Posts Tagged obesity

44% Of Americans Will Be Obese In 2030

Shocking! This can’t bode well for health-care costs. A new report released by Trust for America’s Health projects that by 2030 more than half of the people in a majority of the United States will be obese. Mississippi, which is currently America’s fattest state, is expected to nearly double its obesity rate from 35 percent to 67 percent. The new report’s predictions of overall obesity even surpass government forecasts, estimating that every state will have rates of obesity above 44 percent by 2030. The numbers are reportedly based on state-by-state surveys taken by the Centers for Disease Control from 1999 to 2010.

So right now one-third of Americans are obese and another one-third are overweight. Does this mean that everyone in some states is going to be gigantic if the third of obese people doubles to two thirds and then there will be others who are “just” overweight people as well? There have to be some thinnies still holding out from becoming fatties, don’t you think? No wonder my ability to avoid fattening foods is so obnoxious to those who are heavy and resent my fitness. Maybe I need to avoid those “friends.”

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What Are Your Attitudes About Overweight People?

I know this site is mainly about athletic achievements and challenges. But without good health and fitness, you can’t perform at top level. If you’re overweight, you may not even function at bottom level. You may not be able to do anything. So I include weight and diet discussions on the site. Especially when two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese! I know someone who can’t stand being around fat people. She thinks they are disgusting to be near, that they are slobs for not caring about their appearance, and that they should just be better disciplined and stop eating so much.

As someone who has never had to lose significant weight to stay fit, it’s hard for me to appreciate the strain and frustration of people who must constantly watch what they eat to stay slim or not-fat. On the other hand, when friends and family brought food for the holiday celebrations, I felt that I shouldn’t be eating the delicious cheeses, salamis, cakes, pies, cream dishes, meats, quiches, etc, and was not comfortable drinking all the wines offered as pathways to relaxedness and joviality. Jeez. There was almost nothing I could eat (without feeling a tad guilty) as everyone told me that I should not be so strict during the holidays). But I ate their offerings anyway…to enjoy the tastes and put my guests at ease. I am now happily back to my normal, healthier diet and routine.

The NY Times columnist of an article about fat people who either can’t lose weight or gain back the weight they lost had an interesting follow up interview today.

Tara Parker-Pope wrote that “Of all the issues I have written about during my past 12 years as a health writer, I think the topic of weight consistently generates the most interest among readers.

“I think most of the time we talk about weight, the focus is on what the individual is eating or not eating. I think the more important discussion is about how biology and heredity influence why people get fat in the first place, the widespread variation in how individuals respond to food and why pretty much EVERY DIET PLAN HAS VIRTUALLY THE SAME FAILURE RATE (my caps). People who have been unsuccessful at permanent weight loss are very hard on themselves, and I think it’s important to tell people that while it’s certainly possible to lose weight, a number of biological factors that have nothing to do with character or willpower can make it extraordinarily difficult.

“I get so tired of people who say, ‘‘It’s simple, just eat less and move more.” It may be technically true, but it’s not simple, and the point is that some people need to eat a lot less and move a lot more than most people just to maintain a normal weight.”

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Surprising Reason Why Fat People Don’t Generally Lose Weight

I spoke with a marketing expert who specializes in social psychology after my dinner with the overweight pu pu platter eaters (See December 3rd article ). “How come,” I asked, “heavy people aren’t influenced or inspired to shed pounds by all the models in the ads, actors in the movies, and cable infomercials selling weight loss and fitness products?”

After all, in addition to thin models and actors, heavy people see that some other overweight people do lose weight—you see their before and after photos in the TV and print promotional ads for zumba, diet programs and exercise equipment.

Now I realize that a lot of poor people have to eat cheap carbs in fast food restaurants, because they can’t afford healthier protein.

I accept that some large folks aren’t aware that certain foods are full of calories (soft drinks, ice cream sundaes, etc), so they have no idea why they have gained weight.

And I also know that many people don’t care if they gain pounds that might mess up their health in the future, because they are living in the moment, can’t worry about tomorrow, and don’t mind if they die earlier after many years of pigging out on tasty foods and feeling good from too many beers.

I also suspect that some cultures (even in America) may subconsciously associate overweight with survival from future food shortages, or that heaviness in earlier times indicated enough affluence to be able to overeat. Or that all their friends are overweight, and that body type is more common. Maybe heaviness is even desirable to be accepted as one of that group.

But my social psychologist friend has an explanation I hadn’t considered: some fat people don’t even think it is possible for them to ever look like the thinner/fitter people the media is constantly holding up as the ideal shape. Whether it be a model’s super svelteness or a normal person’s size. These overweight or obese individuals regard themselves as outside the society’s norms and are often surrounded by others in the same weight class. They accept that they are in the heavy end of the human weight range and don’t relate at all to those humans who are thin. It’s as if they regard themselves as part of another species. Who’d of thunk it? Not me…

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Can Anyone Fit In An Hour Of Exercise Each Day?

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Healthy middle-aged women in America will be hard pressed to get in the full hour of moderate exercise it will take to avoid gaining weight as they age, and it may be too challenging for some.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday found that middle-aged women need to get at least an hour a day of moderate exercise if they hope to ward off the creep of extra pounds that comes with aging.
“Time is a four-letter word,” said Eva Lazarra, 48, a pharmacist at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, Illinois, who was taking a break from work to lift weights at the facility’s fitness center.

“In a realistic world of a working mom with a family, it can be difficult. I’ve done my best,” said Lazarra. “I have done marathons. I have done triathlons. Unfortunately, we have to start looking at prevention, and that being part of our daily life.”

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama are already waging a war on childhood obesity. It may take a similar push in adults to help them avoid the health consequences of obesity such as heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.

Already, two-thirds of U.S. adults and nearly one in three children are overweight or obese — a condition that increases their risk for diabetes, heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Read the rest of this entry »

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What’s Your Choice? 50 Years of Denial or 30 Years of Pleasure?

I met a 40-year-old woman yesterday whose husband used to go to the gym religiously and turned into quite a hunk, she told me. She knows what a fit body can look like and the work it takes to make one.

She is now 30 pounds heavier than she was 20 years ago, has a serious cholesterol problem and really intends to start exercising and cutting calories. She’d like to have her old, slimmer shape looking back at her in the mirror. Her only concrete effort so far is cut back her three-cokes-a-day habit (at 150 calories each) to one a day.At least it’s a start.

I told her how I gave up everyday cheese, my favorite source of protein, when my own cholesterol shot up. She said she loves cheese too, and can’t yet stop eating it regularly. Why is it so hard to take those steps to better health? Are we all just too busy? Or too lazy?

My son was impressed by the web site I found of a man who lost over 200 pounds. He found pictures of a different man who lost 400 pounds. Clearly those are horribly unhealthy cases of obesity. Those heavyweights can barely walk to the bathroom is my guess. It’s easy to see that they finally decided to alter their limited, immediate daily activities.

But if you are only 30 pounds heavier than you used to be, what’s the big deal? It’s not that bad, and the food tastes so good, and maybe you won’t continue to gain just a pound or two a year. And maybe the cholesterol won’t keep rising up and blocking arteries and lead to a heart attack. Just maybe.

Last night we went out to dinner, and I ordered the only soup—potato. I started to send it back after it arrived, because it was half cream. I need to avoid dairy products, because I want to keep my cholesterol down. My son said he would eat it, so it stayed.

Now here comes the silly part. With recent stories of two people dying of heart attacks, a friend who says he eats extra calories, because he could die in 10 minutes, and a woman telling me how much she likes cheese, I am sitting at the table wondering why I don’t have at least a taste, one spoonful, of this incredibly delicious-looking soup. After all, I rationalized, I just did 5+ hours of exercise in the last day—more than enough to offset the cholesterol damage that might result.

Absurd, right? No moderation here. Pretty extreme. One damn spoonful. Will I die on the court? If I am going to die, I may as well enjoy some potato soup. So I did. Had four spoonfuls. And swallowed each one so slowly and lovingly that you might have thought I was tasting fine wine or rare caviar. Swirling the juice around on my tongue. What a nutcase I am.

What is the goal, really? Read the rest of this entry »

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How Do You Think He Lost 130 Pounds?

Whew! I am OK. Thought I strained myself with too much exercise, and especially that ab workout last Wednesday, when I jumped right to some advanced drills on the ball. Could never be satisfied sticking with beginner stuff. Was worried that I might have caused a hernia, so I decided to rest a few days. Felt a little strain.

I did do 46 push ups on Friday morning, rested for 10 breaths, and dropped for another 14 My record in long ago days was 150 push ups total, with those 10 breath intervals. Also did 100 leg scissors to beef up my abs.

Thursday I left to watch my first professional squash match—very exciting and much higher level of play than the college games I have seen. As a friend said, those pros can really “whack” the ball. Reminds me of all the movie hitmen who whack their targets.

Came home Friday for the annual game dinner at a hunting and fishing club I joined a year ago. Love the talk about how many fish were caught, dogs flushing pheasants, deer missed by inches when they ducked the arrow heard whooshing towards them. Another world. Active and sometimes manly men…and a few women. They may have had quadruple bypasses two months ago—like one man in his 70’s or 80’s I met—but they are already walking their dog a mile or two each day to get in shape for walking the river with a fly rod.

Another member is now raising 25 chickens from chicks for the first time and buying organic lamb from a neighbor. All healthy and outdoors. And some of these gents are lawyers and hedge fund guys—along with serious and multi-generational farmers. An interesting mix.

One fit young man there I know is 35, weighs maybe 150, goes to the gym every work day, and has a private trainer work with him two of those days. “How are your abs?” I blurted out nosily. “I have too much skin to have abs,” he confessed. “I weighed 284 pounds in college.” Wow was I shocked. Turned out he didn’t eat properly. I didn’t pursue any deeper questions, like “How the hell did you lose 130 or 140 pounds?” Read the rest of this entry »

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