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An estimated 60 percent of Americans aged 20 years and older are considered overweight and one-quarter are considered obese. Obesity is most often the result of inactivity, unhealthy diet and bad eating habits, pregnancy, and certain medical conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome and hypothyroidism.
Obesity significantly increases risk of developing conditions such as:
- Heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol level
- Breathing disorders, including sleep apnea
- Gallbladder disease
- Increased risk of cancers such as colon and breast cancers
- Gynecologic problems, such as infertility and irregular periods
- Erectile dysfunction
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- Metabolic syndrome
- Depression and low self-esteem
- Discrimination and social isolation
There are countless weight-loss strategies available in United States but many are short-term and ineffective. Many obese people try different diet programs and use over the counter medications or herbal therapies. However, less than 5% succeed in losing a significant amount of weight. Majority of people gain the weight back soon after they stop the diet program.
DIET AND EXERCISE
A successful weight loss program needs supervision of a healthcare professional who can implement individualized diet and exercise program. FDA approved medications are also added when indicated to help lose weight and maintain it.
Dietary Modification and physical activity are cornerstones to a successful weight loss program. A diet should restrict your calorie intake, but maintain your nutrition. A healthy eating plan is low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, salt, and added sugar. In general, to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week, you should cut back your calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 calories a day. Women are encouraged to restrict their daily calorie intake to 1200-1500 calories per day. Men are encouraged to restrict their daily calorie intake to 1500-1800 per day.
Physical activity greatly increases your chance of long-term weight loss. It is a key component for any long-term weight management program, particularly weight-loss surgery. Calorie restriction alone, will slow your metabolism. Daily physical activity can help boost your metabolism, helping you lose weight and keep weight off over time. Exercising also:
- Lower your risk for heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure
- Strengthen your muscles and slow bone loss
- Give you more energy in morning time
- Help you relax and better cope with stress
- Help you sleep better at night
- Help you concentrate better at work
- Give a sense of well-being
Weight-loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, is an option for some patients. It is usually not covered by health insurances unless the patient has tried at least 6 months of diet and exercise as well as weight loss medication under the supervision of a certified healthcare professional.