The rates of obesity in the US are staggeringly high and they are only getting higher. But is there a way to predict if a person might become obese at a very early stage of life? Well it looks like there is. According to a recent study, high birth weight, rapid weight gain and having an overweight mother who smokes all increase the risk of a baby becoming obese later in life. Babies who are breast-fed longer and introduced to solid food later have a lower risk of becoming overweight.
Obesity increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, and breathing problems among many others. A person is considered overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of over 25 and obese with a BMI of over 30. BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight (BMI = height / weight).
Another recent study provides what may turn out to be an even better indicator of obesity. “A Body Shape Index” or ABSI. This measure includes waist circumference, another way of saying ‘belly fat’. As we have written in other articles, abdominal fat has been linked to a number of health conditions, including high cholesterol, insulin resistance and high blood pressure. The research found that a high ABSI, i.e., a large amount of belly fat, significantly increased the risk of premature death and was considered a better obesity indicator than BMI.
Regardless of your risk factors when you were young, there are steps that everyone needs to take to reduce the risk of obesity. Your long-term health starts with decisions you make today.
Diet is key. A lot of modern wisdom tells you to count your calories and curb your fat intake. This is a misleading way to go about weight loss as it starves your body and brain and doesn’t address the real issue.
Sugar. Unnatural sugar like high fructose corn syrup or aspartame needs to go. Excessive starch, particularly the ‘bad ones’, like white potatoes, sugary desserts and carbonated beverages, is another major contributor to excessive weight gain. Why? Because a starch is simply a complex sugar. The reason sugar is the key is because when you eat sugar the hormone insulin is released. If your insulin levels stay too high for too long it tells your body to store fat. This is why even when you are technically starving yourself (more calories in than out) you may not lose weight. This is because your hormones are telling your body to store fat.
Obesity is not primarily about avoiding calories. You can take control of your health and improve your chances of living a long life by keeping your insulin levels normal by eating a balanced, healthy diet, including avoiding unnatural sugars and excessive ‘bad’ starches, and by getting regular exercise.
– The Alternative Daily