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Weight Matters

Obesity is associated with nearly 1 in 5 U.S. deaths according to a study published on August 15, 2013, in the American Journal of Public Health. The data suggest the obesity toll on Americans is more than 3 times previous estimates.

Additionally, Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009-2010 indicates:

  • More than 2 in 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese.
  • More than 1 in 3 adults are considered to be obese.
  • More than 1 in 20 adults are considered to have extreme obesity.
  • About one-third of children and adolescents ages, 6 to 19 are considered to be overweight or obese.
  • More than 1 in 6 children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are considered to be obese.

Recent findings indicate obesity rates could be much worse than these studies suggest for several reasons. First, the number of overweight or obese Americans increases every year. Additionally, the study uses BMI to determine obesity, which is a seriously flawed index that does not take into account the percentage body fat or the distribution of body fat.

When these additional variables are factored in, the number of people who meet the criteria for obesity is much higher, possibly even twice as high. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of 35 major diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, sleep apnea, and cancer.

In an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, smoking was the leading cause of mortality. However, the article points out that poor diet and physical inactivity may soon overtake tobacco as the leading cause of death.

The average American adult gains 3 pounds a year. While this may not sound like much, imagine yourself in ten years. Unfortunately, when it comes to weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight, there is a great deal of misinformation out there, some even coming from government agencies and nutrition experts. One example of this is the myth that all calories are equal and that to lose weight one must simply burn more calories than they consume. There are also societal forces at work that go beyond personal eating and exercise habits. Some of these include our dramatically changing food sources consisting of processed foods loaded with chemicals, foods grown in nutrient-depleted soils, and exposure to pesticides, just to name a few.  Remember the food you eat communicates with your cells, and the message sent can be either beneficial or detrimental to your long term health, including weight loss. There are also highly individual factors in successful weight management. If you find yourself eating healthy and exercising, but still having difficulty losing weight, some common issues getting in your way may include:

  • Thyroid issues
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Leaky gut
  • Candida or other infections
  • Cellular toxicity (due to environmental toxins and processed foods)
  • Improper eating habits or exercise programs

From the Vitopia View, you will learn that achieving and maintaining a healthy weight involves an ever-increasing number of factors, including social, environmental, and individual metabolic considerations. If you would like to receive current information and developments in weight management or the Vitopia View, please sign up for our newsletter or send us an email.

Sources: 1. Am J Public Health, Published August 15, 2013, 2. JAMA January 2, 2013, 3. Forbes August 19, 2013, 4. Ibid., Bloch, p.319 5. Mokdad, A.,e.t al., “Actual causes of death in the United States, 2000,” JAMA2004;291:1238-45.