"Weight problems are epidemic. Two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity has tripled in the past three decades. Kilos often are packed on gradually over decades, and many people struggle to limit weight gain without realizing what's causing it."
"PUTTING ON WEIGHT IS MAINLY ABOUT DIET - NOT EXERCISE" : The New Zealand Herald. Friday June 24 2011.
The "Biggest Demon"
A New Zealand Health Survey in 2006 - 2007 found that 26.5% or one in four New Zealanders were obese. The survey said that 41.7% of Maori adults were obese and Pacific Island men and women were two and a half times more likely to be obese than men and women of the total population of New Zealand.
Some major hospitals and the ambulance service in New Zealand, have had to modify their facilities to accommodate people with extreme weight problems, by installing winches and hoists capable of lifting 500 - 750kg.
Reality television shows "The Biggest Loser" and "Big Fat Family Challenge", help a viewer understand and sympathize with the difficulties in life for obese people, and the determined willpower required to successfully free oneself from the habit of over eating.
Many countries of the world have increasing numbers of people who are obese. Why? How does a person become obese?
A team of Harvard University researchers - Dariush Mozaffarian, Tao Hao, Eric B. Rimm, Walter C. Willett, Frank B. Hu, released findings in June this year under the title ~
"CHANGES IN DIET AND LIFESTYLE AND LONG-TERM WEIGHT GAIN IN WOMEN AND MEN."
Their study was with over 120,000 American men and women who were not obese at the beginning of the study. The focus of this study was dealing with what habits led to obesity, rather than trying to find ways to assist obese people with weight loss.
Testing was conducted in three separate studies each lasting over 20 years. Every four years changes in lifestyle and factors for weight change were recorded. All three studies revealed the same connection of lifestyle changes with weight gain..
WHAT DID THEY FIND?
* It was "misleading" for a person to focus on eating food that carried
labels saying it had fewer calories, was low in fat, low in energy
density, low in sugars....
RATHER the researchers stated it was extremely important to eat
food and drinks which were healthy by nature.
* The "biggest demon behind" excessive weight gain was the humble
potato chip with its irresistible flavors and crunchy crisp texture.
* The second serious contributor was potatoes.
* Coming in third was sugar sweetened drinks - "liquid sugars". All the
sodas, soft drinks, fizzies, juices, sweetened waters and sweetened
* Fourth place was unprocessed red meat - beef and lamb.
* The fifth highest contributor to high weight gain, was processed meats
such as bacon, hot dogs and deli meats.
The researchers also gave the following foods as the best helpers to prevent obesity ~
+ Vegetables of any variety
+ Wholegrains such as : brown or wholegrain rice
: oats raw or as porridge or oatmeal
: corn even popcorn
: wild rice
: whole kernel or wholemeal or wholegrain flour
+ Fresh fruit of any variety
These are all less processed, raw foods.
Eating more "healthful" foods changes the patterns in our eating such as
= the feeling of being hungry
= the feeling of one's appetite being satisfied
= the size or food portion we eat
= the insulin level in our body
As Frank Hu, senior author of the research paper says, "These findings underscore the importance of making wise food choices in preventing weight gain and obesity." "The idea that there are no "good" or "bad" foods is a myth that needs to be debunked."
Another fact that helps prevent obesity is physical activity.
Whereas ' regular alcohol use
' regular television watching
' regularly sleeping of less than 6 hours and more than 8
hours each day
were found to contribute to obesity.
This study gives us lots of practical, easy-to-follow directions to keep parents and kids, out of the zone of obesity.
THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~ As you eat and drink your way through this coming week with your usual family favorites, check how much of your eating habits could be contributing to a future of obesity.
Next post - some recipes of food and drinks to help keep us out of the obesity zone.