing stronger, and our bodies could physically do things that some people only dream of doing. The possibilities and opportunities you have when working towards, and maintaining, a healthy weight and lifestyle are endless.

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