Obesity Prevention: Make it a Priority

By definition, obesity is defined as a complex, chronic and progressive disease
involving biology, environment and behavior. According to Dr. Dwight McKenna,
Orleans Parish Coroner, when patients understand what obesity is, they can better
control it. McKenna says obesity is in fact a disease and there is a reason why
patients are struggling with weight and finding ways to keep it off.

The first thing to remember is, obesity is a disease; a complex and chronic disease.
Since the 1980’s, obesity has gone up steadily. In 2014, the prevalence of adult obesity
in the United States was 36.5% and it’s estimated that by the year 2030, up to 50% of
Americans will be obese.

Obesity impacts our bodies in many ways, including blood pressure, cholesterol levels
and triglyceride levels. Being overweight can lead to serious health problems.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),
roughly (39.8 percent) and (18.5 percent) in the United States are obese.
Despite the rising percentages, there are plenty of ways to prevent obesity in both kids
and adults.

Obesity prevention for adults

Many of these obesity prevention tips are the same for losing or maintaining a healthy
weight. The bottom line is that eating a healthy diet and getting more physical activity
can help prevent obesity. Consider these tips:

*Consume less “bad” fat and more “good” fat
Contrary to the belief behind the low-fat diet craze of the ’90s, not all fat is bad.
Nutrition Journal showed that intake of healthy dietary fats, such as polyunsaturated
fats, can improve cholesterol levels and reduce obesity risk.

*Consume less processed and sugary foods
According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,consumption of processed and
ultra-processed foods is linked to a higher risk of obesity. Many processed foods are
high in fat, salt, and sugar, which can encourage overeating.

*Eat more servings of vegetables and fruits
The daily recommendation for fruit and vegetable intake is five to nine servings per day
for adults. Filling your plate with veggies and fruit can help keep calories reasonable
and reduce the risk of overeating.

*Eat plenty of dietary fiber.
Studies continue to show that dietary fiber plays a role in
weight maintenance. One found that people who took a fiber complex supplement three
times daily for 12 weeks lost up to 5 percent of their body weight.

*Focus on eating low–glycemic index foods
The glycemic index (GI) is a scale used to measure how quickly a food item will raise
your blood sugar. Focusing on low-GI foods can help keep blood sugar levels steadier.
Keeping your blood glucose levels steady can help with weight management.

*Get the family involved in your journey
Social support isn’t just for children and teens — it’s important for adults to feel
supported too. Whether cooking with family or going on walks with friends, getting
people involved can help to encourage a healthy lifestyle.

*Engage in regular aerobic activity
Incorporating regular physical activity into your schedule is important for maintaining or
losing weight, among other benefits.

*Learn how to food budget and meal prep
It’s much easier to grocery shop for healthy foods when you have a plan. Creating a
food budget and list for your shopping trips can help avoid temptations for unhealthy
foods. In addition, prepping meals can allow you to have ready-to-go healthy meals.