Saturday, March 28, 2009

The prevalence of obesity seems to be increasing exponentially in the U.S.

We are three months into the new year already. This is about the time that New Years resolutions to lose weight and eat healthy begin to dissolve through frustration, guilt and loss of motivation. Eating healthy and avoiding the temptaion of quick inexpensive fast foods can be challenging. Cheers to those who are sticking to their resolutions. I want to encourage all to stay strong even if you aren't seeing the results you had hoped for by now. I want to share two things I ran across from articles I read. One article addressed the reason that many of us are overweight and the other is a handy little aid to guide you through some fast food decisions.

Dr. Mark Dedomenico medical director of the 20/20 Lifestyles clinic said "The prevalence of obesity seems to be increasing exponentially in the U.S. The average American woman is 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 163 pounds, and the typical man is about 5 feet 10 inches and weighs 179 pounds. More than 30 percent of Americans are obese, meaning their body mass index, or BMI, is 30 or higher. Even more shocking is that 63 percent of our population is overweight, according to CDC guidelines. (Adults with a BMI between 25 and 29.9 are considered overweight.)

Despite these shocking statistics, I'm here to tell you that your weight problem is not your fault. In the '60s, our healthy eating habits began to change for the worse. In the U.S., we started replacing the healthy fats in our diets with grains and sugars. We decided that eating a bagel (350 calories and one gram of fat) was healthy. It turned out that eating bagels and other products made from refined flour and sugar makes us hungry for more food, especially carbohydrates.

Today we're deluged with cheap convenience foods that are calorie-dense and easy to grab from the drive-through window on the way home from a stressful day. And those fast-food meals are laden with more calories than many realize. Research shows that the average person underestimates their caloric intake by 600-700 calories per day. That's 4,500 extra calories a week that you think you're not eating. (Remember 3,500 calories equals a pound of body fat.)"

I found this great little book entitled "Eat This, Not That" from the editors of Mens Health magazine. It is small enough to carry around in your car, purse, planner or brief case. It provides actual calorie values to many of the common foods and dishes from fast food restaurants. And it goes beyond that by providing a real list of alternative food choices from many of the same restaurants and others. I recommend that you pick that book up and use it. Don't get bogged down with guilt and or despair. The changes you are undertaking take some time. You can do it!

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