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Weight Gain In Adulthood -- Slowing It Down
By Karen Cole-Peralta, Mon Dec 26th

The biggest problem we face in America today is not terrorism -it is obesity. This is according to Dr. Julie Gerberding, headof the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in America.And it seems much of this problem is happening in a slow andcreeping way, through gradual young and middle-aged weightgain, over very long periods of time.

On the average, a typical American gains at least twopounds per year over his or her lifetime. That probably meansthat approximately 100 extra calories are being consumed eachday, according to Dr. James Hill of the University of Colorado'snutrition center. If you simply burn off those 100 extracalories, or don't consume them to begin with, you will then notgain that yearly extra weight.

Dr. Gerberding says that fixing the problem will involvechanging most Americans' daily social norms. This will have tostart in our early childhood, she says. People will have tobegin performing more physical activity and eating less everyday. And Dr. Hill has examined government figures showing thatabout 40 million adults are currently obese. He has also notedthat Americans are steadily gaining more weight than usual inrecent years. But what can be done about this socially andpersonally significant health problem?


"The future is not hopeful unless we act now," Dr. Hill says. Heestimates that if current trends continue, the obesity rate forAmerican adults in 2008 will be 39%, which compares unfavorablywith 31% in the year 2000. Middle age shows a great increase inthe amount of weight gained. There is a doubling of body fat inthis time period in both men and women living in the developedcountries. Such weight gain is strongly associated withincreased morbidity and mortality. But there is ample evidenceto conclude that moderate physical activity combined with asteady and healthy diet slows down or stops middle-aged adultweight gain.

Young adults are also at a high risk for weight gain. InAmerica, for adults ages 25-74, the major weight gain was shownto be highest between ages 25-34. This was found by recent USgovernment studies. And in the Coronary Artery Risk Developmentin Young Adults Study, even though trends were constant acrossten years of follow-up studies, aging related weight gain waslargest in the early to mid-20s than it was for older age groups.

It may not be wisest to wait until middle age, even though thatmay be when obesity actually becomes a more significant healththreat, to lose weight. Irreversible

health damage from weightbeing above optimal levels may occur prior to the beginning of ahealth related diet and exercise program. But modest weight losscan reduce cardiovascular risk factors, and in high-riskindividuals, it also prevent the development of diabetes andhypertension.

The American College of Preventative Medicine endorses theguidelines of the National Institutes of Health when it comes toadvising obese and overweight patients on how to go about bothlosing excess weight and keeping it off. They encourage moderatephysical activity for 30 to 45 minutes for at least 3 to 5 daysper week for clinically obese or overweight persons, wheneversuch a program is not contraindicated by any current healthproblems. They also advise counseling regarding anenergy-reduced or low-calorie diet of 800 to 1500 calories perday for an obese or overweight male or female untiloptimal weight is attained. Then it is suggested that suchpersons remain on a healthy, normal diet that is not higher incalories than the amount they burn each day.

It is felt by many experts that simply avoiding excess weightgain during the early years may be important regardingpreventing adverse health reactions and establishing an earlyfoundation for the maintenance of lifelong healthy habits inadulthood. It is also felt that interventions such as simplechanges in diet and the maintenance of a regular exerciseprogram will help parents establish lifelong role models fortheir children. This would greatly help to prevent America'ssteady increase in obesity over the past decade, and itsaccompanying morbidity and mortality over the next severalgenerations of Americans.


Information in this article was obtained from the four sourceslisted below:

The "Weight Control and Obesity" page athttp://www.annecollins.com/weight_health/weight-control-obesity.htm ;

The Nutrition.org page athttp://www.nutrition.org/cgi/content/full/132/12/3824S ;

The "Weight management counseling of overweight adults" page athttp://www.guideline.gov/summary/summary.aspx?ss=15&doc_id=3154&nbr=2380 ; The "NHLBI Working Group Report Preventing Weight Gainin Young Adults" page athttp://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/meetings/workshops/wgt-gain.htm

About the author:Executive Director of Rainbow Writing, Inc., Karen Cole-Peraltawrites. RWI at http://www.rainbowriting.com/ is a world renownedfreelance writing, copyediting, ghostwriting, graphics and CAD,search engine optimization, publishing helpers, internetmarketing, xml code authoring, free professional services, andsupercheap dedicated web host and website developmentcorporation.

 
 

 
 
 
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