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Obesity, Whats The Big Deal
Nowadays, so much of the public is obese (fat) that it is the "norm". So much so, that we are starting to ignore this epidemic.
Thankfully, the Surgeon General has issued a warning about the plague of obesity that has been considered to be as significant or moreso than the warning issued about the hazards of cigarette smoke.
As long as you are carrying extra weight (beyond the acceptable upper limits of body fat), you increase your risks for a variety of health complaints. These complaints and risks include conditions such as diabetes, heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and more.
Definition of Obesity and Overweight
Obesity has been defined as an abnormal accumulation of body fat in proportion to body size. Overweight persons, although still technically obese, will have a body-fat proportion that is intermediate between normal and obese. (1)
Some Common Excuses for Being Obese
This section will probably ruffle the feathers of some people who read it. It is not meant to be demeaning or belittling. Rather it is meant to shed light on some of the "unhealthy" thought patterns that contribute to obesity, its consequences, and other conditions.
A lot of people will say to themselves and others something like "Yeah, I'm a bit overweight but I feel okay about it" or "Maybe I'm carrying a few extra pounds, but so is everyone else" or even "I might be fat, but I can lose it anytime I want". Other things that you might hear someone else say are things like "Jeez, you look pretty good ?" "for someone who just had a baby" or ? "for someone who has had three kids" (my wife absolutely hates hearing those 'compliments') or ? "for someone who hasn't played hockey in ten years."
Then of course there are the "medical" excuses. "I've got metabolic syndrome", "ever since my surgery, I've had no energy", "my knees hurt", "I have arthritis", "It's hereditary", "I've got asthma" ?
All of the above probably have a seed of truth in them for many people. However, more often than not, these excuses are a way to avoid doing something that you don't want to do, such as getting more exercise, or controlling your eating habits.
Why does this occur? Because we are in D.E.N.I.A.L. (an addictions counselor/mental health worker told me that it stood for Don't Even (k)no(w) I Am Lying).
Today's life is, no doubt, incredibly hectic and seems to be getting moreso every passing year. Gone are the days when most people in our society must do heavy physical labour every day just to survive. Automation has created many labour saving devices. This in turn has created a largely sedentary, inactive society.
Look at the kids today. Instead of being outside playing shinny or a game of pick-up basketball, or any of thousands of other outdoor activities, they are inside playing video games or getting mesmerized by the T.V.
Patricia Markham Risica (2) writes that ?
The number of people affected by obesity continues to rise along with the prevalence of comorbid diseases that result from this condition. What could be considered the modern-day plague, caused by higher consumption and less expenditure of energy, has been broken down into its economic components by Eric Finkelstein.[1,2] The likely economic culprits for the marked increases observed in the 1980s and '90s include the increased availability of higher-calorie-dense foods, increased portion sizes, and lower overall costs of food along with increased exposure to television advertising of the same products. These trends are coupled with the earlier trends from the '60s and '70s of lower energy expenditure at work, more women in the workforce, and not making family meals at home. The increased prevalence of obesity carries a parallel increased demand for economic resources; 5% to 7% of total medical expenditures are already being devoted to this very costly condition.[1,3,4]
And she further writes that ?
Obesity and overweight (the term preferred by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other organizations when referring to children and adolescents due to the potential negative connotations associated with "obesity") represent a challenge of vast dimensions to the public health community, with causes of the epidemic permeating American society. Americans are surrounded by facilitators of an eat-more/expend-less society -- from the individual and family; to the food producers, processors, sellers, and advertisers; to the city planners of our neighborhoods; to the business organizations that demand our time during the day and the media that entertain us in the evening. Clinicians generally are not equipped to control this epidemic that greets them every day. Behavioral change counseling is not in their repertoire and effective treatments are not readily available; in fact, even when they are available, such programs are usually not reimbursed by third-party payers.
In today's society, the cost of eating in a healthy fashion is more often than not, much more expensive than eating all of the garbage that is available. Additionally, in virtually all processed foods, there is some sort of additive which will increase hunger and cravings. (reminds me of a line from "So I Married An Axe Murderer" with Mike Myers were his father was discussing "the Colonel" and how he puts an addictive chemical in his chicken to "make you crave it fortnightly!") Nowadays the home vegetable garden plot is fast disappearing which again will limit the availability of wholesome produce at a lower cost.
Look at artificial sweeteners. They have the ability to artificially increase your hunger. Not only that, but when they break down in your body, some very harmful chemicals can appear. One particular artificial sweetener is in over 2000 products! Think of the impact on society. Try finding chewing gum without it.
All of the above can contribute in some small or even in some large way to increase the increasingly present burden of obesity.
Until next time?
Yours in Health,
Dr. M. Montgomery @ www.healthyunderstanding.com
References 1. Obesity. Jonathan Q. Purnell, M.D., Medscape.com 2. Prevention of Overweight and Obesity: Focus on Children and Adolescents. Patricia Markham Risica, Dr.PH, RD, Medscape.com
Disclaimer: As always, check with your health care provider to see if this information applies to you. Due diligence is your responsibility. This information is meant to supplement your knowledge, not to replace your own decision making process or take the place of your health care provider.
This newsletter is provided for free by HealthyUnderstanding.com This newsletter may be distributed in its entirety without alteration.
Dr. Marshal Montgomery is a practising chiropractor in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada and is the creator of http://www.HealthyUnderstanding.com. He has practised in Canada and Australia.
Weight Loss Options -- Infrared Radiant Heat Saunas (IR Saunas)
Infrared Radiant Heat (IRRH) is a form of radiation that penetrates the outer surface of objects, including human skin. Heat is generated as the infrared energy interacts with and penetrates the skin surface. The depth of penetration is estimated to be 2-3 inches. The IRRH reaction is exothermic. The release of heat, if localized, is believed to be therapeutic by some health experts. Today, a number of businesses sell saunas equipped with infrared radiant heat (IR Saunas). They claim that at 2-3 inches deep, the release of heat is beneficial in many ways. For instance, chronic wounds tend to heal. How? No one knows for sure, but most likely it's related to improved blood flow and oxygenation of the wound. I have no problem with the theory behind IRRH and the healing of chronic wounds. But what about weight loss? Can infrared heat cause significant weight loss? More importantly, can it lead to Healthy Weight Loss? The business owners selling IR Saunas seem to think so. So the question is, can IR Saunas lead to Healthy Weight Loss? Infrared Radiant Heat Saunas (IR Saunas) Unlike older steel counterparts, IR Saunas are ceramic-coated and tend to be more efficient, producing the same amount of heat in a shorter time period when compared to the steel based saunas. According to supporters of IR Saunas, this efficiency translates into longer exposure times, up-regulation of your body's thermoregulatory system, and weight loss. A local Dallas newspaper printed an ad for an infrared sauna that stated , "Perspiring is part of the complex thermoregulatory process of the body that increases the heart rate, cardiac output, and metabolic rate. The process requires a large amount of energy and reduces excess moisture, salt and subcutaneous fat. Fat becomes water soluble at 110 degrees (F) leading to fat loss." -- Dallas Voice, February 12th, 2005 There is no doubt that we could pick apart the ad and question it's validity. But, I decided to keep things simple and focus on one aspect of infrared weight loss...the thermoregulatory process. According to the advertisement, infrared heat penetrates deeply into tissue and up-regulates the thermoregulatory process. Is this up-regulation enough to cause significant healthy weight loss? For our purposes, healthy weight loss is defined as fat loss. Remember, a healthy diet program promotes weight loss in short increments, never losing more than 2 pounds per week. The drop in weight is from a loss of fat and nothing else. Weight loss by any other means isn't healthy and should not be considered as an option for losing weight. The Thermoregulatory Process This is a very complex topic. Many factors are involved in keeping your body temperature constant. In the human brain, the hypothalamus regulates the entire thermoregulatory process with the exception of early responses to high temperature. Things like sweating, rapid breathing, and increased blood flow to the arms and legs are examples of the early responses not regulated by the central nervous system. The question is can these mechanisms cause weight loss by "burning" fat. Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise, says no. "The amount you sweat is indicative of your body's ability to maintain its normal body temperature. You sweat when your body starts to store heat so you can experience cooling via evaporation of that sweat. So it doesn't correlate to how much energy, or calories, is being expended. You are not going to utilize stored fat simply by raising body temperature...it's not going to happen." It makes sense too. Your body loves to store fat for future emergencies and it won't give up the fat very easily. You are well protected from starvation. Joe King, editor for the Journal of Hyperplasia Research said, "Evaporation accounts for increases in total oxygen uptake, which causes the working muscles to utilize more glycogen." Glycogen is the stored form of glucose, the main energy source for your body. In short, IR Saunas do not cause weight loss through utilization of fat. Instead, the high temperatures result in glycolysis (using sugars for immediate energy needs) and the water loss accounts for the drop in weight. What does this all mean? Infrared Saunas promote unhealthy weight loss. This reminds me of what a sales representative told me a month or so ago about IR Saunas. He said, "The heart receives a workout similar to a 6-mile run in an IR Sauna." He may be right, but it's not fat that you're losing. Conclusion An infrared sauna is not a good option for losing weight. Healthy Living! Michael A. Smith, MD The Weight Loss Professional Additional information on can be found at The Weight Loss Professional Website.
Drinking Water for Weight Loss
An article published in http://www.inch-aweigh.com mentioned, "If you are eating the right food and exercising regularly but still can't get the result that you have expected, then it means that you are not drinking enough water." An essential part of the our body, water helps reduce weight in many ways
Carbohydrates: Why Size Matters
If I collected a dime for each time I've seen or heard the word "carbohydrate" - or picked up a book on the subject, for that matter - I'd be a wealthy woman. And of course we've all heard the buzzwords: simple carb; complex carb; high carb; low carb; no carb. But do we really know what a carbohydrate is? And are carbs really as bad and fattening as we're told they are?
Are You Stuck Losing Weight?
Don't get discouraged. I, too, have found myself in this predicament in the past. And, it is possible to overcome. But, there are a few things that need to be considered.
WLS Patients Report Frequent Dizziness: What Causes It?
Many gastric bypass patients report frequent spells of dizziness. In general they are using the word dizzy to describe everything from feeling faint or lightheaded to feeling weak or unsteady.
Weight Loss in Children
What is "too young" to begin a weight loss program with children? Is there actually such a thing? There are many different opinions on the topic of child obesity but one thing everyone can agree on is that it is becoming an epidemic in North America. Many reports show that obesity now kills more people in a year than smoking does.
Government Against Diets
The Government of the Australian state of Victoria has started a campaign aimed at warning people of the dangers of fad diets. The campaign is believed to be the first of its kind in the world.
Co-Dependency and Food: Trying to Fill the Void
Nice girls don't speak up. Nice girls take care of and support others. These are just a few of the messages girls often receive as they are socialized. Often in adulthood, these ingrained messages turn into full-blown co-dependency. Years can go by. Unmet needs build up energy; they demand attention. But without learning skills in setting boundaries, letting others feel their own pain and making oneself a priority, food often becomes the hassle-free, soothing balm to take the edge off and release that pent up energy momentarily, that is until the guilt sets in.
Even Gastric Bypass Patients Hit Weight Loss Plateaus
Sometime, during the phase of rapid weight loss after gastric bypass surgery, many patients may find their weight loss is stalled. Talk about discouraging. The daily ritual of weighing and celebrating another pound gone has turned into depressing torture because the scale just won't move- the dreaded plateau has arrived.
Lose Weight and Keep it Off Permanently Without Fancy Diets
For years the experts have been telling us that diets do not work, and my experience in the field for almost twenty years confirms that. Yet every year several new fad diets and supplements emerge, claiming they have the answer, and making people rich.
The holidays are now officially over and it's time to get back on track! January 1st is the day we all get to start over. A time to make the changes in our lives that we've wanted to make but got sidetracked along the way. So, you've had your fill of tempting treats. The holidays are always exciting and indulgent. Now that they're over, hopefully you'll never want to look at another piece of pumpkin pie or vat of mashed potatoes. Starting a healthy eating program will be a pleasure instead of a chore.
Self-Sabotage Snacking After Gastric Bypass Surgery: Why Do We Do It?
LivingAfterWLS reader feedback indicates snacking is the single biggest problem for people after having gastric bypass ? the problem being we snack on unhealthy items, we sabotage our weight loss or weight maintenance and we spiral back into the self-loathing that is so much an emotional part of morbid obesity.
Natural Weight Loss: Add to Your Diet and Add Years to Your Life
As I was saying in my past articles, others have added years back to there life with a few added ingredients. They also added energy and youth. They say you should take care of your body from a young age. But for those of us that didn't, it's not too late.
How To Maintain Your Ideal Weight
The main reasons most people have difficulty maintaining their ideal weight are : ? Overeating
Is Emotional Eating Causing You to Blow Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan?
You've done everything right this time. You're eating lots of salad, fruit, and protein; using only low fat dressings and even staying away from white flour and refined sugar.
Pediatric Obesity and Vitamin Deficiency - Developments to Fight Future Disease
Obesity, especially in children, is a matter of rapidly growing concern in the United States. For the first time in decades, we are projecting a decline in life expectancy for the current generation of pre-teens and children! This crisis has attracted the attention of everyone from former president Bill Clinton to the Surgeon General to pediatricians and parents everywhere.
When Dieting Should You Weigh Yourself Every Day?
How to Break the Weighing HabitFace it, if you weigh yourself more than once a day, you are a serious scale addict, and if you let the number on the scale affect how you feel, and whether it's going to be a good day, you are probably a bit too involved with that appliance. Danger, danger! Step away from the scale!
Look On Aisle 5
Have you ever stopped to calculate how much time you spend in each section of the supermarket?
How 40,000 People Reversed Heart Disease
It is well known that about two-thirds of the U.S. population is either overweight or obese. The U.S. Surgeon General has stated that approximately 75% of Western diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, gout, arthritis, excess weight gain, hypertension, diabetes, some cancers, impotence, biventricular disease, constipation, heartburn, and gallbladder disease, are "lifestyle-related." They are directly correlated with our high fat diet, inadequate amounts of exercise, smoking, high intake of caffeine, and high amounts of stress coupled with insufficient support.
Effects of Exercise on the Relationship Between Low Self-Esteem and Obesity in Children (May 2000)
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