Why Are We Gaining So Much Weight? The onslught of obesity as a whole has become increasingly concerning. In just a short period of time, we have transformed from a relatively fit population to one that is exploding at the seams. From 1980 to 1991 obesity rose in men 8% to a total of 21% and 9% in women to a total of 26% of the total population . In a single year from 1999 to 2000 the obesity rate skyrocketed to 28% of men and 34% of women. To put this into perspective, the obesity rate in 1960 was less than 1% of the total population.
Heredity plays a part into some of this but we can’t blame genetics on all of this increase- After all, our genes haven’t changed over time. Some of the largest factors are: Sedentary lifestyles & High caloric foods- Consuming more calories then we burn off will eentually cause weight gain.
Besides our genes, other factors include environmental and cultural influences, metbolic effects and behavior issues. Some people can consume large amounts of sweets and never gain weight, and others struggle counting every calorie consumed.
Currently, we’re being exposed to an extreme high caloric food environment. These readily available- high sugar- high carb foods are at every corner tempting us. For some the low cost and convenience over rides the fact that they’re not healthy. For others the – getting a better bang for their buck- in receiving extremely large portionsentices them. The “BIGGIE” sizes have now become the norm compared to what a serving was just a couple decades ago. The most alarming low of these conveniences are what it has done to children. According to a study- 1/3 of all children consume a fast food meal EACH DAY on top of an astounding amount of sugar consumed each day.
Why has physical activity stopped at such a drastic rate especially in children? Well, we have become a nation of tv-viewers and video-gazers. Less than 33% of children take physical education class and more than half adolescent- teenagers participate in any type of stringent activity. Homes no longer have sidewalks for children to play., shopping centers are no longer with in walking distance, kids are no longer allowed to walk to school and we use elevators and escolators rather than taking the stairs.
The health risks of obesity are rising dramatically. From heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, asthma to infertility and depression. How do we stop gaining so much weight? Here’s a few tips to help you get back on the right track:
EXERCISE- even if its 10 minutes. it counts. Take the stairs- not the elevator. walk 30 minutes of your lunch break. Get in a vigorous workout on your days off.
EAT SMALLER PORTIONS- use a smaller plate- fill it up and don’t go back for seconds. Drink a glass of water before you start eating. Try to eat a bit slower- you will notice when you’re actually full and not overstuffed
DON’T EAT WHEN YOU’RE BORED- go for a walk or read a book. try getting in some activity rather than opening the refrigerator door and the pantry.
EASE UP ON SNACKS AND SOFTDRINKS- these are empty calorie foods thats are typically high in carbs sugars and CALORIES!!!
READ LABELS- read ingredients- low fat and fat free may not always be the best choices- plus the textures and tastes often don’t satisfy you.
The bottom line is- reducing your weight not only improves your physical health but your mental healt too. Improve your health, reach your weightloss goals and achieve a healthy lifestyle.