Monday, November 5, 2007

Overweight Problems Overview

Women and men all over the world are struggling with weight gain. Overweight can increase the risk of heart attack and other serious illnesses.
We all know that the only way to lose weight and keep it off is to exercise and eating healthier food. The physical activity is crucial for health and weight loss, because we become overweight when we take in more calories than we burn up and nothing burns up the calories and fat like exercising.

Exercising everyday is very important. If exercising seems overwhelming at first you can start walking for 30 minutes a day, despite taking a taxi for example.
Exercise will works faster if you eat healthier food – order foods like fish or chicken with potatoes – baked instead of fried.One of the main rules is to eat your main meal at midday and eat something light/like salad for example/ for dinner. Do not forget that the breakfast is the most important meal during the day .You should have breakfast every morning no matter whether you are hungry or not.
– chew each morsel slowly
– drink at least 1.5 liters of water a day – it slows the appetite and keeps food moving quickly through your digestive tract
To get maximum benefit you should do aerobic exercising – it will increase your respiration and heart rate. Try to walk, run or cycle for 30 minutes during the weekend.

Overweight Problem in the United States

Overweight is a hefty problem in the United States. It's estimated that 24 percent of men and 27 percent of women in this country about 34 million adult Americans are obese. And sometimes it seems that there are 34 million different diets or diet products promoted to combat the problem. The latest to win the nation's fervent attention is a revival of a sort return to very low calorie diets, generally 400 to 800 calories per day.

Very low calorie, or modified fasting, diets, as they are sometimes called, are not a new concept. Protein formula products (either liquid or powdered) were popular more than a decade ago until serious health effects including several deaths dampened the public's enthusiasm and led to new federal requirements for labeling of these products

Overweight in Children and Adolescents

In 1999, 13% of children aged 6 to 11 years and 14% of adolescents aged 12 to 19 years in the United States were overweight. This prevalence has nearly tripled for adolescents in the past 2 decades.
Risk factors for heart disease, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure, occur with increased frequency in overweight children and adolescents compared to children with a healthy weight.
Type 2 diabetes, previously considered an adult disease, has increased dramatically in children and adolescents. Overweight and obesity are closely linked to type 2 diabetes.
Overweight adolescents have a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults. This increases to 80% if one or more parent is overweight or obese. Overweight or obese adults are at risk for a number of health problems including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some forms of cancer.
The most immediate consequence of overweight as perceived by the children themselves is social discrimination. This is associated with poor self-esteem and depression.

Overweight in children and adolescents is generally caused by lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns, or a combination of the two, with genetics and lifestyle both playing important roles in determining a child's weight.
Our society has become very sedentary. Television, computer and video games contribute to children's inactive lifestyles.
43% of adolescents watch more than 2 hours of television each day.
Children, especially girls, become less active as they move through adolescence.

Being overweight

Being overweight or obese is one of the major health hazards of today's world, and one which is increasing rapidly. In recent times, two reliable indicators of health risk have emerged body mass index and waist ratios.

Body Mass IndexBMI = weight (kgs)
height (m) x height (m)

BMI is essentially the ratio between your weight and the square of your height, using metric measurements. For example, someone who is 5ft 11in (1.8m) tall, weighing 165lb (75kg) would have a BMI of 75/(1.8 x 1.8) = 75 / 3.24 = 23. Find your Body Mass Index

Waist Ratio
As well as BMI, the waist measurement can be an important indicator. There are two important ratios that have been established as reliable indicators of overweight risk:
waist to height should be less than 0.5 (half)
waist to hip should be less than 0.8 (women) or less than 1 in men.

People with ratios above these values are at increased health risk because of their fat distribution.
Your waist measurement can become an important motivator during the weight loss phase, especially if the customer has not lost any weight because of fluid retention. In this scenario, regular waist measurements will confirm that inches - if not pounds - are still being lost!
Following work done by Dr Margaret Ashwell, the Shape Chart is a reliable indicator of health risk, based on people's shapes - classified as either 'apples or pears'.

Study Finds Overweight Problem Linked to Poor Community Environment

A study conducted jointly by the Saint Louis University School of Public Health and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services finds that negative perceptions of safety and pleasantness of a community, as well having no outdoor exercise facilities, may be contributing to overweight people in the state and nation.

According to the report, Missourians who indicated in telephone surveys that they consider their neighborhoods unsafe and unpleasant were one-and-one-half times more likely to be overweight than individuals who said they considered their neighborhoods safe and pleasant. In addition, those who reported not having access to outdoor exercise facilities such as walking or running tracks, basketball or tennis courts, and swimming pools, were more likely to be overweight than those who had access to such facilities.

"We often think of overweight in individuals being caused just by people overeating and not exercising," said Bert Malone, Director of the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. "But this study shows that some of the overweight problem may be due to the environment in which people live."

According to Ross Brownson, Ph.D., chair of community health and professor of epidemiology at Saint Louis University School of Public Health, more than 2,800 Missouri adults were asked about their specific concerns about crime safety, traffic safety, and "pleasantness" of their communities. The more negative characteristics an individual noted, the more likely that person was to be overweight.

"Crime, traffic, poor lighting, abandoned buildings and graffiti can all impact whether or not people feel safe to walk or participate in other physical activities in their neighborhoods," Brownson said. "This study, for the first time, links those perceptions of unsafe neighborhoods with increased likelihood of being overweight."

Brownson said that while most people realize the health benefits of physical activity and being at recommended weight levels, those messages are not having much impact. In fact, the prevalence of obesity in Missouri increased 65 percent from 1991 to 1998.

"There certainly is no shortage of public health messages reminding people to be physically active," said Brownson.

"But this study suggests that changing communities by making them safer and offering people access to community parks, public recreation facilities, and walking and biking trails may help reduce the prevalence of overweight by promoting physical activity and healthy lifestyles," Brownson added.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services recently announced the creation of the Missouri Council on the Prevention and Management of Overweight and Obesity. The Council's charge is to review the health and economic impact of overweight and obesity in Missouri, and to identify actions that need to be taken, according to the department's director, Richard C. Dunn. Dunn said the Council recognizes the need for a coordinated approach to addressing the problem, including a focus on environmental policies and strategies.

The study, titled "Environmental and Policy Factors Associated with Overweight Among Adults in Missouri," is published this month in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

Is overweight a cause or a consequence?

Overweight people feel each one differently about their problem according to sex, location, knowledge, experiences, environment. They may feel isolated and rejected by their peers. They may consider themselves victims of prejudice and blame overweight for everything that goes wrong in their lives. For some people, especially obese women, being overweight is an escape which unconsciously helps them to avoid situations in which they feel uncomfortable, for example those that involve active competition or relationships with the opposite sex. It would be valuable to know if overweight is a cause or a consequence of various psychological problems but the answer to this question might be similar to the one regarding what came first - the egg or the hen.
I was always looking outside myself for strength
and confidence but it comes from within. It is
there all the time. (Anna Frank)

It is easier to deal with psychological problems arising from being overweight when the reasons why excess body fat is accumulating are simple and wellknown (lack of exercise, bad nutrition). But if overweight is the result of other problems, a "self-examination" is very useful. Whatever the real problem is, it is half solved when we know the causes, the symptoms and the consequences. Medical research has repeatedly shown that informed patients get better health outcomes than non-informed patients. Likewise, you can lose weight faster if you learn more about obesity and how/why you became overweight. You can fight better someone you can see rather than a ghost.

Don't blame anyone for your overweight problem, not even yourself
You are looking for causes, reasons, origins, whatever you want to call them. You are not looking for someone to blame, not even yourself. Blaming others automatically keeps you off from solving your overweight problem by yourself - since it's someone else's fault, let them do something about it. Blaming yourself doesn't help either - it only perpetuates the destructive relationship between self-pity and overweight. So don't be dependent on others if you can. You will need the feeling of self-achievement later on. You won't like losing something you built up yourself. In my personal experience, no dietetician, health specialist, or the best weight loss program ever succeeded in building up my psychology. A psychiatrist perhaps could.
Some people say a psychiatrist replaces a good friend.