Miracle diets won’t fix obesity rate

By Danielle McLaughlin
February 4, 2010

Shannon Keough

In America, two thirds of all adults are overweight or obese. This is a shocking statistic especially when you realize how many people you personally know that fall into this statistic. So what exactly is to blame for the increasing rate of obesity in America? Is it the food we consume or the lifestyle we live?

Food is not to blame for the increasing rate of obesity. The amount of food consumed in one sitting and being uneducated about the right portion size is a big factor and accounts for part of the reason why people are drastically gaining weight.

America has developed the attitude that bigger is better. When referring to portion size and waistlines, this isn’t true or healthy.

Food has become more of a want than a need and while there are people starving in parts of the world, some are stuffing their faces when they’re not even hungry.

Some people think that in order to lose weight they have to starve themselves and drastically limit the types of food they can consume. This is 100 percent incorrect. In order to maintain your weight you can eat a normal amount of food as long as you exercise at least three to four times a week.

In the past year I have managed to lose over 45 pounds. People always ask me, “How did you do it?” I’m sorry to say there’s no secret overnight remedy to weight loss. Diet, exercise and a little help from Weight Watchers has lead me to my success. The minute I started reading the nutrition facts on foods, down- sizing my portions and hitting the gym, I saw the changes I wanted to see. It was a total lifestyle change, which is why I believe food isn’t to blame for America’s increasing waistlines.

Personally, I love to eat and Weight Watchers is a great weight loss plan because you can still eat all the foods you love and go out to eat. The difference is that you just have to make smarter choices at restaurants and limit your portions. The only catch to going on a diet is that you have to be willing to change your lifestyle. A diet doesn’t have to be this terrible deprivation that most people make it out to be. It feels good to be more healthy and active.

Did anyone ever notice that as technology progresses so does obesity? More people are taking the elevator instead of the stairs and driving instead of walking. Although these don’t seem like life-altering choices, the decision to choose technology over physical activity has really taken a toll on our country. For those who don’t regularly go to the gym, walking up the stairs is the only activity some people get during the day. More people working in offices and less people doing physical labor has also helped America’s obesity statistic rise.

Unfortunately when people develop an unhealthy lifestyle, it is often passed down to younger generations. Adult obesity isn’t the only form of obesity our nation is concerned with. Childhood obesity has seen a drastic climb in the past couple of years. In fact, 15 percent (about 9 million) of children aged six to 17 are obese. More kids are coming home from school and going on the computer, playing video games or watching TV rather than going outside and doing physical activities.

What is the solution to obesity? I believe if people get educated about food and realize when their body is actually hungry vs. when you feel like eating for no reason we can hopefully start to decrease the rate of obesity.

Danielle McLaughlin

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