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How to Control Obesity

Jun 24, 2008
Obesity has increased alarmingly in the past 20 years, reaching epidemic proportions. In the United States, it is now estimated that thirty percent of the population is obese. For the first time in history, the life span of human beings is decreasing due to obesity and the health conditions that arise from it.

The simple definition of obesity is having too much body fat. Unfortunately, there is nothing simple about obesity. Not only is it uncomfortable and embarrassing, being obese increases the risk of an alarming array of diseases and health conditions, including certain types of cancer, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, respiratory problems, and hypertension.

The obesity epidemic is not something that happened suddenly. Obesity is a disease, a chronic condition, caused by a wide assortment of factors. Because there are so many factors involved, it is complicated and difficult to treat the disease.

Case in point, genetics can be a factor in obesity. Genetics can increase the risk. However, behavior and environment also influence the risk. To blame heredity for obesity is an easy excuse, but the choices a person makes significantly increases or decreases their risk.

All of us choose our own behaviors. The choices to be physically inactive and to practice unhealthy eating habits rest with each of us, not someone else.

Why is obesity spinning out of control in the United States? There are two key causes. The first is the dramatic increase in food options that are available today.

Grocery stores and supermarkets now offer a shocking number of choices that were not present ten years ago. Unfortunately, many of those choices are not healthy.

Most foods available are pre-packaged and high in fat, sugar and calories. Even foods that are labeled as healthy or low-fat may contain more calories and unhealthy additives than the high-fat food they are supposed to replace. Always read food labels for nutritional information.

The second cause of obesity is the change in our eating habits. While fast-food restaurants (where portion size has increased dramatically) and pre-packaged foods are convenient, they are not healthy. Yet when given a choice, we will eat what is quick and simple.

Our technology has created many wonderful labor-saving inventions that reduce the amount of time and energy we use in our daily lives. Instead of walking or riding a bicycle to work or school, we drive. Instead of our children playing outside, they are watching television or playing video games.

There ARE ways to decrease the risk of obesity. The two essential building blocks for creating a healthy body are promoting regular physical activity and following a nutritious diet. You must create an environment around you that supports this way of life.

Adding physical activity to your daily regimen is not difficult. Remember, whatever activity you take part in does not have to be exhausting. It can be as simple as taking a 15-minute walk around your neighborhood or taking the stairs at work. Small changes such as these will significantly benefit your body, physically and mentally.

Physical activity reduces your risk for diabetes, some types of cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. It keeps you at a healthy weight, relieves depression symptoms and alleviates the pain of arthritis.

Following a nutritious diet, like adding physical activity, significantly lowers the risk for obesity, diabetes, some types of cancer and heart disease. What is a nutritious diet?

A diet high in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean protein builds a healthy, fit body. Even though most people know that they should follow a healthy diet, it is difficult for most to change their poor eating habits.

Poor eating habits, unfortunately, usually begin during childhood and prove very challenging to change later in life. We are raising a generation of children who eat too much fat and do not get enough exercise who will grow into obese, unhealthy adults.

The foundation for a healthy body is simple, a nutritious diet and regular physical activity. Most people fail at diet and exercise plans because they try to make too many changes too quickly. The key to success is to make small changes slowly. This will teach your body to accept these changes and make it possible to defeat obesity.
About the Author
Debra Gropp makes money on the Internet by doing everything from paid surveys to working for affiliate programs. Her articles pertain to online income opportunities and health-related issues. To learn more about Debra, click here .
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