The heavy facts about being overweight

the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that about 97 million adults in the United States are overweight or obese. This means about 55 percent of the population, or one out of every two adults in America, is overweight or obese.

by Dr. Melissa Dawahare — 

With the popularity of NBC’s hit show “The Biggest Loser” and Dr. Phil’s book, The Ultimate Weight Solution, the topic of weight loss is in the spotlight. People across America are beginning to participate in weight loss programs, eat better and exercise more.

This trend comes just in time, because the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that about 97 million adults in the United States are overweight or obese. This means about 55 percent of the population, or one out of every two adults in America, is overweight or obese.

Why should you care if you are the one out of two Americans who is overweight or obese? Because being overweight or obese substantially increases your risk of dying from diseases like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea or respiratory problems, as well as prostate, endometrial, breast, and colon cancers. With ultimate prices like these, why aren’t more people motivated to release those extra pounds?

The answer is complex. First, contracting one of these dreadful diseases is intangible. Unless you experience the pain and suffering of these health conditions firsthand, you cannot truly understand them. Therefore, fear of these illnesses is not a strong motivator.

Second, emotional and mental reasons for being overweight or obese must be addressed in order for a person to achieve successful weight loss. The emotional and mental work is tough, and, as a result, people often avoid it.

With this information weighing you down, is there any hope? The answer is a resounding, “Yes!” The rules of weight loss are simple and easy to follow:

Rule #1: Find your “why” for losing weight. Your why has to be bigger than life, so that when you are tempted to neglect your healthy regimen — be that skipping your workout or indulging in a bowl of your favorite ice cream — you follow your plan anyway.

Rule #2: You must change your diet. Consult a professional or someone with expert knowledge about nutrition for specific diet recommendations that will work for you.

Rule # 3: You must add exercise to your routine. Studies show that through a combination of diet and exercise, people can be very successful with weight loss and are likely to keep the weight off.

By following these three simple rules, you, too, can shave off those unwanted pounds and step into a healthier you.

 

Melissa Dawahare, N.D., R.N., is a licensed primary care physician who conducts medically supervised weight loss contests and programs in Tempe, Ariz. www.drmelissa.com or 480-993-8249.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 25, Number 3, June/July 2006.

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