Increased knowledge of the impact of certain food types has not yet resulted in the behavioral changes required to make improvements in American public health. Over sixty million Americans aged twenty or over are classified as obese and nine million children and teens are considered overweight. This represents a crisis in public health because obesity is the second biggest cause of preventable death in America and it is a contributing factor in a range of serious conditions which represent a threat to life. Millions of Americans of all ages are literally eating themselves to death and for many the process is difficult to revers
Plan Of Action
Many individuals seeking to lose weight believe that they need to do something drastic to achieve the body changes that they desire. Whilst a strict exercise regime will yield results it can be difficult to maintain and many people who lose weight having made dramatic lifestyle changes put it back on when they lose interest in the program. A more sustainable plan is to attack the problem of obesity on two fronts. Firstly, it is necessary to make improvements to diet but this can be done by improving the quality of what is eaten. Instead of junk food meals could incorporate lower levels of fat and sugar and a greater proportion of fruit and vegetables. It is estimated that a typical American diet comprises one third junk food and poor diet is creating a lack of vital nutrients in so many people. Dietitians now recommend that at least nine pieces of fruit and vegetables should be eaten each day and that if possible they should vary in color to provide a balanced range of nutrients. It is possible for individuals to top up their diet with products like natural whey protein, the use of natural foodstuffs is an essential part of fighting obesity. Many people claim that they eat junk food because they are in a rush at mealtimes so it is essential to plan meals ahead to reduce the risk of consuming junk food due to convenience. A planned meal program for a week can lead to reduced levels of impulse eating which usually contributes to obesity.
Exercise Is Important
To combat obesity it is necessary to combine improved diet with increased levels of exercise. Approximately thirty per cent of Americans claim to do no physical exericse in a given week. This is a statistic that has not improved in recent years but for many people the thought of formal physical exercise is a concern. If motivation to engage in formal exercise is thought to be an issue there are many ways in which individuals can improve fitness by planning activities around their daily routines. Many people are time poor and they reduce their levels of physical activity because they wish to save time. The result is a reliance on the automobile even for short journeys and simple tasks such as climbing stairs at work are overlooked in favor of elevators. Daily routines offer great opportunities for incorporating physical exercise but due to a lack of planning most individuals choose to take the time saving option which usually reduces exercise levels. If individuals take a little extra time to complete simple tasks without mechanical aids it is possible to raise levels of general fitness and this brings additional health benefits as the body is introduced to a culture of wellness. It is possible to walk to the local store or a neighbor’s house, even undertaking a physical task such as housework or gardening can provide significant health benefits.
A Combined Plan
It is difficult to address the issue of obesity if there is no real desire to make a positive change. To achieve this it is necessary to briefly assess areas within diet and daily lifestyle that can be made healthier. Diet is usually the first area in which to make a change but as the body becomes accustomed to the intake of healthier foods this will in turn increase the desire to make changes to exercise levels. By analyzing what daily routines are undertaken it is possible to see how small changes to those activities can be made to build in physical activity. It is usually the case that small steps work best, a walking activity may be difficult at first but as the body adapts the task becomes easier and more enjoyable. The endorphins released by the exercise will enhance the desire to do more physical activity and if combined with positive changes to diet the effects will be both rapid and sustainable. America has grown fatter over recent decades as economic prosperity and changes in food production have accelerated the pace of change. Empowered with knowledge and a desire to reclaim public health Americans can reverse the trend and plan their days around making enjoyable changes that can lead to reduced levels of obesity.
Written by Lisa Bryant