Obesity Rates On the Rise
Obesity rates continue to grow at a staggering pace, with dire implications to both individual health and our struggling health care system. Over 2 million people moved from overweight to obese status, based on the Body Mass Index (BMI) scale, a standardized measurement of body weight. Obesity has been implicated in a host of diseases ranging from heart disease and stroke to diabetes and cancer.
Stress and the Economy Blamed for Rising Obesity
According to a report published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the annual cost of obesity is $1,429 higher than that of their normal weight counterparts. The report concludes that the continued rise in obesity rates is due to the poor economy and high unemployment, leading to increased levels of life stress situations.
Both stress and economic factors play a part in weight gain, as people look for inexpensive food choices, which always tend to be high in trans fats, sugar and calories. Stress is one of the independent factors leading to weight gain which can be controlled.
Excess stress leads to psychological eating, where food is used as a crutch to cover up the root cause of the problem. While the economy may not be within our control, the report suggests important tips to avoid becoming an obesity statistic.
Tip 1: Incorporate Physical Activity into Your Healthy Lifestyle
Most people simply don’t get enough physical activity to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, or to effectively promote weight loss. Experts advise that people exercise at a moderate pace for 20 to 30 minutes at least 5 days a week.
This is enough to significantly reduce disease risk, but even more intense exercise is needed to fuel weight loss. Avoid excessive exercising to lose weight, as your body will send the signal to eat more in an effort to compensate for calories burned.Continued on the next page