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How to Fight Obesity using Nutritional Methods


Date Posted: 11/5/2012 2:51:28 PM

Posted By: Robinoxd  Membership Level: Bronze  Total Points: 45

As a result of the rising problem of obesity and nutritional disorders in the eighties, health professionals and nutritionists took it upon themselves to identify measures that facilitate successful weight management. From all the studies and research conducted, three points came out clearly.

- First of all, weight management is presented as a lifetime commitment to maintain healthy eating and exercise patterns, instead of strict dieting routines alternated with careless bringing on food.
- Secondly, the professionals emphasize that a weight management program is custom-made to each patient’s general health, age, living situation, and other features. -- Thirdly, they recognize that the emotional, psychological, and spiritual facets of human life are as vital to preserving a healthy lifestyle as the nutritional and medical features.

The most salient aspect of weight management is nutrition. A majority of overweight Americans suffer their plight mainly as a result of making poor food choices. The will to make wise food selections when dining at home or in restaurants, coupled with calorie restriction and portion control, is necessary to assist individuals in losing weight and subsequent maintenance of healthy body weight.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Dietary Guidelines), most of the individuals do seem to get enough protein to meet the Acceptable Macro-nutrient Distribution Range of 10% to 35% of daily calories. Macro-nutrients are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. However, Americans ingest too many total calories and too much saturated fat, cholesterol, trans-fat, artificial sugars and salt. In addition, most adults may be getting less than the appropriate levels of calcium, fiber, potassium, vitamins A, C and E and magnesium. Children and teenagers seem to require more potassium, calcium, fiber, vitamin E and magnesium. Healthy choice of food ensures that individuals consume helpful nutrients such as carotenoids, isoflavones, flavonoids, and protease inhibitors, which can

defend us from enduring health disorders.

The United States Department of Agriculture has been a key force in encouraging wise choice of food. To this effect, it has provided a food guide that if well utilized would ensure that individuals consume calories that are compatible with their bodies and requisite energy levels. The guidelines estimate the total calorie requirements in terms of gender, age group, and activity level. The guidelines provided by the USDA recommend weight-management schedules that are founded on a food regimen that provides 55–65 grams of protein every day; adequate vitamins and minerals; sufficient intake of carbohydrates (110 grams) and dietary fiber (25–35 grams); and less than thirty percent of daily energy calories from animal fat. Nutritionists recommend that, during a diet, it is vital to include all types of foods in one’s dish. Each meal should contain proteins, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates. The only notice of caution is in regulation of the amount of food per serving. In addition to appropriate dieting, nutritional counseling is also a key part of weight management. This phenomenon could be explained by the fact that most people who suffer from nutritional disorders rarely understand how food works in the body. Brownell notes that a majority of individuals struggling against weight attempt to use unconventional dieting methods at least once during their life. (Brownell, 1990).

Studies reveal that approximately thirty percent of overweight women and seventeen percent of males are using potentially dangerous methods to manage their weight. Some of the dangerous methods include fasting, smoking, use of laxatives, feeding on cotton and over the counter diet pills.

Physical exercise is an essential part of weight management programs since it raises the amount of calories utilized by the body and as it assists the body to substitute fat with slender muscle tissue. Working out also promotes a general sense of well-being and helps to lower emotional stress levels. The Dietary Guidelines provided by the USDA endorse physical exercise of one to two hours at least three times in a week. The physical exercise should consist of moderate-intensity physical activity, like brisk walking, stretching and cycling for adults to sustain weight loss. Aerobic and strength training is necessary during dieting in order to burn calories as well as assist individuals to preserve muscle mass while at the same time losing weight.

Most eating disorders are as a result of underlying psychological factors such as depression and substance abuse. It is, therefore, necessary to include psychiatric counseling as part of weight management programs. Doctors may provide anti-suppressants such as sibutramine and orlistat to reduce appetite for food or reducing the quantity of nutritional fat that is uptaken by the body. Cognitive-behavioral therapy has been shown to be effective in fortifying the changes in food choice and feeding patterns that are necessary to successful weight management. Cognitive-behavioral therapy involves teaching patients to modify their eating habits by keeping diaries where they record their interaction with food. Counselors also encourage their patients to join or form weight management groups. This enables patients to share their problems, successes and bond since they can identify and relate to each other.

Where all other methods of weight management have failed to bear results, individuals may consider surgical procedures of facilitating weight loss. Procedures such as bariatric surgery, gastric bypass and vertical banded gastroplasty are common weight management surgeries adopted by morbidly obese Americans. Vertical banded gastroplasty is a procedure that restricts the quantity of food that the abdomen can contain while gastric bypass prevents normal absorption of food.

Problems with weight management are experienced all over the world. However, developed and developing nations have a higher predisposition to such issues as compared to poor third world countries. The economic and social cost of nutritional disorders is overbearing on the economy of the United States. As such policy makers, nutritionists and medical professionals should give this issue the critical focus that it requires. Citizens should be sensitized on the importance of weight management in order to secure the United States a prosperous future.

Next: Factors That Contribute to the Fast-rising Obesity Index in our Society
Previous: The current situation of refugees in Kenya.

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