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Obesity: Consequences and Cures


When it comes to obesity, an ounce of prevention is worth far more than a pound of cure. According to goverment surveys, nearly 60 million Americans are obese and 9 million are extremely obese.

There are many reasons for people who are obese to lose weight. Taking charge of your weight is one of the best ways to stay healthy and live a longer, more productive life. Staying motivated is a big part of weight loss success, because all diets work--if you stick to them. Most successful dieters tell health care providers that they lost weight and kept it off by doing their own thing. In other words, they devised a personal plan they could literally live with.

According to the National Institutes of Health, in 1999, almost 108 million Americans were overweight or obese. These conditions substantially increase the risk of morbidity from hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder problems, sleep apnea, respiratory problems, and breast, colon and prostate cancers. Please use this site to help set goals for your weight loss and learn about the several factors that influence your weight. Remember, there are no "super foods" that either cause you to gain weight or lose weight. The answer is in the number of calories consumed and the amount of exercise used to burn off those calories.

The terms overweight and obesity are used by health experts to indicate increased body weight in relation to height, when compared to some standard of acceptable or desirable weight. Health care providers use body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference measurements to provide useful estimates of overweight, obesity, and body fat distribution. Body mass index (BMI) is the most common measure of expressing the relationship (ratio) or weight to height. A BMI or 18.5 to 24.9 is considered healthy. A person with BMI of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, and a person with a BMI of 30 or more is considered obese.

You can calculate your own BMI by first multiplying your weight(in pounds) by 703 and then dividing that answer by your height (in inches) squared. For example, for someone who is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs 220 pounds, the calculation would look like this: 220 X 703 = 154,660 divided by (67 inches X 67 inches = 4,489) which results in a BMI of 34.45. By definition, that person would be looked upon by the medical community as being obese.

Obesity is actually defined as an "excessively high amount of body fat or adipose tissue in relation to lean body mass." The amount of body fat includes concern for both the distribution of fat throughout the body and the size of the adipose tissue deposits. Body fat distribution can be estimated by skinfold measures, waist-to-hip circumference ratios, or techniques such as ultrasound, computed tomography, or magnetic resonance imaging.

You didn't gain 100 pounds in a month and you likely will not lose 100 pounds in a month. Losing weight, although sometimes difficult, can be done. Starting with small and easy steps--taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, eating off smaller plates, eating fewer fats and calories, taking a family walk after dinner, drinking diet soda, not taking seconds, more carrots (less cake), drinking lots of water, washing your car by hand, asking a friend to exercise with you--all of these can help you lose your excess pounds.

If you are obese, losing just 5% of your weight can have significant health benefits. Using small steps and simple tips you can successfully and sensibly lose the weight AND keep it off. The result will be a better appearance, and a healthier, more satisfied you. Lose the weight, regain your energy, increase your self confidence, and start living again. You CAN do it!

About the Author

Larry Denton is a retired history teacher having taught 33 years at Hobson High in Hobson, Montana. He is currently Vice President of Elfin Enterprises, Inc., an Internet business dedicated to providing useful information and valuable resources on a variety of timely topics. For a gym full of information, resources and suggestions about
obesity, visit


Larry Denton



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