Obesity is now assuming epidemic proportions. Worldwide there are over 1 billion overweight people and out of that more than 300 million in the obese category. With the U.S. weight loss market alone grossing over $46 Billion, and projections of 1 trillion by 2010, obesity, diet control and weight control nutrition is assuming increasing concern among health planners especially the WHO.
The fully industrialized countries account for about 80 % of the overweight with rest falling in developing countries. U.S alone accounts for whopping 150 million people in the overweight category.
Obesity and overweight puts one under the risk of various disease and disorders such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart related problems, certain types of cancer such as breast cancer, cancer of the colon and kidney etc apart from numerous problems related to respiratory and muscular systems.
Apart from these diseases, the social and financial cost of overweight and obesity is very high, affecting social, mental and financial health of this huge proportion of the world population. Loss of productivity and the attendant cost to society, low self esteem, lower quality of life adds up to immense financial burden on the individual and the governments.
There is a tremendous amount of action by various governments worldwide, NGO’s and institutions like WHO in creating the right policy framework, dispense information to increase awareness and creating the right environments to combat this epidemic.
However the responsibility of fighting this menace rests with the individual as the governments can only do so much.
So what can you do to fight overweight and obesity?
1. Prevention is the Key. If you are not overweight start right now to make changes in dietary habits and lifestyle to prevent increase in your weight.
2. Monitor your weight on a weekly basis. Any increase over 2 Kg’s in the permissible height/weight ratio set the alarm bells ringing.
3. Avoid high energy foods, packed foods, overcooked foods like pizzas and burgers which are high in calories but low in nutrients to prevent accumulation of fat.
4. Eat natural. Increase your intake of green and leafy vegetables and fruits which are loaded with nutrients. A salad bowl is much better than a burger if you are in a hurry and have no time for a proper meal.
5. Change in lifestyle. High stress lifestyles require more energy dense food which are high in fat. A rushed and stressed lifestyle may not be conducive to your future physical and financial health. Your high stress job may be high paying but extracting a huge future financial price and may not be worth it after all. A Balance in work and social life is a must to combat stress related gorging.
6. Designing and building in the required physical activities and exercises into your daily regime to improve metabolism and burn fat. A 40 minutes walk 5 days a week, a 3-4 day schedule in the gym, climbing a couple of floors rather than taking the escalator, planning an outdoor schedule during the weekends, cutting down on the television and taking up a hobby involving physical activities are all ways which will surprisingly keep off those pounds of flab and make you fitter. Weight control is better than weight loss which is a more painful process.
7. Keep height/weight charts, calorie count charts of food items, daily nutritional charts on your desk or somewhere you can see frequently to remind you constantly of your health objectives.
8. Reading regularly about obesity, diet control, weight management, nutrition, health and fitness, holistic living practices could be of great help. Knowledge is the fuel which sets in motion the prevention.
Finally it is important to remember that overweight and obesity are not mere physical or health problems but a major financial issue. Your future wealth and happiness depends on your levels of productivity in an increasingly competitive world. Fitness and good health is the key to financial freedom in term of your earning potential and your savings against all those huge medical bills.