So far, I have said a lot about the danger that obesity poses on both the individual and society. I have explained how one can distinguish between a healthy weight and an un-healthy weight. I then invited people to contribute to the fight against obesity. Now I would like to offer some specific ways to fight the battle. In an article posted in the USA Today back in June of this year, journalist, Nanci Hellmich, propses Four Steps to Fighting Obesity. In this article, Hellmich cites the 2010 Dietary Guidlines released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as well as the 2008 Physcial Activity Guildlines for Americans. Hellmich summarizes these two documents into four major steps to prevent and treat obesity. Here they are:
•Reduce excess weight and obesity by cutting calorie intake and increasing physical activity.
•Shift to a more plant-based diet that emphasizes vegetables, cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Increase the intake of seafood and fat-free and low-fat milk and milk products, and eat only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry and eggs.
•Significantly reduce intake of foods containing added sugars and solid fats, which contribute about 35% of the calories in the American diet. Cut sodium intake gradually to 1,500 milligrams a day and lower intake of refined grains, especially those with added sugar, solid fat and sodium.
•Meet the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Those recommend that adults get at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, such as brisk walking, or 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity, such as jogging or swimming laps, or a combination of the two types. Children and teens should do an hour or more of moderate-intensity to vigorous physical activity each day.
By reading through these four steps, one can see how the key to fighting obesity comes down to two major commitments: eating healthy and exercising regularly. Luckily, the same way to prevent obesity is the way treat obesity. Certainly, one should be in contact with his/her primary physician with regard to making such lifestyle changes. Because everyone’s situation is different, everyone’s reaction to certain diets and activites will likewise be different. The one thing for certain is that by eating healthy and exercising regularly, one can expect improved health.