The unhealthy choices people make everyday have started a great epidemic. The epidemic is “Obesity.” Individuals who are obese have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 percent or higher. Within the last 20 years there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In 2008, only one state (Colorado) had a prevalence of obesity less than 20 percent. Thirty-two states had prevalence equal to or greater than 25 percent; six of these states (Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of obesity equal to or greater than 30 percent. This is a major issue for families and the community.
Where have we gone wrong and how can we stop the epidemic?
Obesity costs Americans millions of dollars per year to treat and is linked to related illnesses such as Type II diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, joint problems and some forms of cancer. It can cause permanent damage to eyesight, cause poor circulation which could lead to amputation of limbs, and in severe cases can lead to death. Where have we gone wrong and how can we stop the epidemic?
You and your family don’t have to fall victim to this epidemic. Incorporate the following tips into your daily life to help prevent obesity.
INCREASE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Thirty minutes of light to moderate physical activity most days of the week will help improve your health. Go for a bike ride, dance, jog or swim. Just get moving and make it enjoyable.
Avoid consuming high-calorie foods with unhealthy amounts of sodium, trans-fats and sugar. Increase your intake of fresh fruits, veggies and whole grains. You do not have to let go of everything you enjoy eating. The key is moderation, not deprivation.
MAKE THE COMMITMENT
Make the decision to commit to a healthy lifestyle. It’s not a diet, it’s a lifestyle and it will require making small steps towards wiser nutrition and exercise choices. Making one healthy decision at a time will move you towards better health.
KNOW YOUR NUMBERS
Schedule regular lab work to check your blood glucose levels, cholesterol and triglycerides levels, weight and blood pressure. Knowing your numbers will keep you informed to whether or not you are at risk for becoming obese or having health related ailments such as diabetes or hypertension.
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Find out more information regarding obesity and the affects of obesity. Proper knowledge could save you and your family from having future health problems associated with obesity.
Life is a gift and so is your health. Take control of the things you can control (nutrition/exercise) in order to have a healthy and productive life.
Changing your lifestyle may seem overwhelming, but remember, change is a process not an event. Therefore create a strong support system, set short-term goals and celebrate the big and small steps that you make toward healthier living.
What are your secrets for staying fit and healthy? Share them in Comments so we can all learn from each other.