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Even if you have a genetic predisposition towards obesity, it doesn’t mean you’re destined to become obese. Your lifestyle choices can have a profound effect on your weight and health. Follow these tips to give yourself the best chance of good health.
Weight gain occurs when you eat more calories than your body uses up. If the food you eat provides more calories than your body needs, the excess is converted to fat. Initially, fat cells increase in size. When they can no longer expand, they increase in number. If you lose weight, the size of the fat cells decreases, but the number of cells does not.
While assisted living and nursing homes may be qualified to care for elderly residents who suffer from all kinds of issues such as bathing, dressing, health conditions like Alzheimer’s or diabetes, meals and medication; obese residents require a plethora of additional care and education for nurses, physicians and staff.
Hoping to gain some firsthand insight into the issue while in L.A., I drove away from the wholesome-food-happy, affluent, and mostly trim communities of the northwestern part of the city, and into East L.A. The largely Hispanic population there was nonaffluent and visibly plagued by obesity. On one street, I saw a parade of young children heading home from school. Perhaps a quarter of them were significantly overweight; several walked with a slow, waddling gait.
Flegal KM, Kit BK, Orpana H, Graubard BI. Association of all-cause mortality with overweight and obesity using standard body mass index categories: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA 2013; 309(1):71-82.
The researchers argue that previous studies of longevity and obesity were biased due to limitations of the National Health Interview Survey, or NHIS, which provides information on obesity. For example, the survey excludes those who are institutionalized, such as in a hospital or nursing home — a segment largely made up of seniors. Consequently, the data is overrepresented by older respondents who are healthy, including the relatively healthy obese. What’s more, many obese people fail to make it to age 65 and therefore don’t live long enough to participate in studies of older populations.
According to Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, a baby boomer is somebody born between 1946 and about 1965. “Boomers make up almost one in five U.S. citizens and have a significant impact on the economy,” Slome explains. “Their impact of health care and long-term care costs could be more than this nation can bear.”
Emotions: Some people overeat because of depression, hopelessness, anger, boredom, and many other reasons that have nothing to do with hunger. This doesn’t mean that overweight and obese people have more emotional problems than other people. It just means that their feelings influence their eating habits, causing them to overeat.
It can be done. My millennial generation kids did it for me. But it was not easy. We boomers are very sure of ourselves and self-focused. Appreciating how hard it will be for my generation to change, I wrote “The Boomer Generation Diet Book.”
High blood pressure – Additional fat tissue in the body needs oxygen and nutrients in order to live, which requires the blood vessels to circulate more blood to the fat tissue. This increases the workload of the heart because it must pump more blood through additional blood vessels. More circulating blood also means more pressure on the artery walls. Higher pressure on the artery walls increases the blood pressure. In addition, extra weight can raise the heart rate and reduce the body’s ability to transport blood through the vessels.
The first step to reaching your ideal weight is knowing what that weight is. You may feel too heavy or to thin but actually be at a healthy weight. One way to compare your weight to your height is through the body mass index, or BMI. BMI may be used to screen for health problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but it is not a health diagnostic.