In America, bigger is better: Pool table-size flat-screen TVs broadcast reality programs featuring outrageous personalities living in McMansions, and we watch while mindlessly diving into a gallon of cookie dough ice cream. Is it any wonder that 68 percent of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese?
But when it comes to weight, bigger is decidedly not better. Being overweight or obese has dangerous — and often deadly — consequences, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, joint pain, cancer, heart disease, and reduced life expectancy. And it’s not just adults. One in three American youth is obese, and the numbers are worse in African-American and Hispanic communities. So dire is the public health emergency that First Lady Michelle Obama has taken up the challenge, saying, “The most shocking sort of reality that really hits you is that…the young generation is on track for the first time in this nation's history of being less healthy, having a shorter life span than their parents."
As our waistlines grow larger, so too does our diet and weight loss industry. You can’t open a magazine or watch a TV show without being bombarded by ads for weight-loss supplements, diet plans, or bariatric surgery. Supermarket shelves burst with all things fat free, low carb, and reduced calorie. Sixty percent of Americans are dieting at any given time, and 45.3 million Americans belong to one of nearly 30,000 health clubs
And still, 142 million Americans are overweight or obese.
The truth is that there’s no magic pill, diet, or exercise that will take off the weight. What matters are calories in and calories out. You will lose weight if you can find a way to burn more calories than you take in. And you can do it via exercise and/or smart dietary changes and portion control, In the process, you’ll find your health will improve (problems may even disappear), and everyday activities such as playing with your kids, taking the stairs at work, or simply walking around the block will become easier and far more enjoyable.
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Published: Dec 3, 2010
Last Updated: Oct 7, 2013
Published By: Healthline Networks, Inc.