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Stick to water. Skip high-calorie beverages, such as soda, fruit smoothies, and fancy coffee drinks. There are approximately nine packages of sugar and close 150 calories in one 12-oz can of soda or juice. Smoothies and coffee drinks are often 250 -500 calories, excluding the whipped cream. Instead, choose low- or no-calorie drinks, such as green tea or fruit-infused water.
Evaluation of risks for heart disease in school children. The multigenerational Muscatine Heart Study followed children from 1970 to 1991 to study school-aged children for heart disease risk factors and to follow them throughout childhood into adulthood. The study continues to evaluate heart disease risk factors in the children of the initial study participants. Visit Muscatine Heart Study for more information about the results of this study.
Overweight and obesity are increasingly common conditions in the United States. They are caused by the increase in the size and the amount of fat cells in the body. Doctors measure body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference to screen and diagnose overweight and obesity. Obesity is a serious medical condition that can cause complications such as metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, cancers and sleep disorders. Treatment depends on the cause and severity of your condition and whether you have complications. Treatments include lifestyle changes, such as heart-healthy eating and increased physical activity, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved weight-loss medicines. For some people, surgery may be a treatment option.
As care providers for older adults, nurses are in a position to assist older adults who are obese in adopting changes to promote a healthier lifestyle. The primary goal is to achieve sustained lifestyle changes through dietary modifications, exercise, and use of community supports (Villareal et al., 2005). Strategies that promote lifestyle modifications include helping older adults who are obese to overcome barriers related to dietary changes and physical activity. Two well-developed programs, as well as general considerations to facilitate safe dietary changes and safe increases in physical activity, will be discussed below.
The publication of this supplement was made possible in part by unrestricted educational grants from Eli Lilly, Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Generex Biotechnology, Hoffmann-La Roche, Johnson & Johnson, LifeScan, Medtronic, MSD, Novo Nordisk, Pfizer, sanofi-aventis, and WorldWIDE.
Some patients with obesity do not respond to healthy lifestyle changes and medicines. When these patients develop certain obesity-related complications, they may be eligible for the following surgeries.
Lack of access to healthy foods. Some people don’t live in neighborhoods with supermarkets that sell healthy foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Or, for some people, these healthy foods are too costly.
Any individual plan listed on our site carries the same costs and offers the exact same benefits regardless of whether you purchase it from our site, a government website, or your local insurance broker.
Jump up ^ National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (1998). Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults (PDF). International Medical Publishing, Inc. ISBN 1-58808-002-1.
Many people suffer from health issues due to their weight. Some people who need to lose weight for their health don’t recognize it, while others who don’t need to lose weight want to get thinner for cosmetic reasons.
“At the same age, Gen X males have nearly double the prevalence of obesity: 18.3% compared with 9.4% for boomers. There is a smaller but still significant difference in females, with 12.7% of Gen X women being obese in 2008 and 10.4% of boomer females obese in 1989.
NCI supports research on obesity and cancer risk through a variety of activities, including large cooperative initiatives, web and data resources, extramural and intramural epidemiologic studies, basic science, and dissemination and implementation resources. For example, the Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC) initiative links four research centers and a coordination center to investigate how the combined effects of obesity, poor diet, and low levels of physical activity increase cancer risk.
^ Jump up to: a b c Longo, Dan L.; Heymsfield, Steven B.; Wadden, Thomas A. (19 January 2017). “Mechanisms, Pathophysiology, and Management of Obesity”. New England Journal of Medicine. 376 (3): 254–66. doi:10.1056/NEJMra1514009. PMID 28099824.
UCLA’s California Health Interview Survey, the largest state health survey in the country, is a poll of roughly 50,000 Californians conducted every two years. The research covers topics including medical diagnoses, emotional well-being, insurance coverage and access to care. Its new obesity findings highlight a host of troubling health outcomes for baby boomers.
In this study, Villareal and his colleagues evaluated the effects of dieting and exercise in more than 100 obese seniors over a one-year period. Although weight loss alone and exercise alone improved physical function by about 12 percent and 15 percent, respectively, neither was as effective as diet and exercise together, which improved physical performance by 21 percent.
Jump up ^ Hales, Craig M.; Carroll, Margaret D.; Fryar, Cheryl D.; Ogden, Cynthia L. (October 2017). “Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults and Youth: United States, 2015–2016”. NCHS data brief (288): 1–8. ISSN 1941-4927. PMID 29155689.
Researchers are also tinkering with food ingredients to boost satiety. Cargill has developed a starch derived from tapioca that gives dishes a refined-carb taste and mouthfeel, but acts more like fiber in the body—a feature that could keep the appetite from spiking later. “People usually think that processing leads to foods that digest too quickly, but we’ve been able to use processing to slow the digestion rate,” says Bruce McGoogan, who heads R&D for Cargill’s North American food-ingredient business. The company has also developed ways to reduce fat in beef patties, and to make baked goods using half the usual sugar and oil, all without heavily compromising taste and texture.
Also, you might’ve heard about studies that show links to air pollution, viruses, exposure to certain chemicals, or even the bacteria in a person’s gut. But they don’t prove that those things cause obesity.
According to the National Institute of Health, the percentage of those seniors entering nursing homes who are moderate and severely obese — with a body mass index of 35 or greater — has risen sharply, to nearly 25% in 2010 from 14.7% in 2000, according to a recent study, and many signs suggest the upward trend is continuing.
Eating too much or eating too little during your pregnancy can change your baby’s DNA and can affect how your child stores and uses fat later in life. Also, studies have shown that obese fathers have DNA changes in their sperm that can be passed on to their children.
Researchers are also trying to understand why the association between obesity and the risks of some cancers vary among racial/ethnic groups. For example, obesity has been found to be more strongly associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer among African American men than among white men (49). This observation might reflect a difference in the biological effects of obesity between these two groups, such as a difference in the effects of obesity on inflammation or insulin secretion.
In community-dwelling older adults, the causes of unintentional weight loss can be classified as organic or psychosocial. Multiple studies, prospective and retrospective and in inpatient and outpatient settings, have demonstrated that the most common etiologies are malignancy (19% to 36%), nonmalignant gastrointestinal disease (9% to 19%), and psychiatric conditions such as depression and dementia (9% to 24%). Overall, nonmalignant diseases are more common than malignancy.1,11–16  Etiologies are further delineated in Table 1.11–16

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A 73-year-old woman presents to your clinic complaining of unintentional weight loss. She reports having lost 15 lbs (6.8 kg) over the past year. Previously, her weight was 135 lbs (61.3 kg) and now it is 120 lbs (54.5 kg). She reports that she is eating three meals per day as usual.

Christensen’s past weight-loss efforts didn’t last, but the latest one did in part because she committed to Weight Watchers and works with a personal trainer. Meanwhile, the Acostas attribute much of their success to the structure of the YMCA program. “It really showed me what I should and should not do,” Elena Acosta says.

In people with heart failure, those with a BMI between 30.0 and 34.9 had lower mortality than those with a normal weight. This has been attributed to the fact that people often lose weight as they become progressively more ill.[76] Similar findings have been made in other types of heart disease. People with class I obesity and heart disease do not have greater rates of further heart problems than people of normal weight who also have heart disease. In people with greater degrees of obesity, however, the risk of further cardiovascular events is increased.[77][78] Even after cardiac bypass surgery, no increase in mortality is seen in the overweight and obese.[79] One study found that the improved survival could be explained by the more aggressive treatment obese people receive after a cardiac event.[80] Another found that if one takes into account chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in those with PAD, the benefit of obesity no longer exists.[75]

Dr. Ann Mabe Newman received a Diploma in Nursing from The University of Virginia, a BSN from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, a MSN from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a DSN from The University of Alabama-Birmingham. She received CNE certification in 2007. Currently she is an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she has served as President of the Faculty Senate and received the prestigious Bank of America and Governor’s Award for teaching excellence. Dr. Newman has also served on the State Board of Nursing for North Carolina and most recently on the American Nurses Association Congress on Nursing Practice and Economics. For the past 20 years she has maintained a research program on self-management in chronic illness, and she has published extensively on this topic. Dr. Newman’s work has focused on using the concept of self-efficacy to encourage clients, students, and community groups to accomplish things they thought were not possible. Ann notes that as a healthy, older person, her respect and admiration for older adults who persevere in spite of their chronic illnesses continues to grow.

“Never,” declares Sir David Attenborough in the first episode of Blue Planet II, his latest hallucinatory swath of masterpiece nature television, “has there been a more crucial time to explore what goes on beneath the surface of the seas!” Attenborough is perorating from the prow of the research vessel Alucia as she plies indigo waters, blipping and whirring and swishing her sensors over the deep. “With revolutionary technology we can enter new worlds and shine a light on behaviors in ways that were impossible just a generation ago. We’ve also come to recognize an uncomfortable fact: The health of our oceans is under threat. They’re changing at a faster rate than ever before in human history.”

María José Echeverria, a spokeswoman for PepsiCo, said the company was fully compliant with the law, and had no interest in overturning it, but was only trying to protect its ability to use a locally registered trademark.

Central obesity (obesity based on waist circum­ference) is significantly associated with hypertension, low HDL, and impair­ed fasting glucose. Obesity by body ma­ss index (BMI) is associated with hyper­triglyceridemia.A

Ethnicity. Ethnicity factors may influence the age of onset and the rapidity of weight gain. African-American women and Hispanic women tend to experience weight gain earlier in life than Caucasians and Asians, and age-adjusted obesity rates are higher in these groups. Non-Hispanic black men and Hispanic men have a higher obesity rate then non-Hispanic white men, but the difference in prevalence is significantly less than in women.

The numbers are stark. For the next 30 years, it is not enough for the millennial generation to adopt sustainable best practices. Their actions will push our national policy and economy toward sustained economic growth, improved human health and environmental sustainability. But to actually realize these results will require boomer generation engagement.

For Amy Campbell, a registered dietitian and diabetes educator, the DASH, TLC and Mediterranean diets stood out as smart choices for older adults, because they’re good for weight loss as well as controlling conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Sato F, Tamura Y, Watada H, Kumashiro N, Igarashi Y, Uchino H, Maehara T, Kyogoku S, Sunayama S, Sato H, Hirose T, Tanaka Y, Kawamori R. Effects of diet-induced moderate weight reduction on intrahepatic and intramyocellular triglycerides and glucose metabolism in obese subjects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007;92:3326–3329. [PubMed]

The healthcare costs of American adults with obesity amount to approximately $190 billion per year. Discrimination and mistreatment of person with obesity is widespread and, sadly, often considered socially acceptable.

(January 2016) The current growth of the population ages 65 and older is one of the most significant demographic trends in the history of the United States. Baby boomers—those born between 1946 and 1964—have brought both challenges and opportunities to the economy, infrastructure, and institutions as they have passed through each major stage of life. Although U.S. policymakers and others have had many decades to plan for the inevitable aging of the baby boom cohort, it is not clear that sufficient preparations have been made to meet baby boomers’ anticipated needs in old age.

Several reputable and trustworthy non-profit and governmental organizations have endorsed bariatric surgery for the right patients. Organizations publishing official statements about weight loss surgery include…

Tamura Y, Tanaka Y, Sato F, Choi JB, Watada H, Niwa M, Kinoshita J, Ooka A, Kumashiro N, Igarashi Y, Kyogoku S, Maehara T, Kawasumi M, Hirose T, Kawamori R. Effects of diet and exercise on muscle and liver intracellular lipid contents and insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetic patients. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005;90:3191–3196. [PubMed]

Strength training targets two vital components that gain vulnerability with age: bones and muscles. Dr. Cheskin recommends beginning with a set of light weights, such as 5 lb. weights. Legs, arms, and core are the key areas to work.

Allopurinol, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, antibiotics, anticholinergics, antihistamines, calcium channel blockers, levodopa, propranolol, selegiline (Eldypryl), spironolactone (Aldactone)

One of main causes of health problems in senior dogs is excessive weight gain. It is a normal part of the aging process but can also be caused by underlying issues. It is up to you to take your pet for regular check-ups at the veterinarian to rule out any of the diseases that plague older dogs, but you can also help your old dog maintain a healthy weight with a regular regime of exercises and appropriate senior dog diet.

Jump up ^ Rosén T, Bosaeus I, Tölli J, Lindstedt G, Bengtsson BA (1993). “Increased body fat mass and decreased extracellular fluid volume in adults with growth hormone deficiency”. Clin. Endocrinol. 38 (1): 63–71. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2265.1993.tb00974.x. PMID 8435887.

Resistance training is essential to preserve lean muscle and bone density or even regain lost muscle. Seniors should perform resistance-training exercises two to three times weekly. The trainings should consist of 8 to 10 different strength exercises with 8 to 12 repetitions each. Again, it’s best to start out slow, with lighter weights and fewer repetitions.

Calculating your BMI. Your doctor will check your body mass index (BMI) to determine your level of obesity. This should be done at least once a year. Your BMI also helps determine your overall health risk and what treatment may be appropriate.

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acculturation addressed Administration on Aging adults of color African Americans ageism Alzheimer’s disease Asian assets perspective associated baby boom baby boomers benefits boom boomer assets boomers and older boomers of color capital caregivers Centers for Disease challenges chapter civic engagement cohort concept consequences context contributions Control and Prevention cultural assets culturally competent debate deficit perspective Delgado demographic Disease Control economic efforts enter older adulthood enter retirement equity estimated example expected face factors focus formal funds future grandparents health disparities helping professions highlight immigrants impact important income increase individuals intergenerational equity interventions Latino Latino/as lives low-income Medicare ment Meschede million nation needs non-Latino/a older adults particularly pension play political potential practice programs projected rates reform result retirement age role significant sixty-five social justice Social Security social workers society stress tion U.S. Census Bureau understanding volunteering well-being White

“maternal obesity icd 10 code -obesity bmi pdf”

The amount of calories you need depends on how physically active you are. The USDA a sedentary lifestyle as one in which you are limited to the activities of daily living. If you walk briskly for more than 3 miles a day you are considered active. You may need more or fewer calories than what’s recommended if you are unable to maintain a healthy weight.

The history should also identify prescription and over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements that may be affecting appetite or contributing to weight loss. A social history focusing on alcohol and tobacco use and the patient’s living situation may elicit further useful information. The Mini Nutritional Assessment is a validated tool to help measure nutritional risk.22 The tool, which is available at http://www.mna-elderly.com/mna_forms.html, involves anthropometric measurements and general, dietary, and subjective assessments. Scoring allows categorization of older adults as well nourished (normal), at risk, or malnourished.22  The Nutritional Health Checklist (Table 4) is a simpler tool for assessing nutritional status that was developed for the Nutrition Screening Initiative.23

A baseline evaluation for unexplained, unintentional weight loss in older adults includes history, physical examination, laboratory tests, chest radiography, fecal occult blood testing, and possibly abdominal ultrasonography.

When it comes to shedding pounds, men have an advantage: They lose weight faster and more easily than women do. Why? In this episode, Molly and Cristen examine the many variables that affect weight loss in general — and female weight loss in particular.

Every weight-loss plan is based on one simple principle: calorie intake vs calorie output. To lose weight, a dog must consume fewer calories than they burn a day. Start by counting your dog’s calories accurately. Instead of feeding ‘free-choice’ or giving your dog one or two meals a day, change to feeding your dog several small meals a day. That way you’ll be able to control and monitor exactly how much they eat.

Cancers of the colon, breast (after menopause), endometrium (the lining of the uterus), kidney, and esophagus are linked to obesity. Some studies have also reported links between obesity and cancers of the gallbladder, ovaries, and pancreas.

Healthier ingredients could be slipped into the middle of candy bars. “We tend to make up our minds about how something tastes from the first and last bites, and don’t care as much what happens in between.”

JoAnn Manson, MD, chief of preventive medicine at Harvard University’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and her Harvard colleagues took a look at last year’s CDC findings soon after they were published. They excluded smokers and people who might have already been ill when enrolled in the trial.

It’s commonly known and scientifically proven that obesity can contribute to many diseases. In fact, the majority of organs and body systems are negatively affected by obesity. Most commonly, obesity may help bring on hypertension, high cholesterol, heart disease, and certain cancers. The increase in people with type 2 diabetes is of particular concern, as diabetes is a well-known risk factor in heart disease, kidney disease, stroke, and other serious medical conditions. Physical disability and mobility can also be a major problem due to the effect of weight on joints.

Physiological influences: Some researchers believe that every person has a predetermined weight that the body resists moving away from. Also, people of the same age, sex and body size often have different metabolic rates. This means their bodies burn food differently. Someone with a low metabolic rate may require fewer calories to maintain approximately the same weight as someone whose metabolic rate is high.

Contributors: Svetlana Stajkovic and Jayna Holroyd-Leduc developed the concept of the review. Elizabeth Aitken conducted the literature search. All of the authors reviewed and critically appraised the literature cited in the manuscript. Svetlana Stajkovic drafted the article, and all of the authors revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content and approved the final version submitted for publishing.

To lose weight, seniors should implement a nutritious diet that include more fruits and vegetables. Consuming calcium, vitamins, protein rich foods like whole grains, whole wheat, cereals, lentils and eggs release the energy required for any physical activity. Senior weight loss is possible and can be achieved with a nutritious diet and regular work out.

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Manson JE, Colditz GA, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC, Rosner B, Monson RR, Speizer FE, Hennekens CH.; “A prospective study of obesity and risk of coronary heart disease in women.” N Engl J Med. 1990 Mar 29;322(13):882-9.
The treatment plan for weight loss involves eating fewer calories than your body needs, getting aerobic exercise for 30 minutes most days of the week and learning the skills to change unhealthy behaviors.
Some people find it is easier to aim and maintain a healthy weight when they have support from a weight-loss specialist or other individuals who also are trying to lose weight. Behavioral weight-loss programs can provide this support, and they can help you set goals that are specific to your needs. Your weight-loss specialist usually reviews or modifies your goals every six months based on your progress and overall health.
Keum N, Greenwood DC, Lee DH, et al. Adult weight gain and adiposity-related cancers: a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective observational studies. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 2015; 107(2). pii: djv088.
Obesity can lead to social stigmatization and disadvantages in employment.[200] When compared to their normal weight counterparts, obese workers on average have higher rates of absenteeism from work and take more disability leave, thus increasing costs for employers and decreasing productivity.[209] A study examining Duke University employees found that people with a BMI over 40 kg/m2 filed twice as many workers’ compensation claims as those whose BMI was 18.5–24.9 kg/m2. They also had more than 12 times as many lost work days. The most common injuries in this group were due to falls and lifting, thus affecting the lower extremities, wrists or hands, and backs.[210] The Alabama State Employees’ Insurance Board approved a controversial plan to charge obese workers $25 a month for health insurance that would otherwise be free unless they take steps to lose weight and improve their health. These measures started in January 2010 and apply to those state workers whose BMI exceeds 35 kg/m2 and who fail to make improvements in their health after one year.[211]
Gaining weight as an adult increases the risk for several cancers, even if the weight gain doesn’t result in overweight or obesity. It isn’t known exactly how being overweight increases cancer risk. Fat cells may release hormones that affect cell growth, leading to cancer. Also, eating or physical activity habits that may lead to being overweight may also contribute to cancer risk.
Kelly et al. (2011) recruited 28 sedentary, obese adults who were weight stable for the previous six months. The group was randomly allocated to exercise plus either a low-glycemic index (LGI) or high-glycemic index (HGI) diet. Participants engaged in five exercise sessions per week for 60 minutes at 85% maximum heart rate. All food was provided and balanced for macronutrients and both groups lost similar amounts of weight over the six month intervention. Weight, FM, FFM, truncal fat, fasting plasma glucose and insulin decreased in both groups, but did not differ between groups. Glycemic response reduced only in the LGI group. Plasma and mononuclear cells (MNC)-derived TNFα reduced in the LGI group, but increased in the HGI group. Secretion of IL-6 from MNC and plasma IL-6 and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) was reduced in the LGI group. Change in MNC-derived TNFα and plasma MCP-1 correlated with decreased glycemic response. It was concluded that a LGI diet plus exercise decreased inflammatory markers, whereas a HGI diet attenuated improvements in glycemia and inflammation that usually occur with exercise. One proposed mechanism was the production of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH), which results in reactive oxygen species that activates the NFkB pathway, and increases TNF-α (Mohanty 2000; Evans 2002; Ghanim 2004). Hypertrophied adipocytes in obesity are partially responsible for the secretion of IL-6, and are thus regulated by not only weight loss, but also hyperglycemia and physical activity. The decrease of MCP-1 in the LGI group associated with changes in plasma glucose was attributed to reduced stimulus to recruit MNC into adipose tissue, seen as improved glucose tolerance. This implies an improvement in adipose tissue function, and the investigators concluded that eating a LGI diet in combination with aerobic exercise can reverse the effects of obesity on proinflammatory cytokines, which appears independent of weight loss.
Most text on the National Cancer Institute website may be reproduced or reused freely. The National Cancer Institute should be credited as the source and a link to this page included, e.g., “Obesity and Cancer was originally published by the National Cancer Institute.”
Three years ago, when Nicole Wilhelm, a public relations executive in Jacksonville, Florida, was in the throes of wedding planning, she visited her 68-year-old father in Lucerne Valley, California. It quickly became apparent that something was wrong, says Wilhelm.
The baby-boomer weight crisis is rapidly moving past their burden of buying plus-size clothing. Modern medicine will keep them alive longer than previous generations even with their increased need for care due to their weight gain. Their increased health care cost will push America into a debt crisis. One driver will be paying for extended medical care to medicate the life choices made by the boomer generation. The second driver will be the increased gross amounts the boomer generation will be paid from Social Security by living longer.
A cross-sectional study of 68 community-dwelling older adults in the midwestern United States (with an average age of 86 years and 51 of whom were women) showed that depression (using the Geriatric Depression Scale) was independently associated with weight loss (OR 1.65, 95% CI 1.12–2.43).12 Another prospective study (n = 309) found that psychiatric and psychological diseases are one of the primary reasons for weight loss.9
Obesity is a condition of having excess body weight. Adults with a body mass index (BMI, calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) greater than 25 kg/m2 but less than 30 kg/m2 are considered overweight. Adults with a BMI greater than 30 kg/m2 are considered obese. An adult who is more than 100 pounds overweight or has a BMI greater than 40 kg/m2 is considered morbidly obese.
So, your company wants to reduce its landfill waste. Now what? As sustainability reaches top of mind for investors and customers, more companies are beginning to tackle waste in their supply chains in order to boost their green cred.
Food that is nutrient dense – meaning food that contains a large amount of micronutrients like vitamins and minerals – are an integral part of any senior nutrition plan. With the aging process, it becomes more difficult for elderly adults to absorb and digest nutrients from the food they eat, and so choose foods that provide a variety of nutrients is vital. Examples of nutrient dense foods include sliced fruits and cooked vegetables, dairy products, and fish, chicken, and other lean proteins that are easy to chew and swallow. Sometimes, softer foods such as pudding, yogurt, or applesauce are helpful for increasing senior nutrition, and filling in calorie gaps in older adults.
The BMI does not tke count for mass of muscle versus mass of fat. A BMI both below and above the so-called normal values can be healthy if there is little fat, but well developed muscle mass. And a person with a BMI less that 18.5 can be too fat if the muscle mass is very scant, but much fat.
Television food shows routinely feature revered chefs tossing around references to healthy eating, “wellness,” and farm-fresh ingredients, all the while spooning lard, cream, and sugar over everything in sight. (A study published last year in the British Medical Journal found that the recipes in the books of top TV chefs call for “significantly more” fat per portion than what’s contained in ready-to-eat supermarket meals.) Corporate wellness programs, one of the most promising avenues for getting the population to adopt healthy behaviors, are falling prey to this way of thinking as well. Last November, I attended a stress-management seminar for employees of a giant consulting company, and listened to a high-powered professional wellness coach tell the crowded room that it’s okay to eat anything as long as its plant or animal origins aren’t obscured by processing. Thus, she explained, potato chips are perfectly healthy, because they plainly come from potatoes, but Cheetos will make you sick and fat, because what plant or animal is a Cheeto? (For the record, typical potato chips and Cheetos have about equally nightmarish amounts of fat calories per ounce; Cheetos have fewer carbs, though more salt.)
You can control many of these risk factors by changing your lifestyle. If you have obesity, your health care provider can help you begin a weight-loss program. A starting goal of losing 5% to 10% of your current weight will reduce your risk of developing obesity-related diseases.
Bittman is hardly alone in his reflexive dismissals. No sooner had McDonald’s and Burger King rolled out their egg-white sandwich and turkey burger, respectively, than a spate of articles popped up hooting that the new dishes weren’t healthier because they trimmed a mere 50 and 100 calories from their standard counterparts, the Egg McMuffin and the Whopper. Apparently these writers didn’t understand, or chose to ignore, the fact that a reduction of 50 or 100 calories in a single dish places an eater exactly on track to eliminate a few hundred calories a day from his or her diet—the critical threshold needed for long-term weight loss. Any bigger reduction would risk leaving someone too hungry to stick to a diet program. It’s just the sort of small step in the right direction we should be aiming for, because the obese are much more likely to take it than they are to make a big leap to wholesome or very-low-calorie foods.
In virtually every realm of human existence, we turn to technology to help us solve our problems. But even in Silicon Valley, when it comes to food and obesity, technology—or at least food-processing technology—is widely treated as if it is the problem. The solution, from this viewpoint, necessarily involves turning our back on it.