Obesity Is A Serious Cause for Concern

obesity is serious concern


Is fat the enemy? Well, too much body fat is a bad thing and can lead to obesity. However, we all need fat in our diets to protect our health. Fat stores energy, insulates the body and protects its’ organs. But, even though we need fat, too much of it is not a good thing. It can be the cause of some very severe health problems.

Weight gain and obesity are high on the list of primary health concerns in the developed world today. It is estimated that an alarming 109.5 million people are considered obese in the U.S. alone.

Harvard School of Public Health states that other than the use of tobacco, obesity accounts for the second greatest harm to the collective health in the U.S.

Here is a quote from one of their publications:

“In the U.S., among adults under the age of 70, obesity is second only to tobacco in the number of deaths it causes each year. As tobacco use continues to decline, and obesity rates continue to rise, the number of deaths due to obesity may soon exceed that of tobacco.”

It is alarming to see the long list of health problems that are related to obesity. Here is a list I compiled while researching the topic and I’m certain that I may have missed some of them. 

Health Problems Related to Obesity

  • shortness of breath
  • heartburn
  • difficulty in moving around
  • increased cholesterol levels
  • stroke
  • asthma
  • sleep apnea
  • gallstones
  • kidney stones
  • infertility
  • cancer
  • heart disease
  • depression
  • swelling of feet and /or legs
  • back pain
  • knee pain
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • osteoarthritis

The cost of health care related to obesity in the U.S. in 2005 was estimated to be around $190 billion. Yes folks, that’s billion, not million. This includes medical care and prescription drugs for the treatment of obesity and the illnesses related to it.

The cost of obesity isn’t limited to the cost of medical treatment, however. There is the cost of days of work that are lost, higher insurance costs for employers which resuts in lower wages in order to cover those costs. It has also affected the recruitment for the armed forces since nearly 30 percent of young people in the U.S. are now considered too obese to serve in the armed forces.

Obesity isn’t limited to the U.S. only. Obesity has now become a global problem.

You would think that with all the media attention about obesity and the health problems associated with it, in addition to the fact that weight loss programs are available to every U.S. citizen, that this would not be such a serious problem.

What Is the Solution To the Problem of Obesity?

Why is it that more people are becoming obese? I don’t know the answer to that question. However, we can only take responsibility for our own health and try to have a positive influence on those we know personally.

One thing is for sure… obesity is a huge health risk and if you ignore your health, it will go away. So, begin making healthy lifestyle changes today and stay healthy… it’s the greatest wealth you can own.

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Healthy Oat Bran Muffin Recipe

Oat Bran Muffin Recipe
This healthy oat bran muffin recipe is not only delicious, but it has so many benefits… it has lots of fiber, it’s low in fat and doesn’t contain a lot of sugar. Grab one of these along with some Greek yogurt in the morning for a healthy and delicious breakfast… easy, peasy!

This recipe is a two step process. I’m telling you this now so you won’t look at the ingredient list, gather your ingredients and think you can start making the muffins right away.

Before you do anything else, you will need to get 1 cup of raisins and cover them with water. Let water covered raisins sit for two or three hours, or you could leave it overnight.

The raisins will be nice and plump and you will use some of the water that has been sweetened by the raisins in the batter for the muffins.

After the raisins have set in water for a few hours you are ready to proceed with making your delicious, healthy oat bran muffins.

Healthy Oat Bran Muffin Ingredients

1 cup raisins covered with water and allowed to sit for several hours
1 1/2 cups oat bran
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white flour
2 tsps baking powder
2 tsps baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup chilled applesauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp raisin water

Oat Bran Muffin Baking Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. Line or grease 12 muffin cups

3. Blend together oat bran, wheat flour, white flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar. Add eggs, chilled applesauce, vegetable oil, and raisin water. Mix until well-blended.

4. Gently stir in raisins

5. Let batter stand for 10 minutes.

6. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown.


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Allow Small Food Indulgences on Occasion

Healthy Food Indulgences
Nothing will cause you to ditch your diet more quickly than a feeling of deprivation. As soon as you declare that you will never again eat a particular food that you enjoy, more than likely, you will begin to think about it constantly. Then, you know you’re headed for trouble because this feeling of deprivation can only go on for so long.

Eventually, you will begin to feel anxious or angry, or both, and this can lead to a binge where you’re completely out of control. That feeling of deprivation that goes on for a while will lead having to have that craving satisfied. And it will probably be satisfied with a much larger amount of the “forbidden” food than if you had satisfied that feeling when it first began.

Eating out of control naturally causes feelings of guilt which will lead to eating more foods which you know you should not be eating. This can become a vicious cycle that can prevent you from ever reaching your goals.

But, don’t despair, if chocolate is allowed, it can’t be that hard.

It’s Time for the Deprivation-Binge Cycle to Stop

Diets that have the highest success rate are those that allow for occasional treats. When you’re told it’s okay to eat a small portion of the foods you crave, then you don’t feel guilty when you eat them. It’s really simple… you satisfy the craving with a bite of two of what you crave and get back to the healthier foods on your plan.

Still, it is hard for some people to come to terms that they can have their cake and diet at the same time. However, there really is no such thing as a “forbidden” food.

There are some foods that might feel like indulgences, but actually aren’t. Enjoying food indulgences like the ones listed below occasionally may satisfy the craving you’re having without sabotaging your diet.

Food Indulgences that Won’t Sabotage Your Diet

  • Dark chocolate – 70% cocoa is best. This can satisfy a craving for something sweet and it contains antioxidants that are good for you.
  • Fruit – This is nature’s candy. Most fruits have high water content and are chock full of good for you vitamins and minerals.
  • Yogurt – Low fat, not fat free, Greek yogurt is best according to Dr. Oz. Get the small container unless you get the unflavored variety because it does contain a small amount of sugar.
  • 1 slice whole wheat toast with 1 tablespoon peanut butter and a teaspoon of jelly that is sweetened only with natural fruit juices.
  • Homemade oat bran muffin sweetened with applesauce and raisins.

Allowing yourself to occasionally indulge in treats like these can satisfy a craving for sweets and carbs without making you feel guilty. Then you can save those more decadent desserts for really rare occasions.

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Steer Clear of Fad Diets

Stop Fad Diets
Many professionals have recently proclaimed that fad diets should never have been advocated by people in their community. Some of the fad diets that were popular in the past are considered nothing more than quackery now.

This is primarily due to the dozens of absolutely insane diet regimens that starve the body of calories and nutrition, causing the body to hold on to every calorie you put into your mouth. Therefore, the weight you lose is never long-term and can actually harm your body rather than help it.

Increases in intense and effective marketing tactics used over the years caused these fad diets to become very popular. Women were bombarded by testimonials and photos of people who had experienced radical changes and incredible weight loss.

One of the people who used one of these diets was Oprah Winfrey. She went on the Optifast diet where her only source of nourishment for four months was liquids. She shed a whopping 67 pounds as a result. But everyone in America knows what happened when she began eating food again. She says that she now deeply regrets doing the show where she extolled the virtues of this diet after she had lost the weight and was celebrating that weight loss. Her celebration was short lived because she gained all of the weight back, plus more.

Why Fad Diets Aren’t Good for You

The problem is that once you severely restrict your consumption of calories and the body begins to hold onto every calorie you do eat, it continues to do that when you begin eating normally again. Almost always, you will gain back more weight than you lost on a fad diet.

It is better to find an eating plan that is based on healthy lifestyle changes rather than fads. It you are presented with a shocking plan that doesn’t allow for some flexibility, then carefully analyze whether or not it will be healthy for you and help you keep the weight off long-term.

It’s important that you be able to eat in restaurants occasionally, indulge in your favorite foods once in a while, and to be able to eat on a schedule that is in alignment with your life’s events.

Instead of saying that you are “on a diet,” it is better to adopt new eating habits that you can live with forever. If what you’re considering doesn’t seem to be a plan you can live with forever, you will be better off to look for one that does.

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Considerations for Choosing the Best Diet Plan

best diet plan

Going on a diet plan is never something we look forward to. It’s the end result that we look forward to. The pre-planning and mental focus it takes to get, and stay, motivated can be draining.

Life is stressful enough for most of us to begin with without having to cope with being on a diet. The last thing you want to do is to choose a diet that will add more stress than is necessary. Food is an integral part of our everyday comfort and happiness, so choose a diet that won’t require drastic changes.

There are so many diet plans from which to choose it can become confusing and frustrating as to which is the best choice for you. There are some questions you can ask yourself that can help you make a choice that will suit you and your lifestyle, because the best diet plan for your best friend might not be the best one for you.

5 Things to Consider Before Choosing a Diet Plan

1. What are your favorite foods?

Choose a diet plan that allows you to still eat some of the types of foods you enjoy the most. For example, if you love proteins, then a high protein diet might be a good choice for you so you won’t feel crazy from deprivation. If you enjoy carbs, choose a diet that allows you to have complex carbs but limits fats.

2. Do you enjoy cooking?

If you don’t like to cook or hate getting in the kitchen, then choose a plan that doesn’t require you to grow your own vegetables and incorporate them into complicated recipes.

3. Do you stay at home or work outside the home?

If you are on the go most days, then a diet plan that enables you to easily work in a large variety of menus might be a good choice for you. Plans that require you to buy their food won’t help you if you spend a lot of time traveling and/or working in an office for many hours of the day.

4. If you stay at home, do you have kids that depend on you for transportation?

Women in particular need a flexible diet plan. One that is very rigid can spell disaster if your schedule revolves around providing transportation for your children to get to their activities. You want to avoid feeling guilty if you don’t make it home in time to eat at a specific time that is pre-determined by your diet plan.

5. Will the foods required on the diet plan fit your budget?

Give consideration to your budget because some plans can seem as though they will break the bank. Others might actually save you money. Don’t choose a plan that is too expensive for your budget because you will end up going off of it before you reach your goals.

Choosing a diet plan that works best for you means that it fits the bill on the 5 considerations discussed above. As long as these are met, you probably have a winner that you can stick to for long-term weight loss!

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