Happy New Year–Is It Your Time to Lose Weight?
With the arrival of the New Year, many Americans have turned to weight loss as their main priority or New Year’s resolution. Diet and exercise have been drilled into the heads of Americans for quite some time, and many ponder what diet to follow and/or what exercise program to undertake.
This article is not to compare or recommend diets or regimens but rather to emphasize the fact that weight loss for those who are overweight or obese is important to overall health and longevity. At SIR-Florida, we encourage our patients to maintain a heathy weight to avoid the risk factors for a number of diseases and other complications that arise from being overweight or obese.
Overweight or Obese?
Is there a difference between being overweight and being obese? According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), calculation of one’s body mass index (BMI) is the means by which this determination is made:1
|Less than 18.5||Underweight|
|18.5-less than 25||Normal|
|25.0-less than 30||Overweight|
|30.0 or higher||Obese|
Obesity is further subdivided into three levels (classes):
|BMI Calculation||Obesity Level|
|40 or higher||Class 3 (extreme or severe)|
Statistics continue to show the alarming rates of adult obesity in the U.S. Data for 2017 reveal that the state of Florida ranked 35th in the U.S. with an adult (age 18 and over) obesity rate of 28.4%. This rate has gone up from 18.4% in 2000 and 11.4% in 1990.
Risk Factor for Disease
While only a healthcare professional can truly evaluate an individual’s health status and areas of risk based on weight, it is generally recognized that obesity is associated with many health risks including:
- High blood pressure—Extra weight leads to more pressure on the artery walls, which then increases blood pressure.
- Dyslipidemia (high or low blood lipid levels)—Obesity is one of the common causes of dyslipidemia, especially when excessive weight is at the body’s mid-section.
- Type 2 diabetes—Being overweight or obese increases the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Heart disease—Excessive weight is linked to a number of factors that increase the risk for cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure, abnormal blood lipid levels, and type 2 diabetes.
- Stroke—Excess body fat increases the chances of having a stroke due to inflammation, poor blood flow, and possible blockages.
- Gallbladder disease—The risk for gallbladder disease is higher, and the treatment of gallbladder disease is more difficult, in those who are overweight or obese.
- Osteoarthritis—Excess weight puts a lot of strain on joints and is the main preventable risk factor for osteoarthritis, and fat cells themselves have a negative impact on joints.2
- Sleep apnea or other breathing problems
- Cancer—Obesity is responsible for about four percent of cancer cases across the globe.3 Some types of (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver) are more common in obese individuals.
In addition, obesity may lead to low quality of life, mental disorders such as anxiety and depression, body pain, and difficulty in performing basic physical actions.4
Common Sense Steps to Lose Weight
If you’re in the overweight or obese category, what’s your first step? Martin Binks, PhD, Director of Behavioral Health at the Duke Diet & Fitness Center, suggests breaking down large weight loss goals into small steps:5
- Focus on losing 1-2 lbs. each week.
- Add small amounts of exercise and increase your exercise routine a little each week.
- Fill up on high-volume, low-calorie foods such as salads and soups.
- Don’t deprive yourself but select a sustainable approach to weight loss that you can follow for the long term.
See your physician for guidance before starting any weight loss program, as your physician may have additional recommendations specific to your current health status and weight loss goals.
Also, RevitaLife Vitality Center of Sarasota (RVC)—our sister facility that specializes in wellness, anti-aging, aesthetics, functional and metabolic medicine—can perform a number of diagnostic tests to identify possible underlying causes for your weight issues and then determine if RVC’s customized and physician-supervised weight loss programs are right for you.6