Obesity, What's The 'Big' Deal
Obesity Don't Blame Me
Don't Blame Me If I'm Fat!
What Kills More Cigarettes Smoking Or Obesity?
The Link Between Obesity and Diabetes
Obesity, What's The 'Big' Deal
author: Dr. Marshal Montgomery
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 more so 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.
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 counsellor/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 more so 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 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.
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.
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 neighbourhoods; 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. Behavioural change counselling 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
Obesity. Jonathan Q. Purnell, M.D., Medscape.com
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.
This article has been provided by Dr. M. Montgomery at www.healthyunderstanding.com . Dr. Montgomery is a practicing Chiropractor in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
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Don't Blame Me If I'm Fat!
author: Jim Foster
In a culture of blame-shifting we often look for someone to blame for our predicament. Being overweight is no different - who is to blame for obesity?
"It's the fast food outlets - supplying us with fatty foods"
"Our thin-obsessed society is putting all sorts of pressure on even slightly overweight folks"
"The weight loss industry is to blame - after all if everyone was slim - they would go out of business"
Some will simply blame the overweight person - making generalizations and attaching unhelpful labels to the person. "After all" they say, "it's up to us to manage what we eat and how much we exercise".
There is truth in this, but it is too simplistic. Many overweight people have tried desperately to eat 'properly' to manage their weight - yet continue to struggle for years. There are a number of outside forces here that have more of an influence than we realise.
So Who Is To Blame?
The weight loss industry is large, with millions being spent every year by people looking for answers. Like any industry, it has its share of charlatans and snake-oil salesmen. Many manufacturers of diet pills and weight loss supplements are certainly opportunists - rather than looking to treat the source (i.e. by eating right), they are trying to treat the symptoms. However we have found that most decent commercial weight loss programs have a genuine interest in helping people manage their weight. So it's unfair to cast blame on the entire 'industry'.
If we were to start looking for culprits, we might want to cast our eye at the food processing industry - that, coupled with savvy marketing experts, has snared us into eating so many kinds of processed foods that going to the supermarket is like walking through a nutritional minefield.
Get Them While Their Young
The Center For Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) recently conducted a study of the magazine "National Geographic for Kids". In 17 recent issues they found 51 ads for junk-foods - including a depiction of one meal that contained 590 calories (remember this is a magazine for children).
Many years ago a certain famous fast food outlet began calling its meals for children "Happy Meals" - creating an emotional response and attachment to certain foods - typically nutritionally poor foods.
Chemical Food and Clever Marketing
It's not the weight loss industry that's to blame - but the clever marketing tactics from the food processing giants that are misleading us. To make things worse - some popular weight loss diets have unfortunately associated themselves with snack food corporations, and severely reduced their credibility.
Is a low-carb / low-fat (take your pick) snack bar really that good for you? Take a look at the ingredients list - can you decipher all those numbers? Do you understand what a 'partially hydrogenated oil" is?
What about those great 'health' bars for the kids - they even have the healthy tick on them (indicating they are recommended by the American Heart Association). On closer inspection those 'healthy snacks' are nothing but lots of refined sugar, some white flour, trans fats, and a host of other chemicals. But hey - they're low in fat so they must be good? Right?
Finding the Right Food
It's a nightmare. What exactly is good for you? Who do you believe? Next time you see those bright colours, and eye-catching ads - do your own inspection of the ingredients list - you might be surprised.
Recently we bought some cranberry juice for our young daughter who had a slight urine infection - knowing that cranberry has some useful medicinal properties. Like any frazzled parent, having time to stand and stare at the nutrition panel while shopping with children is a rarity. That night our daughter had trouble getting to sleep and woke up 3 or 4 times in the night. This is unusual for her.
On closer inspection of the so-called cranberry juice - we discovered that only 30% is actually cranberry, and the rest is water and 'high fructose corn syrup' - a chemically altered sugar with a fair share of (anecdotally) noted poor health effects.
What Is The Answer?
If obesity had a simple cause, don't you think we would have the answer by now? Good diet and exercise are the answer - but when we have large corporations spending millions to make us buy their food - it doesn't seem so simple anymore. Go figure - profit in the food industry is made by either people buying more food, or sourcing/manufacturing basic ingredients at less cost. How does good nutrition factor in this? Are you starting to get the picture?
There is no miracle weight loss cure - no diet plan that will fit everyone.
The only long term answer is understanding how your own body reacts to the foods you eat.
Weight loss is not a 6 week program,
but a lifelong commitment to good
nutrition and lifestyle.
What Kills More
Cigarettes Smoking Or Obesity?
People who are either obese or smoking, even both are growing at a very alarming rate. While more and more people are suffering from the various diseases and complications that can be brought about by obesity and cigarette smoking, it’s still frustrating for health advocates how some people can still not care about how damaging their situation is to their health and well-being.
As for the debate on which one’s worse, smoking or being obese, there are actually doctors who suggest that it’ll do you a lot of good to just quit smoking cigarettes point blank even if they say that you may end up gaining a few pounds due to it. This is because doctors believe that the problem brought about by tobacco is actually the most preventable cause of death in the United States while obesity is just in a close second place even though deaths caused by being obese is severely alarming.
However, a lot of people in America believe that even though there are a lot of heavy people in the country, they still get to live longer compared to heavy smokers basically because they don’t have the irreversible effects that are being caused by the poisonous ingredients that one can take in due to cigarette smoking. Another point to consider when quitting smoking is that while there are also a lot of various diseases that can be brought about by excessive eating and a growing waistline, there are medicines and drugs that can help alleviate the harmful effects, thus helping obese people to get a cure for their ailments.
Matched by a good diet and enough exercise, the road to being fit and healthy is not far off for obese people while those who’ve stuck with cigarette smoking have already badly damaged their lungs and whatever damages they may have incurred from cigarette smoking is sadly, irreversible already and they have to continue to suffer the consequences – even make things worse by refusing to kick this bad habit goodbye.
Even though there are a lot of people who are obese, and even though there are possibilities that may incur some ailments or other health complications, still, a lot of people who are obese don’t really have any adverse health complications and are actually able to live pretty normal lives while those who are into cigarette smoking have already kissed a good bill of health goodbye with every cigarette that they pop in their mouth.
However, there are also some health officials that claim that obesity is actually worse than smoking cigarettes.
Why is this so? Well it’s basically just because of the fact that a lot more people love to eat rather that smoke cigarettes why is thy problem with obesity is quick to soon overtake cigarette smoking as the number cause of death in America. Aside from having poor eating habits, health officials are also deeply concerned about Americans low level of physical activity wherein in spite of hitting the gyms or taking some time out to exercise, a lot of people still not take their health seriously by opting to take cars instead of walk for just short distances, watch TV instead of go out in the park and indulge in some fun physical activity.
To put it quite simply, being obese or being addicted to cigarette smoking are both big health risks, however, obesity is still a lot easier to cure and prevent through enough exercise, discipline and a healthy diet while those who keep on smoking cigarettes have already scarred their health for life and even though they may kick this bad habit goodbye there’s only so much that they can to do to better their health while it is never too late to quit either.
The Team and I wish that this page has been of some help for you in your search for healthier and fitter you and/or your family!
Three steps you might follow:
First: To continue your search we recommend that you carry on to our next page concerning Obesity at >> http://www.growinggracefullyolder.com/obesity-health-effects
Second: Return to the Obesity Introduction Page to possibly choose a different subject about this disease >> http://www.growinggracefullyolder.com/obesity
Third: Have a look at our main site to check out some of our other series concerning other health issues >> http://www.growinggracefullyolder.com
The Team and I thank you for checking out this page and wish you a long and healthier life.
Lawrence S Mills