Some of obesity's health effects include an increased risk for a range of problems, such as diabetes, fatty liver disease, osteoarthritis, stroke, and high blood pressure. The prospect of losing weight may seem daunting. However, the good news is that by losing just 5 percent of your current weight, you can reduce your risk of experiencing the dangerous effects of obesity.
By Dr. Mercola
America is as obese as it possibly can be, yet the government and media refuse to take responsibility for this tragic problem. Although obesity rates among American preschoolers declined by 43 percent in the past decade, teenage and adult obesity are deplorable and show no signs of improvement.
These findings were broadcast on all of the nation's major news stations and in most major newspapers with many claiming “victory” in the fight against childhood obesity. While this all sounds like good news, I disagree with such proclamations.
The study, published in JAMA, found that obesity rates among two- to five-year olds dropped from 14 percent in 2003 to eight percent in 2012. The researchers suggest that decreased consumption of high-calorie drinks and higher rates of breast feeding might account for the decline.
No reduction in obesity rates was found among any other age group, however. And obesity rates for women over the age of 60 actually rose by about 21 percent. Eventually, nearly all Americans end up obese which contributes to a lifetime of chronic disease.
Americans Have Far from Conquered Obesity
One-third of American children and teens (aged two to 19), and more than two-thirds of adults are still either overweight or obese. One out of eight preschoolers is still in the obese category, along with 18 percent of kids aged six to 11—up from seven percent in 1980.
From my perspective, we're still FAR from being in a position to jump for joy or pat ourselves on the back. The study authors themselves concluded:
“Overall, there have been no significant changes in obesity prevalence in youth or adults between 2003-2004 and 2011-2012. Obesity prevalence remains high and thus it is important to continue surveillance.”
While it may sound promising that overall obesity rates have “stabilized,” what that REALLY means is that we have maxed out, we are as fat as we can possibly be as a nation, and show no signs of improvement.
Other statistics clearly show that Americans, including children, are sicker than ever, and it's absolutely obvious that this is a direct result of corrupted federal policies and the junk food industry marketing to kids, getting them addicted to sugar as soon as possible with famous cartoon characters and flashy images. Don't be fooled by this latest PR stunt to make you think they're finally getting something right.
The anti-obesity campaign is NOT working. And while some reporters have stated that the drop in obesity among toddlers is due to successful physical fitness programs, such as First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! Campaign (which launched in 2010), I fail to see this connection.
Improved breastfeeding rates are the most likely primary factor contributing to the decline seen in this age group (two- to five-year olds). This is the one area I can appreciate, after decades of disastrous infant formula marketing to new moms, it appears we are finally acknowledging the critical value of breastfeeding.
According to the CDC, the percent of babies breastfeeding at six months increased from 35 percent in 2000 to 49 percent in 2010, and infants still breastfeeding at 12 months increased from 16 percent to 27 percent during that same time period. While most infant formulas are about 50% carbohydrates, breast milk is naturally around 18%, which is the obvious problem that contributes to infant obesity.
Federal policies have not budged when it comes to issues that matter the most, or could have the greatest impact. Subsidizing the growing of genetically engineered (GE) corn, soy, and sugar beets continues to fuel the production of cheap, processed junk food that fatten us up and cause cascading health problems, courtesy of the insulin resistance such a diet brings.
Subsidizing the growing of GE soy and corn for hydrogenated vegetable oils is the primary source of clogged arteries leading to countless unnecessary heart attacks.
The combination of junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers' agriculture lobbying, and the willingness of our federal politicians to be lobbied because of their greed for money and power has not changed one bit in the past decade. If anything, it's only gotten more insidious.
More Tips for Creating a Healthy Eating Environment for Kids
Ultimately, teaching your child the importance of healthy foods and exercise is the key to maintaining health. With that in mind, here are a few more tips to foster a healthy view of food and self-esteem in your child:
- Lead by example and seek to maintain optimal body weight for yourself and your spouse
- Refrain from making jokes about your child's weight, even if no harm is intended
- Explain the health risks of being overweight to your child, but avoid comparing your overweight child to other children, including thinner siblings
- Cook healthy meals for your family, and let your child be involved in making dinner, but avoid making your child eat different food than the rest of the family
- Encourage your child to make healthy food choices and praise them when they do instead of putting your child down about weight or eating habits
- Instead of using food as a reward or punishment, have healthy snacks available at all times, and explain to your child the benefits they'll get from eating these fresh, whole foods; use non-food items, such as stickers or special outings/activities as rewards instead
Today, more than 65 percent of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. Even more concerning is the increasing occurrence of childhood obesity. There are many effects of obesity, such as: heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure,stroke, and some forms of cancer, as described in this article. But there is good news. If you are overweight, losing as little as 5 percent of your body weight may lower your risk for several of these effects, including heart disease and diabetes.
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