Nutrition and Ideal Body Weight

7 July 2016

?Obesity is a growing epidemic in the United States. It can cause many health problems in individuals, but it is also a preventable condition. Many people rely on genetics as an excuse for obesity, but research tells us that many other factors play a part in this condition. Many myths regarding obesity exist, and it is important to be able to separate the truth from fiction. There is more than one cause for obesity, and in return there are many ways of preventing it as well. First of all, what is obesity? Obesity is an abnormal accumulation of body fat, usually 20% or more over an individual’s ideal body weight.

Many Americans don’t realize this, but obesity can cause many serious health issues such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. These are some of the leading causes of preventable death. If more Americans were empowered with the knowledge of this disease and how to prevent it, many individuals would be able to stop premature death.

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Obesity is common, serious, and costly. According to the CDC (center for disease control and prevention), more than one-third of U. S. adults (35%) are obese. Non-Hispanic blacks have the highest age-adjusted rates of obesity (49.

5%) compared with Mexican Americans (40. 4%), all Hispanics (39. 1%), and non-Hispanic whites (34. 3%). Statistics do not tell us why some races appear to have a tendency towards obesity over others, but they do tell us that all races are affected nonetheless. Research also tells us that there are a few main components that lead to obesity in adults. The two main factors that contribute to obesity are having a poor diet and a lack of physical exercise. A person suffering from obesity typically consumes more calories than their body can burn, and the body stores excess calories as fat.

Recent studies suggest that the amount of fat within the food may contribute to obesity more than the amount of calories present. Fat calories are immediately stored, whereas other foods are burned as fuel for the body. In addition to poor dietary habits, people who have little physical activity in their daily routines tend to be obese more often than those who live a more active lifestyle. It is very easy to fall into a lifestyle that may cause diabetes. There is a fast food restaurant on every corner for any American’s convenience. Activities outside of work or school can easily consist of television, social media, or video games.

Although these actions may seem gratifying after a long day of hard work, they are actually harmful and can cause obesity if done on a regular basis. However, obesity can be prevented by following two simple steps. Eating habits play a huge part in preventing obesity. Maintaining a healthy diet can help one avoid obesity and the other health concerns it may cause. People who consume a variety of grains, fruits, protein, vegetables, lean meats, and drink a lot of water tend to not be obese. This is because these foods break down in the body as fuel and are not stored as fat compared to foods that are high in sugars or saturated fats.

Balancing the number of calories one consumes is also very important to prevent obesity. This is not to say that is wrong to indulge in fatty foods or sweets. This is simply stating that research tells us that Americans who balance the amount of calories that are in the foods they consume tend to not be obese. Lastly, understanding what one’s ideal body weight should be is also helpful in preventing obesity. Individuals can find this information from their doctor. In addition to incorporating a healthy diet, an individual that wants to prevent obesity should also maintain a routine that includes physical activity.

There are many options for reaching the recommended amount of weekly exercise. Once could choose to indulge in 150 or 75 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and muscle strengthening activities 2 or more days a week. Another option would be to combine a mixture of the two. Many people are very busy with work or home requirements, but working in physical activity wherever possible will help prevent obesity. Research shows that even if the amount of physical activity is broken down into small chunks of time rather than all at once, it still helps one lead a healthy lifestyle as long as it is done on a regular basis .

Many factors can contribute to obesity in adults. Poor diet and exercise choices are the most common causes of obesity. However, obesity and the other health concerns it can cause is very much preventable. People who have diets that are rich in protein, fruits, vegetables, water, and low in fat tend be at a healthy weight. Paired with a proper diet, individuals who exercise on a regular basis tend to not be obese. These Americans are generally much healthier overall. There is a wealth of information to help those who are struggling with their weight, but it will take time and dedication to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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