Obesity is a chronic disease affecting more and more children, adolescents and adults. The longer a person is obese, the more significant obesity related risk factors become. Given the fact that obesity is difficult to treat, prevention is extremely important.
Steps you can take to help prevent obesity
- Gradually work to change the family eating habits and activity levels. Change the habits and the weight will take care of itself.
- Be a role model. Parents who eat healthy foods and are physically active sets an example for their children as well.
- Encourage physical activity. More than an hour of activity may promote weight loss and subsequent maintenance.
- Reduce the time in front of T.V and computers and stop being a couch potato.
- Eat only when hungry and chew slowly. Take small bites.
- Avoid using food as a reward or withholding food as a punishment.
- Keep the refrigerator stocked with fat-free or low-fat milk and fresh fruits and vegetables, instead of soft drinks and snacks high in sugar.
- Serve at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
- Drink water rather than preserved beverages.
- Choose whole grain foods.
- Avoid highly processed foods made with refined white sugar, flour and saturated fats.
- Avoid foods that have a lot of calories in a small amount of food.
- Weight and measure food to gain an understanding of portion sizes.
- Weigh yourself regularly.
While you may want to lose weight for societal or fashion reason, it may be important to consider that losing as little as 5 percent to 10 percent of body weight will have a positive effect on your health.
The goal of obesity treatment is to reach and stay at a healthy weight. Adapting healthy eating habits, increased physical activity and regular exercise are the keys to treating obesity. Prescription weight loss medications and weight loss surgery, on doctor’s advice, are also the options for treating obesity, if you are unable to reduce weight with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
No two people are alike, so it’s important to create a weight loss plan that works for you. Regardless of what diet or exercise plan you follow, losing weight slowly will be more effective and healthy over the long-term because quick weight loss often spurs weight to regain.