Showing posts with label overweight. Show all posts

obesogenic society

We live in a time when the environmental conditions are such that they create an obesity problem. Consider that 65% of American adults are overweight and more than one third are obese. Our lifestyles support these statistics. Our environment causes us to gain excess fat and makes weight loss difficult at best.

Social Features that Contribute to Obesogenics and Excess Fat Storage

There are many factors in our environment that cause us to gain weight and make losing weight a real challenge.
• People eat too many prepackaged foods.
• People get less exercise due to busy lifestyles (and sometimes due to the safety issues of being outdoors.)
• The market is flooded with cheap, energy-dense foods.
• Portion sizes continue to increase.
• Climate changes prevent us from getting enough natural sunlight and having a safe walking environment.
• Overweight people drink too much soda and other sugary drinks.
• People are glued to their TV and computer screens far too many hours per day.
• People rely on the technological advances that generally make their lives easier and require less movement.
• There is an over-reliance on fast foods.
Until recently, researchers have focused on many different aspects of weight loss. They have studied diets, genetics, hormones, exercise patterns, metabolism, behavioral therapy and ways to increase energy to burn more fat. It is a constant struggle to find the answer to long and lasting weight loss. Take a closer look at obesogenics and how environmental factors that affect our weight loss and weight gain is the missing piece.

Changing the Environment to Lose Weight

If our environment is to blame for our obesity problem like obesogenics suggests, weight loss is possible through environmental changes.
• Stop buying into the fast food craze.
• Stop purchasing prepackaged foods at the grocery store.
• Take a back-to-basics approach to life.
• Make exercise a priority in your daily life.
• Limit TV and computer time.
• Carefully watch your portion sizes.
• Increase the number of fruits and veggies you eat each day.
• Eat foods in their most natural form.
• Take note of the shortcuts you've grown accustomed to and stop taking the easy way out. Use a push lawnmower and stand up to change the channel on the TV, for example.

The bottom line is that making simple changes within your environment will give you the opportunity to eat smarter and exercise more, which is the magic combination for weight loss. Leading a healthy lifestyle is the only way to lose weight and permanently manage a healthy weight.

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body mass index calculation

Use the BMI calculation to determine weight status. By calculating BMI one can get an indication of whether they are underweight, of normal weight, overweight or fall in the obesity range.

What is BMI - Body Mass Index?

Body Mass Index (BMI) is an indicator of relative body fat that can be used to predict a person’s risk for weight associated diseases. It is determined using a simple calculation that takes into consideration the ratio of weight to height, and defines what weight category a person falls into.

The Body Mass Index Calculation

BMI is defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in metres (kg/m2).
As such, the body mass index calculation uses the following equation:
  • BMI = Weight / (Height)2

Examples of Calculating BMI

If a person weighs 60kg and is 1.75 metres tall, the person’s body mass calculation is as follows follows:
  • BMI = 70 / (1.75)2 = 22.9
If a person weighs 85kg and is 1.75 metres tall, the person’s body mass calculation is as follows follows:
  • BMI = 85 / (1.75)2 = 27.8
If a person weighs 100kg and is 1.75 metres tall, the person’s body mass calculation is as follows follows:
  • BMI = 100 / (1.75)2 = 32.7

How Does Calculating BMI Correlate to Normal Weight, Underweight, Overweight or Obese?

According to the WHO, a person is:
  • of normal weight if their BMI lies between 18.5 and 25 kg/m2.
  • underweight if their BMI falls below 18.5 kg/m2
  • overweight if their BMI lies between 25kg/m2 and 30kg/m2
  • obese if their BMI falls above 30kg/m2

Restrictions of the Body Mass Index Calculation

While the WHO endorses the use of BMI to define one’s weight status, there are some restrictions to using this tool. The following must be considered when using the body mass index calculation:
  • BMI values are age-independent, and therefore may underestimate body fat in older persons.
  • BMI values do not take into consideration muscle mass, and therefore may overestimate body fat in athletes and other people such as men who tend to be more muscular than women.
  • BMI ranges do not take into consideration body frame size, and therefore may not correspond to the different populations. This may also result in overestimates of body fat in many men.
  • BMI values may overestimate the mount of body fat in pregnant women.

Implications of Calculating BMI

By calculating BMI one can get an indication of whether they are underweight, overweight, obese or of normal weight. If a person falls outside the "normal" BMI range, they may want to consider seeking help from a health professional to get their body back on track, since both underweight and overweight and obesity can lead to many different health complications.

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Patients who are obese and suffer from risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes, could be candidates for treatment with Adipex, along with diet and exercise, for help with losing weight. Adipex-P is a short-term appetite suppressant that is used as part of an overall weight reduction program. Patients typically need to have a body mass index greater than 27 to qualify as a candidate for Adipex-P.

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Warning Before Taking Adipex-P

Adipex should not be taken with other diet medications such as Phen-Fen or Redux. This combination of drugs can cause a rare fatal lung disorder called pulmonary hypertension. Never take Adipex with any other form of diet medications without your doctors permission.

Do not take Adipex within 14 days of taking an MAO inhibitor. Life-threatening side effects can occur if the MAO inhibitor has not cleared out of your system.

Do not take Adipex if you are allergic to stimulants, if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis (hardening of your arteries), glaucoma, an overactive thyroid, if you are agitated, or if you have a history of drug or alcohol abuse.

Alert your physician before you take Adipex if you have problems with your thyroid, have an anxiety disorder, have a seizure disorder or epilepsy, or if you have diabetes. You may not be able to use Adipex if you have these conditions or you may need to undergo tests before taking this medication.

Side Effects of Adipex-P

Common side effects while taking Adipex-P could include: dizziness, diarrhea, dry mouth, changes in sex drive, constipation, exaggerated feelings of depression or elation, headache, hives, impotence, high blood pressure, inability to fall or stay asleep, increased heart rate, restlessness, overstimulation, stomach or intestinal problems, tremors, throbbing heartbeat, or unpleasant taste.

Discuss any side effects you experience with your doctor. Your doctor will be able to determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Adipex-P.

Administration of Adipex-P

This medicine needs to be taken exactly as prescribed. Never take this medication in larger amounts or for longer than recommended by your physician.

Adipex-P is recommended for short term use, generally a few weeks at one time. Taking higher doses of this medicine over long periods of time cans cause you to experience insomnia, severe skin problems, irritability, personality changes, and or feelings of hyperactivity.

Adipex should be taken on an empty stomach before breakfast. It should be taken with a full glass of water. Make sure to take this medication at least 10 to 14 hours before bedtime. Never take Adipex in the evening because it can cause you to suffer from insomnia.

Never chew, break, crush, or open an extended-release capsule. Always swallow the pill whole.

If you start to have increased hunger or if you think the medication is no longer working, do not increase your dosage. Taking too much Adipex can cause life-threatening side effects. Contact your physician. You may need to stop using the medication but if you have used it for a long period of time, your physician may need to wean you off of the drug. Suddenly stopping this medication could cause withdrawal symptoms.

Considerations Regarding Adipex-P

Adipex-P is considered a drug of abuse and can be habit-forming. It should only be used by the person it was prescribed for.
It is not known if this medication will harm an unborn baby. Talk to your physician if your are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant before taking Adipex. Do not breast-feed a baby without checking with a physician.

Adipex-P will lose its effect after being on the medication for several weeks. Once this occurs, you should discontinue the medication on the recommendation of your physician. Never try to boost the effectiveness of the drug by increasing the dosage, this could result in serious side effects and a dependence on the medication.

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fat belly

Public health authorities tell people to count calories to maintain their weight. But consider what regulates human fat tissue. The hormone insulin plays a profound role – far more profound, it turns out, than does calorie counting. Higher concentrations of circulating insulin drive the body to store energy in the fat tissue in the form of triglycerides. Thus, theoretically, anything that influences basil insulin levels can influence how much fat gets stored in the belly.

So What Influences Insulin?

Myriad factors influence the body’s balance of hormones. These theoretically can all cause truncal obesity, a.k.a. the dreaded beer belly. They include:
  1. The kinds of calories eaten. Carbohydrate and sugar calories tend to be more “insulinogenic” than calories from fat and protein.
  2. Amount of sleep. Studies suggest that if you don’t get enough sleep, your insulin levels can be adversely affected.
  3. Amount of stress. Elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol (a condition technically called hypercortisolemia) can adversely impact insulin levels.
  4. Certain medications. Studies on drugs like SSRIs, MAOs, and tricyclic antidepressants suggest that these medications can cause insulin resistance in some people.
  5. Normal changes in the body’s hormonal patterns. Menarche, puberty, pregnancy and menopause, for instance, have all been linked with changes in weight as well as changes in insulin levels.
  6. Seasons. Insulin levels in the population fluctuate with respect to the seasons of the year. This might explain why people tend to gain weight during the winter and lose it during the summer.
  7. Diseases and medical conditions. Cushing syndrome, Leprechaunism and other diseases, both acquired and genetic, can change the balance of hormones in the body.

Normalizing Insulin and Blood Sugar

Different medications, such as the anti-diabetes drug Metformin, as well as diet changes, such as cutting sugar and refined carbs, can help people normalize their blood sugar and insulin levels. Speak with a physician and, perhaps, an endocrinologist to understand how your beer belly might be related to changes to hormonal balance.

Also, read about the science of insulin and fat tissue metabolism. Consider these books:
  • Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes
  • Life Without Bread by Christian Allan and Dr. Wolfgang Lutz
  • The South Beach Diet by Dr. Arthur Agataston
  • Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution by Dr. Robert Atkins
  • Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution by Dr. Bernstein
  • Protein Power by Dr. Michael Eades

Getting a Fat Belly Does Not Mean One is “Overeating”

Obesity is a medical condition. As a November 2009 article in the journal Nature recently put it, obesity is best defined as a problem of excess triglyceride storage in the fat tissue. To fix that fat storage problem, the primary hormonal defect(s) must be repaired.

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eat naturally

It's easy to get sucked in by one of the many fad diets on the market. Everywhere we turn, we see the "success stories" of people who've taken a product and quickly lost 75, 100 pounds or more.

Although there isn't an overweight person who wouldn't love to lose the weight overnight, the reality is that just isn't possible. There isn't a product or routine that can magically wash away the extra weight. But so many people are intrigues by the idea of "what if." What if it really works? What if it can spark my weight loss?

The problem with fad diets is that you become dependent on them. Even those products that do seem to help do not work in the long run and you can't keep the weight often. The minute you stop taking the product or plug back in the "forbidden" foods, you gain back the weight you've have lost, plus some.

A good rule to live by is to only start something you can comfortably continue for the rest of your life. It is important to learn how to eat healthy, natural foods and make it a part of your new lifestyle.

So, how can you create a healthy lifestyle? Forget all of the advertising messages you've seen. In most cases, all it takes is some minor changes for people to see results in their weight loss efforts.

  • Reduce portion sizes
  • Cut out pop
  • Drink plenty of water (8 cups is the bare minimum requirement)
  • Add fruits and veggies to your meal plan every day
  • Make exercise a daily commitment

Use these simple rules as a guide and find balance to create a natural way to lose weight. It won't happen overnight though.

You should expect to see slow and steady progress along with the occasional plateau. Any program that promises you more than that should raise red flags.

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In collaboration of scientists from Barnard College, Columbia and Rockefeller Universities, cells that release the hormone ghrelin were found. The cells are located in the stomach and signal the brain when the next meal is expected. These cells, amazingly, release the hormone in a cyclic manner. The intervals between one secretion and another is computed according to the intervals between the meals in the last day or so. This finding can help design drugs that will decrease appetite by blocking this signaling and help fight overweight and obesity.

Ghrelin Induces Food Anticipation

It was previously established that the hormone ghrelin increases food anticipation level in both mice and human. It was demonstrated that mice lacking ghrelin seek for food later than normal mice; in addition, people that were injected with ghrelin before dinner took more food from the buffet than the rest of the people. Ghrelin is known to participate in the decision making in the brain when to eat and when to start looking for food. In this research the cells that produce this hormone were found.

The pariental cells are found in the stomach epithelium and until now were known to secrete gastric acid and intrinsic factor, important factors for digestion and absorption of the food. In this research they were found to also secrete ghrelin to the blood. The hormone then reaches the brain and encourages it to start looking for or anticipating food. The secretion was found to be circadian and controlled by several proteins.

Circadian Appetite-Controlling Clock

The hormone is secreted in predefined intervals, set by the meals of the last day. In the research mentioned, the circadian clock mechanism was found and it was shown that when each of the proteins involved in missing, the rhythm is less pronounced. Mice without a functional clock anticipated food later than normal ones, however, when they did start looking for food they did it more abruptly. The researchers also showed that the rhythm of the clock is changing according to the timing of last meals.

Applications for Weight Watching and Obesity Fighting

The main outcome of this research is that food should be eaten in ordered meals and not throughout the day to allow a proper signaling rhythm of the clock, a good advise for keeping your weight. Furthermore, these new findings can help develop drugs that will decrease hunger and set a longer interval between meals and a smaller consumption in each meal. Such drugs will help fight overweight and obesity.

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childhood obesity

Currently, there is no strict way to classify a childhood obesity or overweight. Nonetheless, the prevalence of childhood obesity is growing around the globe. The health effects of childhood obesity can be both phychological and physiological. Therefore by educating parents and children about healthy eating and the benefits of exercise, the hope is to not only help prevent childhood obesity in many, but also stem the rising prevalence in adults.

Definition of Childhood Obesity

Just like in adults, childhood obesity is defined by an accumulation of excess body fat; however, in children, the way excess body fat is measured and how these measurements are interpreted varies.

Around the globe, the different ways and criteria used to define childhood obesity and overweight include the following:
  • Skin-fold thickness: By measuring skin-fold thickness, a child can be classified as overweight if they have at least 25-30% body fat; however, there are many different methods that can be used to measure percentage body fat.
  • BMI (Body Mass Index): BMI is a person’s weight in kg divided by the height in metres squared (kg/m2), and is the measurement used to define an adult as being overweight or obese. However, the way the BMI is interpreted to define childhood obesity varies around the globe. In the USA, a child may be defined as overweight if they lie on or above the 95th percentile of BMI for the child’s age, while in some European countries, a child may be defined as overweight if they are at or above the 85th percentile of BMI and defined as having childhood obesity if their BMI resides at or above 95th percentile.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) uses BMI to define obesity for children and infants under the age of five years; however, the organisation states that it is much more difficult to measure obesity in children between five and 14 years of age and that there is therefore no global standard definition of childhood obesity for this age group. As such, WHO is currently working to develop an international growth reference for school-age children and adolescents.

Prevalence of Childhood Obesity

The prevalence of childhood obesity continues to rise in many regions of the globe, with childhood obesity already having become an epidemic in some areas.
WHO reports that an estimates 22 million children under five years of age are overweight around the globe. In the USA alone, the number of overweight children has doubled since 1980, while the number of overweight adolescents had tripled over this time frame. In terms of obesity, this has more than doubled in children aged six to 11 years over the past 50 years, while the prevalence of obesity in adolescents has increased dramatically also. WHO reports that in the USA, adolescents aged 12-17 years have seen a rise from 5% to 13% in boys and from 5% to 9% in girls between 1966-70 and 1988-91.

Just like adult obesity, childhood obesity is not limited to first-world countries, but is becoming increasingly common in low-income and middle-income countries. One example is the the prevalence of obesity in Thai children aged five to 12 years, which has risen by 3.4% to reach 15.6% in just two years.

Health Effects of Childhood Obesity

The health effects of childhood obesity can be both psychological and physiological. While childhood obesity can significantly increase the risk of a child developing depression, it can also result in early onset of obesity-related conditions seen in many obese adults. The many conditions that are associated with obesity include diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, sleep apnoea and cancer, among others.

Childhood obesity significantly also increases the likelihood of becoming an obese adult, with around 70% of obese children growing up to become obese adults. As such, childhood obesity is associated with an increased risk of premature death as well as disability in adulthood.

Prevention of Childhood Obesity

The WHO recommends a healthy diet and exercise for children, since childhood obesity and obesity-related conditions are largely preventable. Prevention and intervention strategies have been put in place in many countries in order to educate society about the benefits of healthy eating, and exercise, with a number of strategies targeting the level of preschool and school children in an effort to stem the rising prevalence of childhood obesity. In addition, many say that prevention of childhood obesity is the best way to stem the adult obesity epidemic that we are seeing today.

childhood obesity

Childhood obesity is a problem. It is an epidemic with severe consequences and life altering effects. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity increased from 5 to 10.4 percent among children ages two to five years between 1980 and 2008. Children ages six to 11 increased even more at a rate of 6.6-19.6 percent and adolescents from 5-18.1 percent during the same period. With more and more schools banning or at least discouraging activities such as tag, football, tetherball, and other activities that can be viewed as being aggressive or dominating, what can parents do to fight the growing obesity problem? Below are some activities and suggestions parents could and should use to get children back on track to living healthy and productive lives.

Promote Healthy Dietary Habits
What does this mean exactly? Encouraging fat free foods, diet drinks, and smaller portions will not help curb childhood obesity. Actually, relying on just these changes in diet can be even more detrimental to the health of children. Providing sugar-free snacks and diet drinks in an effort to avoid sugar or calorie intake can be a sheep in wolf's clothing. Sugar-free foods and diet drinks are high in other unhealthy chemicals such as aspartame, sodium, and phosphorous. Artificial sweeteners can increase appetite and the desire for real sugar, according to new research published in the International Journal of Obesity. This should not be interpreted to encourage sugar or higher fat intake, but rather to use common sense and practice moderation.

Another important aspect when dealing with diet choices is knowing when to eat. An old adage says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day; however, it is still the most neglected. Breakfast is not only meant to be the first meal of the day but should be consumed soon after waking to break the fast from the night before (hence the name "breakfast"). This is very important for the metabolism and how the body stores fat, burns protein, and processes nutrition for the rest of the day.

As daily life gets busier and busier, more families are eating on the go. This means convenience foods, meals out of a box, and frozen dinners are becoming evermore popular. However, these foods are usually made of processed foods and are very high in sodiums and preservatives. Since convenience can be a necessity, take the time one day a week to prepare fresh meals at home with healthy ingredients, then portion and send along with children to school for lunch or snacks.

Encourage Physical Activity to Increase Energy and Metabolism

The popular Wii has its benefits for utilizing more than just a child's thumbs; however, nothing will replace the health benefits of outdoor play. Childhood games such as tag, hide and go seek, foot races, and hopscotch should not only be encouraged but revered. Benefits other than just exercise are recognized with these games. Not only are hand, eye, and foot coordination developed and increased, but social interaction is also practiced and developed from these fun activities.

During the summer it is very easy to encourage outdoor play activities, but what about during the dead of winter? Keep the snow blower in the garage and have children help with shoveling the walk. Put on a coat and take a walk around the block to try and find animal tracks in the snow. If cold weather and outdoor activity just doesn't sound good in the winter, making a family trip to the local community gym can be a healthy bonding experience. Intramural sports are also very beneficial to the physical and social health of a child. Basketball, volleyball, wrestling, dance, and indoor soccer can all be practiced during the colder months for exercise and entertainment.

Be Honest With Children Regarding Their Overall Health

What is more important to the well being of a child, their feelings or their health? Society at times can be so afraid to hurt one's feelings, it will find a way to blame and penalize another entity that does not posess emotion to save the feelings of another. A child that is obese, rather fat, is unhealthy and at risk for serious consequences later in life. A child whose parents continue to ignore their weight problem can live a shorter life, risk being bullied in school, or not have the ability to participate in activities to the level a healthier child can. This can result in decreased confidence and self esteem levels that could affect other areas of their lives such as their academic performance. Rather than protecting a child's feelings due to their obesity, parents should confront the child directly. To help a child conquer his or her obesity and give that child a better chance at a healthier life can provide a much more stable confidence level and higher self esteem than ignoring the obvious problem of obesity.

Most importantly, adults need to lead by example for children to truly become healthier. Simple practices such as taking the stairs instead of an elevator, parking in the back row and walking to the building entrance, or going on family walks, hikes, or bike rides can teach children the benefits of exercise from an early age and discourage laziness with the added benefit of providing quality family time. The human body is a physical organism and needs physical exercise or play to be as efficient as possible in fighting childhood obesity. Get fit and be well. A child's health depends on it.

Appetite regulation can be mediated by a number of factors. Among the many factors a research review notes that hormones, neuropeptides, monoamine transmitters, serotonin, dopamine (DA), and norepinephrine (NE) to be important mediators (Rothman & Baumann, 2000). Of these factors, transmitter molecules that act in the brain are the most implicated factors that explain the mechanism through which phentermine leads to appetite suppression.

How Phentermine Generates Appetite Suppressing Effect


With its chemical and structural association to amphetamines, a group of compounds with psychomotor stimulant activity, phentermine (PHE) also works through CNS-stimulant activity. According to the research review, PHE is inhibits NE (re-) uptake while promoting its release. Further, PHE promotes secretion of neuronal (nerve cells) DA and serotonin (5-HT). The availability of these transmitter substances and especially serotonin, a biogenic amine, in the brain controls effects such as satiety, consciousness and stress relief.

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Drugs, however, do not mediate the release of these substances directly but rather through their interaction with receptors. By the presence of appropriate ligand binding sites, receptors provide areas onto which biochemical agents such as drugs attach. The products of drug biotransformation (metabolites) bind to their corresponding receptor site resulting into changes in the receptor-protein conformation. Being members of cellular membranes such as those that enclose transmitters, the conformational changes can either block the channels of transmission (inhibit uptake from synapses) or open these channels (ensure release into synapses) thus availing the neurotransmitter substance required to convey hormonal regulation signals in the synapses.

Other Weight-Reducing Drugs and Side Effects of Phentermine


Some treatment alternatives to phentermine that work in a similar fashion are a combination of phentermine and fenfluramine [FEN] (Phen-Fen) and sibutramine. Other drugs in this group that were once used for obesity treatment such as pure FEN and its more potent structural analogue (d)-fenfluramine (dFEN) are no longer used in humans due to their adverse effects. Drugs such as orlistat (trade name) that work by inhibiting enzymes involved in fat digestion hence blocking food absorption are also possible therapies for overweight.

Some of the adverse effects of phentermine use are directly associated to its working mechanism. A study comparing efficacy of PHE and Phen-Fen for instance noted adverse effects such as dry mouth, insomnia, and constipation in some of the participants (Li, et al. 2003). The increased risk of more serious adverse effects such as primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) with use of these drugs, as advanced in the research review, however necessitates the development of better therapies for treating obesity.

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weight loss right plan

When considering weight loss for the long–term, it's good to know that there are more than just one path to successful weight loss. Just because a particular weight loss plan has produced great results for one person, is no indication that it will get great results for another. Weight loss is as simple as finding the right plan that will produce the desired results.

Finding the right plan may require more than just taking someone's word for particular results. Finding the right weight loss method may take some research and some time due to the vast amount of methods, programs, and plans available. The best plans that will produce the best results depend upon the individual needs of folks wanting to lose weight.

The Right Plan to Lose Weight

First, there is no one right plan to lose weight. There are never a shortage of advertisements touting that their particular plan is the best and will produce optimal results for anyone and everyone. That's just silly. The right weight loss plan for one person may not be the right weight loss plan for a different person simply because their metabolism may be different or their outlook on food may be world's apart.

No two people have the same taste in food, and so no two people can expect the same results from a single diet plan. What's more important than a particular plan is finding a particular plan that can be adhered to successfully. What's important is the ability to stick with a certain eating and exercise plan rather than the actual sort of diet.

Commitment to Weight Loss More Important Than Diet

So if commitment to a weight loss plan is more important than the actual weight loss plan, then the focus should be on doing whatever it takes to remain on course, and stick to whichever plan is selected. Most of the good diet plans have some characteristics in common like keeping a daily food journal along with calorie–counting.

Other common features of the most effective weight loss plans include adherence to a strict diet or eating plan, one hour of cardio and strength training exercises per day, and drinking lots of water. Other common factors for a successful weight loss plan are a positive and enthusiastic attitude toward exercise and changing the way a person looks at and uses food every day.

Long–Term Motivation to Lose Weight

The success of any weight loss or diet plan is being able to rise to and maintain sufficient motivation over the long–term. When first starting out, one may be rewarded with frequent encouraging signals like daily weight loss and a continual downward turn on the scale. Other positive rewards are clothes that fit more loosely, or having weight loss noticed by others.

Eventually, as the weight loss plan moves on, these rewards get fewer and farther between. Some folks may go a whole week without ant noticeable weight loss on the scale or in the fit of clothing. These times can be very discouraging for most folks. But this is not the time to give up. This is the time to become stronger.

Weight Loss From Deep Within

That's right, when the going gets tough, the tough put on their big–boy or big–girl pants and face the challenges head on. There's only one place that the strength to stick to a weight loss plan can come from when all else fails. That superhuman strength, motivation, and willingness to keep going has to come from deep within a person.

What helps most folks is making a list of the reasons they began this journey in the first place. This list helps them remember the reasons for losing weight like better health, less painful knees, the desire to remain with loved ones longer, or a reversal of diabetes. These are powerful motivators and can help to keep a weight loss plan on course. Always remember why this journey was begun and do whatever it takes to remain on course toward a healthier, happier, and thinner future.

As with any radical changes in diet or exercise, it may be beneficial to consult a health care professional, nutritionist, or doctor before starting any diet, exercise, or weight loss plan. This article is for informational purposes only. The information provided herein is of a general nature and should not be substituted as advice from a qualified professional.

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childhood obesity treatment

Prevention is paramount, but children who have reached the overweight and or obese range need a very special kind of treatment plan and much understanding from those who will guide them back to health. Treatment plans should always be created in unison with a trusted family physician, taking into account any complications or special dietary needs that might need to be considered. When creating a plan that works there are several considerations that should be taken into account.

Childhood Obesity does not Begin or End with the Child

A child is often a reflection, mirroring the input received from his/her surroundings. Children will most often develop habits and routines guided by well meaning loved ones and community members. Caregivers may want to look at all aspects of the environment surrounding a child in question, pondering the projections provided. Aspects considered should not only be nutritional, but also emotional and physical. A study published in BMC Pediatrics focused on social risks presented to children including poverty, single parent families, lack of parental education and others. The study indicated that as social risks for children increased so did the odds of poor health for the child.(1) This tell us that the issue may be presented in a child, but in reality it is usually the entire family and surrounding environment that needs to consider changes.

A Gentle Approach is Best

Parents and caregivers would do best to help an overweight child achieve goals through an extremely gentle approach that will enable the young one to keep his/her self esteem intact. A study published in July, 2009 used a questionnaire for more than 22,000 Hong Kong students aged 11-18 and revealed that one in three of the children had received comments on their weight, of which the mother was the most common source. The study further found that fewer than half of the comments received were correct and that the incorrect comments were associated with weight misperception amongst the children.(2) Given this insight, an overweight child has most likely received comments regarding his weight at some point, affecting the perception of his/her body, not necessarily in a positive way. Children should not be made to feel that something is “wrong” with them, but simply that old habits need to give way to new ones in order to create a healthier lifestyle.

Family and Community Involvement

Considering the immense impact that childhood obesity is having on our nation, it is important for everyone to get involved. After all, children whose family and community are involved in their efforts will be more likely to succeed. Also it is important to remember that children pattern their lives after those around them. If a child sees those close to him eating well, exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, he/she will see the value in those actions and want to repeat them. Schools can help by providing children only healthy options for mealtimes and banning junk food and soda dispensers from their premises. People might look at an overweight child and wonder how the parents could have let it happen, when what they should be thinking is how have we, as a community and nation, let it happen.

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obese patients

A new study seems to solidify fears that physicians are biased against obese patients. In a survey that examined the clinical interactions of 40 physicians with nearly 240 patients, doctors were far less likely to respect patients with high body mass indices (BMI); after adjustment for age and gender, a higher BMI was independently associated with lower physician respect. (Huizinga M, et al. Physician respect for patients with obesity. J Gen Int Med. 2009;24[11]:1236-39)

Although doctors may contend that their bias is generated by frustration (rather than a lack of respect) derived from poor success in treating overweight individuals, it is fairly clear that obese people are stigmatized by American society in general; since physicians are human, they are subject to the same biases that affect other people – despite their best attempts to remain objective and compassionate.

Indeed, even among healthcare providers who specialize in obesity management, weight bias appears to be a relatively pervasive problem. (Schwartz M, et al. Weight bias among health professionals specializing in obesity. Obes Res. 2003;11:1033-39)

Such stigmatization appears to extend beyond doctors’ vexation with addressing the multitude of health problems that are associated with obesity. Unfortunately, physician biases may simply mirror the same coarse prejudices that are visited upon obese persons in other societal settings, such as hiring practices, salary and promotion decisions, media portrayals, and education or housing opportunities. (Puhl R, Brownell KD. Bias, discrimination, and obesity. Obes Res. 2001;9:788-805)

Physicians May See Obese Patients as Unmotivated or Lazy

Most cases of obesity are due to behavioral problems, rather than specific medical conditions. Simply stated, an imbalance between caloric intake and energy expenditure leads to storage of excess calories as fat. Weight gain can rarely be attributed to Cushing’s syndrome, hypothyroidism, hypogonadism, or other illnesses. (Dickerson L, Carek P. Drug therapy for obesity. Am Fam Phys. 2000;61[7]:2131-38)

Therefore, even when genetic factors play a role in weight gain, physicians often attribute a patient’s persistent obesity to a lack of compliance with recommended lifestyle changes. When doctors spend time educating their overweight patients about the numerous medical issues that accompany obesity (see below), and when those patients not only fail to lose weight but often continue to gain it, doctors may seek explanations for their apparent failure to deal with a significant medical problem.

Sadly, blaming patients for their obesity might be the most convenient means of justifying modern medicine's lack of success at treating a common condition.

Obesity is a Multifactorial Problem

During a busy day, many physicians may not have sufficient time – or, perhaps, adequate desire – to delve into an obese patient’s detailed history. The temptation to deal only with immediate problems is great; time constraints and a reticence generated by unsatisfying outcomes from previous encounters with overweight patients compel a clinician to move on to the next patient.

This can only add to the negative perceptions that both obese patients and their physicians retain from these clinical interactions.

But obesity is born of varied underlying causes. Genetic, social, economic, cultural, behavioral, and situational factors all contribute to inappropriate dietary patterns and poor weight control. And many of these factors are rooted in childhood; only a thorough history, conducted in a nonjudgmental environment, will uncover valuable clues that may be nebulous even to the patient.

The Obese Patient Requires More Attention from Medical Professionals

Because obesity is usually not an isolated condition, the overweight patient typically needs more attention from healthcare workers, not less. When communication barriers – particularly those surrounding issues of respect – interfere with productive interactions between a healthcare professional and a patient, no one is well-served.

Indeed, there is a real danger that those medical conditions that frequently attend obesity will be dealt with in a suboptimal fashion; subsequent encounters may become adversarial as doctors chase more issues that, in their minds, would be controlled if only the obese patient was more compliant.

Medical conditions that are commonly associated with obesity – and that are sometimes a source of confrontation between overweight patients and physicians – include:
  • hypertension
  • hypercholesterolemia
  • hypertriglyceridemia
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • cardiovascular disease
  • large vessel disease (e.g., varicose veins, hemorrhoids, etc.)
  • cancer (breast, uterine, prostate, colon, gallbladder)
  • menstrual irregularities
  • infertility
  • gallbladder dysfunction
  • sleep apnea and restrictive lung disease
  • osteoarthritis
  • gout
  • thromboembolic disease (clots)
Obesity is an increasingly troublesome problem in developed countries. Due to changes in nutritional opportunities and a host of other factors, fully two-thirds of Americans are now overweight, and many suffer from obesity-related medical conditions.

At a time when obese individuals demand more medical care in an atmosphere of potentially shrinking healthcare dollars, a lack of respect and objective compassion for such persons may place many of them at grave risk.

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Too much belly fat, or any excess weight is not a good thing. Medical science has been preaching the risks and consequences of carrying a whole bunch of extra weight. Losing weight is not one of the easiest things to do, as a matter of fact, weight loss can be one of the most daunting challenges this life has to offer.

Just because something is difficult is no reason to feel overwhelmed and defeated. Just the opposite should be true. Some folks, when faced with a seemingly insurmountable obstacle, are able to get on top of the situation and find a way over, under, around, or through that very obstacle. Losing weight is a seemingly insurmountable obstacle for some folks. but it doesn't need to be so.

Understanding Weight Loss Basics

Losing weight is sort of like a simple math equation. There are many parts to an equation, but the parts must appear in exactly the precise order for that equation to appear correct. Some folks seem to have part of the weight loss equation correct, while other parts are still missing. Successful weight loss is a simple equation that basically calls for burning more calories than consumed.

Calories consumed < Calories burned = Weight loss

That's a simple equation to understand. The next step after understanding this equation is setting some realistic weight loss goals and making a plan to reach those goals. And after that, the next thing is to be surrounded by supporting friends, family, and even doctors if necessary. Finally, make a plan for how to handle situations when the goals seem impossible to reach. All of these make up the parts of a successful equation for weight loss.

Time to Assess the Risks of Being Overweight

According to the National Institutes of Health, proper assessment of being overweight is made up of three main parts. The first is body mass index, or BMI. BMI is simply a means to measure body weight relative to height and waist circumference to measure the amount of abdominal fat, which is related the risk for developing obesity-associated diseases. Use the BMI calculator to estimate total body fat. The ideal BMI falls in the range of 18.5 to 24.9. Anything over 25.0 is considered overweight.

Waist circumference is the second assessment tool in determining if a person is overweight. Using a simple measuring tape to measure the distance around the waistline area of the abdomen. If the measurement is more than 35 inches for women, or 40 inches for men, then there may be a risk of developing heart disease or other obesity-related diseases.

Other Risk Factors Associated with Excess Weight

Once the BMI is determined, there are additional risk factors to be considered like high blood pressure, or hypertension. Those who are overweight need to consider the risks associated with excess weight such as as high levels of the bad LDL cholesterol, low levels of the HDL good cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood sugar, a family history of heart disease, a sedentary lifestyle, and smoking.

Lowering the Risk of Being Overweight

Getting rid of that fat belly is just the beginning of a total weight loss plan. Those with a BMI of 25 to 25.9 and who have two or more of the aforementioned risk factors, weight loss is critical for future health. Just taking off 10 percent of one's current weight will help lower the risk of developing some of the diseases that come along with being overweight.

It may be time to start thinking seriously about losing that belly fat and make an appointment to speak with a doctor. The doctor can more accurately evaluate the BMI, waist measurement, and other risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, or premature death. Make a decision to start losing weight today. Always remember why this journey was begun and do whatever it takes to remain on course toward a healthier, happier, and thinner future.

As with any radical changes in diet or exercise, it may be beneficial to consult a health care professional, nutritionist, or doctor before starting any diet, exercise, or weight loss plan. This article is for informational purposes only. The information provided herein is of a general nature and should not be substituted as advice from a qualified professional.