Specific industries, such as the airline, healthcare and food industries, have special concerns. Due to rising rates of obesity, airlines face higher fuel costs and pressures to increase seating width. In 2000, the extra weight of obese passengers cost airlines US$275 million. The healthcare industry has had to invest in special facilities for handling severely obese patients, including special lifting equipment and bariatric ambulances. Costs for restaurants are increased by litigation accusing them of causing obesity. In 2005 the US Congress discussed legislation to prevent civil lawsuits against the food industry in relation to obesity; however, it did not become law.
Losing 5 to 10 percent of your weight may lower your chances of developing heart disease. If you weigh 200 pounds, this means losing as little as 10 pounds. Weight loss may improve blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood flow.
Before we look at ways to beat the bulge, it is time to get real. Dogs are fatter than ever. It’s estimated that 53% of all dogs in the US are overweight or obese. That’s more than 40 million dogs. There are so many overweight dogs in the world that when we see a dog that is at a healthy weight, we immediately think she is too skinny and unhealthy.
May qualify for Gastric Balloon. This BMI range may also qualify for other procedures if the patient has poorly controlled type 2 diabetes, a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, or suffers from another weight-related health issue.
Some studies have shown that people who eat wholesomely tend to be healthier than people who live on fast food and other processed food (particularly meat), but the problem with such studies is obvious: substantial nondietary differences exist between these groups, such as propensity to exercise, smoking rates, air quality, access to health care, and much more. (Some researchers say they’ve tried to control for these factors, but that’s a claim most scientists don’t put much faith in.) What’s more, the people in these groups are sometimes eating entirely different foods, not the same sorts of foods subjected to different levels of processing. It’s comparing apples to Whoppers, instead of Whoppers to hand-ground, grass-fed-beef burgers with heirloom tomatoes, garlic aioli, and artisanal cheese. For all these reasons, such findings linking food type and health are considered highly unreliable, and constantly contradict one another, as is true of most epidemiological studies that try to tackle broad nutritional questions.
The fact is, there is simply no clear, credible evidence that any aspect of food processing or storage makes a food uniquely unhealthy. The U.S. population does not suffer from a critical lack of any nutrient because we eat so much processed food. (Sure, health experts urge Americans to get more calcium, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and vitamins A, E, and C, and eating more produce and dairy is a great way to get them, but these ingredients are also available in processed foods, not to mention supplements.) Pollan’s “foodlike substances” are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (with some exceptions, which are regulated by other agencies), and their effects on health are further raked over by countless scientists who would get a nice career boost from turning up the hidden dangers in some common food-industry ingredient or technique, in part because any number of advocacy groups and journalists are ready to pounce on the slightest hint of risk.
Sacramento trainer Lorri Ann Code – founder of Mama Boot Camp, which has helped hundreds of local women lose weight – thinks that people get trapped in a cycle of eating too many empty calories, then feeling too sluggish to exercise.
Adapted with permission from The clinical and cost-effectiveness of medical nutrition therapies: evidence and estimates of potential medical savings from the use of selected nutritional intervention. June 1996. Summary report prepared for the Nutrition Screening Initiative, a project of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Dietetic Association, and the National Council on Aging, Inc.
Let’s go shopping. We can start at Whole Foods Market, a critical link in the wholesome-eating food chain. There are three Whole Foods stores within 15 minutes of my house—we’re big on real food in the suburbs west of Boston. Here at the largest of the three, I can choose from more than 21 types of tofu, 62 bins of organic grains and legumes, and 42 different salad greens.
For an overweight or obese senior, getting healthy improves your quality and length of life. Losing weight as a senior citizen can be difficult, particularly when dealing with unexpected aches and pains, dwindling energy and new nutrition needs. Still, you can fight off the weight gain that can naturally occur as you age with a two-pronged weight-loss plan that includes regular physical activity — both cardio and strength training — and a nutritious diet plan.
Celebrate your success. Reward yourself along the way as you meet your goals. Instead of eating out to celebrate your success, try a night at the movies, go shopping for workout clothes, visit the library or bookstore, or go on a hike.
The body uses this mineral to produce a substance known as Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF), which is important in regulating blood sugar and triglycerides. Chromium supplements are used to reduce cravings for sweets and carbohydrates, to increase muscle tone and elevate energy levels.
If you’re ready to get started with a weight loss program, ask your doctor to help you set personal goals and refer you to other professionals who can give you tips and help you reach your goals. For example, a nutritionist can help you with a food plan, and a physical therapist or trainer can help you move more.
The wholesome foodies don’t argue that obesity and class are unrelated, but they frequently argue that the obesity gap between the classes has been created by the processed-food industry, which, in the past few decades, has preyed mostly on the less affluent masses. Yet Lenard Lesser, a physician and an obesity researcher at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute, says that can’t be so, because the obesity gap predates the fast-food industry and the dietary dominance of processed food. “The difference in obesity rates in low- and high-income groups was evident as far back as we have data, at least back through the 1960s,” he told me. One reason, some researchers have argued, is that after having had to worry, over countless generations, about getting enough food, poorer segments of society had little cultural bias against overindulging in food, or putting on excess pounds, as industrialization raised incomes and made rich food cheaply available.
Although the negative health consequences of obesity in the general population are well supported by the available evidence, health outcomes in certain subgroups seem to be improved at an increased BMI, a phenomenon known as the obesity survival paradox. The paradox was first described in 1999 in overweight and obese people undergoing hemodialysis, and has subsequently been found in those with heart failure and peripheral artery disease (PAD).
The following medications are available in the United States by prescription. If you have been unsuccessful losing weight through diet and exercise, ask your doctor about these medications. For more information about these drugs, see Medication in the Treatment of Obesity. These are not a substitute for dietary management. Over the long term, successful long-term weight loss requires changes in overall eating patterns.
By all means, let’s protect the environment. But let’s not rule out the possibility of technologically enabled improvements to our diet—indeed, let’s not rule out any food—merely because we are pleased by images of pastoral family farms. Let’s first pick the foods that can most plausibly make us healthier, all things considered, and then figure out how to make them environmentally friendly.
Health consequences fall into two broad categories: those attributable to the effects of increased fat mass (such as osteoarthritis, obstructive sleep apnea, social stigmatization) and those due to the increased number of fat cells (diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). Increases in body fat alter the body’s response to insulin, potentially leading to insulin resistance. Increased fat also creates a proinflammatory state, and a prothrombotic state.
Weight-loss medication choices are more limited in older adults. This shortens the list of available medications for weight-loss. Side effects, existing medical conditions and interactions with other medications are the major barriers in prescribing weight-loss medications in the elderly. Bariatric surgery is being increasingly considered in older adults as well. The existing medical problems, surgical risk and benefits from the surgery need to be closely analyzed by the medical team and discussed with the patient to ensure an optimal decision and a satisfactory outcome.
Obesity health risks often go unnoticed for years, but can eventually cause pain and restrict movement. Osteoarthritis, a common joint disorder, typically affects the knees, hips, and lower back. Extra weight appears to increase the risk of osteoarthritis by placing extra pressure on these joints and wearing away the protective cartilage (tissue that cushions the joints). In addition, obesity increases the rate at which joints deteriorate. Weight loss can decrease stress on the joints both to improve the symptoms of osteoarthritis and to prevent further damage.
Modugno says she is sympathetic to the government’s concerns about widespread fraud — that just about everyone in the weight loss and fitness world wanted to be able to bill Medicare for obesity counseling. But she says doctors should be allowed to refer their patients to registered dieticians like her. “Unless we change the nature of how this occurs, how the counseling occurs, I don’t see it being available to people in a meaningful way,” says Modugno.
Other possible mechanisms by which obesity could affect cancer risk include changes in the mechanical properties of the scaffolding that surrounds breast cells (30) and altered immune responses, effects on the nuclear factor kappa beta system, and oxidative stress (31).
Obesity is a recognized contributing factor to urinary incontinence in older women and men (45). Although the precise underlying mechanism(s) is unclear, the apparent excessive weight and pressure applied on the bladder by the increased intra-abdominal fat mass appears be a reasonable contributor to this complication.
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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.
The benefit also can’t be used by endocrinologists, who might be managing a person’s diabetes, or by cardiologists, who monitor patients with heart disease. Both conditions can be caused or made worse by excess weight.
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…
Perhaps more worrisome was the level of mobility problems they found. In 2010, a greater proportion than in 1997 told interviewers that they had difficulty with at least one of nine physical functions examined. Specifically, about 40 percent of the respondents said that a health problem made it difficult for them to kneel or stoop; stand for two hours; walk one-quarter mile; climb 10 steps without resting; sit for two hours; lift and carry 10 pounds; reach over the head; push or pull a large object; or grasp small objects.
Aim for roughly 30 grams at each meal, and more if you tend to crave carb-rich foods. “In my practice, I notice that dietary patterns tend to shift somewhat with age, and as people get older, the calories that were once spent on lean protein might now be spent on carbohydrates or fats.” Not only does adequate protein help support muscle growth and repair (which, when coupled with resistance training, will help increase metabolic rate and overall calorie burn), but it’s also more satiating than carbs and fats, meaning you’ll be less likely to reach for unhealthy snacks, says Bowerman. (You can drink your protein with these 20 protein-packed smoothie recipes.)
Kitahara CM, Flint AJ, Berrington de Gonzalez A, et al. Association between class III obesity (BMI of 40-59 kg/m2) and mortality: a pooled analysis of 20 prospective studies. PLoS Medicine 2014; 11(7):e1001673.
Body shape is also important. People who carry most of their weight around the waist (apple shaped) have a greater risk of heart disease and diabetes than do people with big hips and thighs (pear shaped).
This mechanism was life-saving during our hunter-gatherer days when food was often scarce. However, the boom in plentiful, cheap food, coupled with a general decrease in physical activity, means that those stores of fat are rarely called on. Instead they continue to grow.
Setting realistic goals. When you have to lose a significant amount of weight, you may set goals that are unrealistic, such as trying to lose too much too fast. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Set daily or weekly goals for exercise and weight loss. Make small changes in your diet instead of attempting drastic changes that you’re not likely to stick with for the long haul.