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The Solution to Healthy Weight Loss

The overweight and obesity epidemic is a worldwide problem.There are no official statistics for spending on dietproducts, but estimates vary from $40 to $100 billion in theUS alone, much of that on scams and fad diets that promisethe impossible.

Research shows that 95% of people who have lost weight findthat they regain it back when they return to their normaleating habits.

According to the Center for Disease Control's ChronicDisease Center, in 1991 in the United States, only fourstates had an obesity prevalence of 15 percent to 19percent. In 2003, 15 states had an obesity prevalence of15 to 19 percent, 31 states had an obesity prevalence of 20to 24 percent, and four states had a prevalence of 25percent or more.

Major medical problems associated with obesity includegallbladder disease, high blood pressure, high bloodcholesterol, diabetes, and osteoarthritis.

If that isn't incentive enough to lose that excess weightstatistics show that overweight people are usually givenlower paying jobs, get lower salaries, receive little inraises, and are, as a whole, looked down upon by 40 percentof fellow employees and employers.

In 2002 The American Heart Association reported that morethan 10 percent of US children ages 2 to 5 are overweight.That is up from 7 percent in 1994. The situation isprobably even worse now, said Dr. Robert H. Eckel,president-elect of the heart association and professor ofmedicine at the University of Colorado.

The obesity problem among children has increased with school-age children as well. Four million children ages 6 to 11 and 5.3 million in age group 12 to 19 have increased by 75 percent from 1991.

Food habits adopted in childhood can be hard to change. Asa result hypertension and high cholesterol leading to heartdisease, strokes, and diabetes are going to become thenations top health problem with people of all ages within 10to 30 years. These are ailments that usually afflict themiddle age to elderly population. More than a million newcases of diabetes are already being diagnosed each year,says the American Diabetic Association.

Nearly 30 percent of American adults are overweight andanother 30 percent are obese, according to University ofMinnesota researchers. Obesity is usually described as aweight 20 percent greater than the persons desirable weight.

A study by the Obstetrics and Gynecology department at theFred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle revealedthat 60% of overweight women, and 70% of obese women, arelikely to become pregnant while taking the pill. Theresearchers suggest that a higher metabolism is the reason,causing the medication to be effective for a shorter lengthof time. Or, that the drug interacts with the body'shormones in a way that the drug becomes trapped in the bodyfat instead of circulating in the bloodstream.

Studies with obese pregnant women show they are 50% morelikely to die during pregnancy than those of normal weight.Complications such as miscarriage, gestational diabetes,hypertension, pre-eclampsia, pre-term labor, and stillbirthare also more common. Preliminary evidence shows thatbabies are also adversely affected, and are more likely tobe obese themselves in later life.

Fast foods: Studies show that people who frequent fast foodoutlets twice a week or more gained 36 pounds over thecourse of 15 years compared to 26 pounds for those thatfrequented them once a week or less.

A major factor for the obesity crisis is a sedentarylifestyle, not enough exercise, and the eating of highcalorie fast foods in place of nutritious natural foodproducts.

Fast food is designed to promote consumption of the maximumnumber of calories in the minimum amount of time. Thisupsets the body's normal metabolism. One solution is to eatsmaller, more nutritious, meals more frequently throughoutthe day.

Physical activity reduces the effects of being overweight,but healthy eating habits have to be followed to preventdisease associated with poor nutrition according to anexpert of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard Schoolof Public Health.

The new diet guidelines set by the Health and Human Servicesand the U.S. Department of Agriculture is basically abalanced diet and good old fashioned exercise. They stressmore fruits, vegetables, whole grains and limit fats, sugar,alcohol, and salt.

Many supermarkets are open 24 hours a day making a choice ofhealthy food available at all times.

For more tips on how to lose weight safely see The Secret toWeight Loss at:

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