So many Americans struggle with losing weight. In fact, an estimated 78 million adults and 12 million children in the United States have an excess weight problem. These figures represent more than one-third of the adult population!
Why are the numbers so high? Experts say that today’s food habits are the culprits. Americans are eating fewer vegetables, fruits, nuts and whole grains, and instead filling their plates with red meat, refined grains, unhealthy fats and sugary drinks. Society also plays an important role in the increase in excess weight among both children and adults. Some of the triggers include:
- Easy availability and vast variety of foods at affordable rates
- Physically inactive jobs
- Spending more time in front of computers, television and smart phones while eating
- Increasing stress and workplace pressure
- Fast-paced lifestyle that demands fast food that is usually calorie-rich and nutrition-poor
Excess weight makes it difficult to move and accomplish simple day-to-day activities. Individuals with an excess weight problem often tire easily and experience feelings of low self-esteem. More importantly, extra body fat poses a big risk to developing conditions such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. The American Obesity Association reports that obese individuals have a 50 to 100% increased risk of death as compared to normal weight individuals, with 300,000 to 587,000 deaths each year. This substantial increase in health risks has made obesity the second leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States.
What can you do? Treatment is centered on balancing the intake of energy (in the form of food) and the expenditure of this energy (in the form of activity). These strategies can help you lose weight:
- Lifestyle modifications:
- Dietary changes: Include healthy food rich in nutrients in your diet and avoid high-calorie, highly processed junk food.
- Be physically active: Break free from a sedentary lifestyle and following a regular exercise regime.
- Behavioral changes: Reduce eating triggers such as watching TV, listening to music or chatting with friends while eating, and also minimize stress.
- Weight-loss medications: Medication or appetite suppressants may be prescribed by your doctor when lifestyle modifications do not help promote weight loss.
- Weight-loss surgery: Bariatric surgery is considered in those with extreme obesity and who have not been able to lose excess body fat through diet, exercise or medication.
If you are considering weight-loss surgery, call us for a consultation. Minimally invasive bariatric weight loss surgery has improved the health, quality of life, and longevity for millions of Americans. With weight reduction surgery, individuals with excess weight can expect to permanently lose over 100 lbs, and completely resolve serious health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure.