Thursday, April 2, 2009

Weight gain or weight loss?

Despite the endless diets and weight loss programs Americans try we continue to gain weight and trends suggest further growth. Results from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), show that 67 percent of Americans were overweight or obese and 5.9 percent are extremely obese in 2005-2006. By 2030, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health determined that as many as 86 percent of Americans will be obese or overweight. This leads us to the wonder; will everyone in American be obese or overweight at some point in the future?

Today with our abundant food supply and sedentary ways it is hard to stay slim. Food cues, food choices and endless variety overwhelm us daily. This may be good for the food industry but it is not good for our waistlines. Human beings are triggered to eat by seeing and smelling food. We believe our eyes not our stomachs, so if we see it, we eat it and most of us will “clean the plate.” TV commercials, food ads, fast food restaurants, buffets and super sized portions all encourage an unconscious and unmistakable increase in consumption. Our stomachs can’t count and unless we weigh, measure and record most of us naturally overeat.

But there is hope. Since we all underestimate what we eat maintaining a food record helps us keep track and stay accountable. Research shows when supported in a weight loss effort people lose more weight and keep it off longer.

So clear your kitchen of food cues, turn off the TV, find a group and keep exercising. Let’s reverse this trend.

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