Why Should I Treat Obesity

Obesity is a treatable disease that is a worldwide health concern associated with having an excess amount of body fat. It is caused by genetic and environmental factors and can be difficult to control through dieting alone. Obesity is diagnosed by a healthcare provider and is classified as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. Nearly 40 percent of Americans have obesity.

Obesity Is

  • A disease.
  • A worldwide health concern.
  • Caused by many factors.
  • Treatable and manageable.

Obesity Is Not

  • Your fault.
  • Yours to manage alone.
  • Just about food.
  • Cured by a miracle treatment.

What Are The Risks
Associated With Obesity?

Excess weight can be hard on your whole body. More than 50 health problems are related to excess weight and obesity. These health problems are diseases and conditions that can decrease your quality of life and are commonly called obesity-related conditions. It is important to talk with your healthcare provider about these conditions.

  • Not everyone with obesity will develop every obesity-related condition.
  • The more weight you carry, the more likely you are to develop obesity-related conditions.
  • Finding and treating health conditions early is best for your overall health.
  • Weight-loss as small as 5-10% can reduce the effects of obesity-related conditions.

What Treatment Options Should Be Considered?

Lifestyle Modifications

Our everyday choices are your behaviors. They include everything from sleeping to what you have for lunch and if you take the stairs or the elevator.

Physical Activity Modifications

Physical activity is key when managing obesity. It is best to start simple and keep it manageable. Take a walk around the block after dinner or park far away from the store. These are easy ways to make physical activity part of your day. Make sure to speak with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program.

When making an exercise and physical activity plan, remember to:

  • Make it simple.
  • Make it realistic.
  • Make it happen.
  • Make it fun.

Nutrition Modifications

Changing your eating habits can be hard. We are surrounded by convenience foods high in fat and calories and low in nutritional value. Knowing which foods to pick for a healthy diet can be hard as well. There are options to help. Non-clinical and clinical (medical) weight management options are ways to get help and learn more about nutrition and healthy eating.

Preventing Childhood Obesity

Researchers continue to search for ways to treat obesity. At this point, prevention is the best way! This means eating a healthful diet based on vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole (instead of refined) grains, protein and healthy fats. Also, maintain an active lifestyle by aiming to getting an hour of physical activity a day.

You can also help your child to maintain a healthy weight by:

  • Protecting the home environment: stocking your home with only healthful foods so that your child is not tempted to snack on unhealthful ones
  • Role modeling: parents who eat a healthful diet and maintain an active lifestyle will set a positive example for their child
  • Serving water instead of sugar-sweetened drinks
  • offering age-appropriate portion sizes and keeping serving platters and bowls off the table to avoid overeating
  • Limiting screen time to two hours a day (TV, computer and video games)
  • not using food as a reward for good behavior, academic achievement or eating a healthful food

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