Having defined obesity in terms of waist measurement and body mass index (avoirdupois avoirdupois /av·oir·du·pois/ (av?er-dah-poiz´) (av-wahr?doo-pwah´) see under weight.
Avoirdupois weight. that threatens the health of much of the American population.
One reason we continue to bulge at the seams is failure to reduce total calories. “Low fat” and “fat-free” have become magic words on the labels of much of the prepared food we take home from the market, but if one pays attention to the rest of the label, one often finds little or no decrease in total calories, carbohydrates having been substituted for the missing fat. What is needed is an overall decrease in consumption of such foods, and an increase in such things as vegetables, fruits, and grains to satisfy hunger and provide a well-rounded diet.
Another factor in the equation is that we have become a nation of couch potatoes, eating more than we should and exercising less–yet not even a well-regulated program of exercise and a low-calorie diet will guarantee long-term weight reduction. What is required is a change in lifestyle, identifying the behavioral factors that contribute to excess weight and learning to deal with them.
Some techniques that have proved useful are:
* Keeping track of what we eat and how much we exercise, with a food diary and an exercise log.
* Managing stress with relaxation techniques of meditation.
* Changing unrealistic attitudes about weight-loss goals and body image.
* Getting social support.
As for “magic pills” that melt the body fat away, we’ve learned the hard way that such drugs as Redux and fen-phen, as well as over-the-counter weight control products with antidepressants Antidepressants
Medications prescribed to relieve major depression. Classes of antidepressants include selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (fluoxetine/Prozac, sertraline/Zoloft), tricyclics (amitriptyline/ Elavil), MAOIs (phenelzine/Nardil), and heterocyclics for weight control, but the very low calorie diet Very low calorie diet (VLCD) is a diet with very or extremely low calorie consumption per day. It is defined medically as a diet of 800 kilocalories per day or less. quickly takes weight off patients with BMIs of 27 and above (often up to 44 pounds in 12 weeks) and improves blood pressure, but it seldom keeps the weight off.
The last resort for patients unable to lose weight is surgery, which carries long-term risks that may be worse than those for too much weight. In gastric bypass gastric bypass
A surgical procedure used for treatment of morbid obesity, consisting of the severance of the upper stomach, anastomosis of the small upper pouch of the stomach to the jejunum, and closure of the distal part of the stomach. pouch is even more drastic; food goes farther down the digestive tract and the body absorbs it less.
Ask your doctor about nutritional counseling and programs that work. If you’re not overweight, alter your diet and physical activity if your weight begins to creep up.