Obesity has become one of the unresolved health problems of the modern world. Now becoming a health issue among many around the globe, the WHO (World Health Organization) said, “Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a risk to health.”
Considered to be a medical condition, the WHO further said, “Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Obesity is commonly caused by 2 major factors. Excessive food intake and sedentary lifestyle or lack of physical activity. In other cases it may be caused by genetic susceptibility.
A person having a body mass index (BMI) of at least 25 is considered overweight, and when the BMI is at least 30 or higher he or she is considered to be obese. BMI is the person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of his or his height in meters.
For over a few decades now, obesity has been considered a serious health problem. In fact, the United States has classified it to be an epidemic, affecting all kinds of people of all social classes. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says that around 93.3 million adults and 13.7 million teens and children in the US are considered obese.
Alarming as it may see, the obesity epidemic is not without hope. Despite the rising numbers of people becoming overweight and obese each year, there still remains plenty of solutions to address the problem and ways that obesity can be prevented in adults and kids.
Check these writings for some helpful ways and tips on how to prevent obesity.
Prevention of Childhood Obesity
Considered as one of the most serious public health problems in the 21st century is childhood obesity. The problem has been steadily rising at an alarming rate. In 2016, data shows that 41 million children around the globe under the age of 5 are overweight, and a majority of that number lived in Asia and Africa.
The problem with obesity and being overweight is that these children are most likely to remain obese and overweight until adulthood. And with more likelihood they will suffer later in life from non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular problems and diabetes.
The good news however is that diseases related to obesity and being overweight is to a large extent preventable. Therefore, being able to reverse the obese and overweight conditions of children at the earliest stage is of utmost importance to save them from unwanted ailments later on in life.
Here are some ways:
Breastfeed Your Baby
Whenever possible breastfeed you baby instead of feeding them milk formulas. Studies conducted in 2014 revealed that breastfeeding reduced the risk of childhood obesity.
Feed Children In Appropriate And Portioned Food Sizes.
Avoid overfeeding your children. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that toddlers do not really need huge amounts of food to survive. Infants aged 1 to 3, require only about 40 calories of food intake every inch of height. Teach older children the proper amounts of food they can eat at a time.
Feed For Nutrition and Nor For The Sake Of Eating
Feed your children because you want to give them nutrition and not just for the sake of letting them eat. Teach the kids to start building relationships with healthy foods at an early age. Educate them what those foods they are eating and what it can do to their body and health. Teach them to limit on some foods that may cause harm when taken in excess. Teach them to eat slowly and only eat when hungry.
Teach them the dangers and effects of overeating. Overeating is eating when one is not hungry. The excess calories from the food they eat which are not used as fuels are eventually stored as fat in the body which leads to obesity. Physical activity can help spend these stored fats, so always encourage exercise and some form of physical activity.
Educate Your Child That Fruits And Vegetables Are Delicious
Let them try a variety of fruits and vegetables while still young. Educate and teach them that fruits and veggies are actually delicious. As they begin to grow, they are more likely to include fruits and vegetables in their diet.
Store healthy foods in the fridge and limit if not avoid loading up the cupboards and pantry with junk, sugary and many unhealthy foods. Children often eat what they see stocked up at home. Help them and do not tempt them to becoming obese or overweight.
Check The Foods Your Kids Are Eating Outside The House.
Being outside the home, in school or being with friends, even relatives can offer children with many chances of getting to eat unhealthy foods so you may want to monitor what they are eating and ask questions if needed.
Make Health And Fitness A Family Affair
As a family eat healthy foods and engage in fitness activity together. Make your goal to be the health and fitness of the whole family and not just a particular child or your own.
Engage them in fun and exciting physical fitness activity and games. The WHO recommends for kids and teens to have at least 60 minutes of physical activity everyday. Try them out with some games, gym class, sports events, or outdoor chores.
Limit The Child’s Screen Time
More screen time means less physical activity. More physical activity means more opportunity to burn those stored fats and expend calories from the foods they eat.
Let Children Get Enough Sleep
Set a standard sleep time for the children to follow each day as much as possible. Some research says that both children and adults who lacked sleep gained more weight. For a healthy sleeping habit the National Sleep Foundation says should include a reasonable sleeping schedule and a bedtime ritual with a comfy pillow and mattress.
Prevention of Obesity in Adults
Adults are more mature and independent in their approach to health and fitness. Expectedly they have better judgment in the ways and methods to choose to avoid becoming overweight and obese. However, there are still adults who find it difficult to lose weight, or maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle. So, check these helpful ways to avoid obesity.
Eat Fat From Healthy Sources
Unlike the craze of the year ’90 on low-fat diets, recent studies have shown that not all fat is unhealthy. The old beliefs that fat can make you fat no longer hold true at this time. In fact, the Nutrition Journal published in 2017 a study showing that the intake of fat from healthy sources such as avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, ect., can actually improve cholesterol levels while reducing the risk of becoming overweight and obese.
Avoid Processed Foods and Limit Sugary Food Consumption
Sugary temptations are not as sweet as they appear to be. Sugar and starch have been found in studies to contribute much of the fat stored in our body. Eating foods with added sugar gives you empty calories and makes you feel less full and often hungry. This makes you overeat foods the calories of which your body cannot even use and are just stored as fat.
Also in 2016 The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that found a connection between frequent consumption of processed foods and a higher risk of becoming overweight or obese. These processed foods are loaded with salt, fat and added sugar which makes you unhealthy.
Indulge More on Fruits and Vegetables
Eat at least five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily to meet the daily recommended consumption for adults. Fruits and vegetables are healthy and have lesser calories than breads, parties and sugary foods.
Have Plenty of Dietary Fibers
Dietary fibers can play a great role in maintaining your weight. It aids in good digestion of foods and proper elimination of wastes. Clinical trials conducted in 2012 found that those who had fiber complex supplement in their diet at least three times a day for a period of 12 weeks were able to lose at least 5 percent of their weight.
Eat Foods With Low–glycemic Index
The GI (glycemic index) is the measure of how quickly a certain food can raise the blood sugar levels of a person. Eating food low in GI can aid in keeping your blood sugar levels low. This in turn helps in your weight management.
Let The Family Be Involved In Your Weight Goals
Your family’s support as well as those people around you such as your friends and relatives can boost your morale and give you the inspiration to reach your weight goals.
Social support is not only for teens but for adults as well. Getting those close to you to be involved in your journey to a healthy lifestyle can be highly motivating and may inspire them as well. Your success becomes their success too.
Do A Regular Aerobic Activity or Exercise
Never downplay the importance of a regular exercise or physical activity in a healthy lifestyle. An aerobic activity when regularly done can help you lose weight and maintain and firm up the muscles to give your body a good shape and contour.
It is recommended that you get at least 150 minutes of moderate physical or aerobic activity per week such as cycling, jogging, etc.. Or try 75 minutes of active and vigorous physical or aerobic activity per week. Just consult your doctor prior to beginning any activity to prevent unnecessary injury.
Incorporate A Good Weight Training
When trying to lose weight, weight training is very important. It can also help in weight maintenance like aerobic activity. Even if you are already doing aerobic activity the WHO has recommended some weight training that will engage your major muscles for at least twice a week.
Minimize Your Daily Stress
Stress is a silent killer. It can trigger many ailments in the body and weakens our immune system. Manage your stress as much as possible.
Studies conducted in 2012 say that stress can actually trigger involuntary brain responses that will alter your eating patterns (stress eating) to make you crave for high calorie foods, thus making you fat.
Plan Your Meals and Budget Your Food
Do not go to the grocery without a list and start impulse buying. Especially when you are hungry at the grocery store, you most likely will pick up sugary and starchy foods that you will end up regretting and ruin your weight loss plans.
Bring a list when you go to the grocery store and create a food budget or meal plan to help you determine beforehand the foods you would need to buy. Stick to your list and budget. Cultivate a healthy self-discipline.
Why Are Obesity Prevention Ways Important?
Because prevention is always better than a cure. Being fit and healthy is way more better than being sick and overweight. Obesity and being overweight have always been associated with many chronic diseases and severe health conditions that can become difficult to treat overtime.
Some of the conditions associated with Obesity are:
- type 2 diabetes
- high triglycerides and low “good” cholesterol
- high blood pressure
- metabolic syndrome
- heart disease
- gallbladder disease
- sleep apnea
- sexual health issues
- nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- mental health conditions
When you decide to become healthy you can start focusing on some obesity prevention measures mentioned here. If you make lifestyle changes to support your becoming fit and healthy, it is highly possible that you can avoid or prevent the development of many ailments and diseases associated with obesity and being overweight.
Always remember that obesity is preventable. With a combination of your personal choices and social changes losing weight is achievable. Change your diet if it is currently unhealthy and incorporate a good exercise routine, aerobics and weight training.
You can improve your diet by eating less energy-dense foods such as starchy and sugary foods and increasing your dietary fiber intake.
Becoming fit and healthy is always our own personal choice. Inspire yourself. Motivate yourself. Because in the end, it is ourselves that will reap the most benefit from having a fit and healthy life.
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