BMI (body mass index) is a reliable tool the physician uses to diagnosis obesity. If the result of the BMI calculation is between 25 and 30, you are overweight. If the BMI is 30 or greater, one is considered to be obese. (Over 40 is considered "morbidly" obese). And surely we all know by now that obesity is dangerous for reasons of health.The occurrence of illness in a person with excess weight is greatly increased, and, the risk of death doubles if the BMI is 32, a mere two points over the maximum reading of 30. What are some of the conditions associated with obesity?
- Heart attack
- Cancer (uterus, breast, esophagus, colon, kidney and others)
- Sleep apnea
- Urinary incontinence
Clearly, there are many reasons to deal with obesity for ourselves and our families, including our children. Here are three tips to help you get started:
1. Begin a habit of portion control. The USDA recommends that we fill half of our plate with fruits and vegetables, one-fourth with protein, and the remaining fourth with grains (preferably whole grains rather than items made with processed white flour).
Skim milk is the beverage of choice. Dish up the plates and serve them rather than putting platters and bowls on the table. Break the habit of second helpings. One plate is enough food. Studies show that many of us are eating two, or even three, times more food than we need for our good health).
2. Eliminate added sugar in your diet. The most egregious offender for excess sugar consumption is beverages that are "naturally" sweetened. This means, in most cases, that the drinks have been sweetened with sugar. One can of sugar- sweetened soda consumed every day can be the cause of a 15 pound weight gain at the end of the year. (Remember to pass this information along to your teens who need to lose weight).
Further, aside from weight issues, sugar is considered to be a food with "empty" calories; that is, it has no nutritional value.
3. Be very watchful over the kinds of fats you consume. Read the label to determine how many of the calories are from fat (should be 30% or less). Also check the amount of saturated fat. (This is the really bad kind). The saturated fat should be low and it should never account for more than 10% of the calories from fat.
Look for monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. These are the good guys.
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in much of the Western world. It has been estimated by some experts that two-thirds of adults are overweight. Even more alarmingly, more than half of our children are carrying excess weight.
So, what can you do?
Obesity and your BMI. And specifically how to lower your BMI. by Sue Bristol, R.N. There is only one correct way to eat.
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