It's 2009, and there are as many overweight and obese people as ever. Obesity in the United States continues to increase, with men and women in racial and ethnic minority populations more likely to be obese. Obesity is strongly correlated with type II diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. The risk for developing diabetes increases by 25% for each additional unit of body mass index (BMI). In the U.S., 40% of type II diabetes patients had BMIs greater than 30.
Meanwhile, there are more approaches to weight loss than ever. Perhaps no one method will prevail. It may be that weight loss has to be individually determined, but there is no shortage of techniques reported to promote weight loss. Here are some of the more popular ones.
Prepackaged meals. Some medical studies have shown that use of prepackaged diet meals can help with weight loss, but the maintenance aspect was more complicated.
Meal Replacement Formula Drinks. These have been shown to promote weight loss for up to 4 to 5 years when used regularly along with a reasonable diet and exercise program.
Social Support. Programs like Weight Watchers have weekly meetings, and online chat rooms and forums where members can discuss personal weight loss issues and converse with nutritionists and trainers. Some dieters say that the support of others makes all the difference in achieving their weight loss goals.
Public Health Efforts. With obesity rates increasing in children, communities are studying school lunch and snack programs and trying to make changes to healthier meals and snack options.
Exercise that's Fun. There is a saying that the best exercise is the one you'll actually do. In other words, if it bores you, or doesn't produce results, you won't stick with it. New exercise options include activities like salsa dancing, belly dancing, and even exotic dancing.
Whole Family Approaches to Weight Loss. Parents and children exercise and cook together to make healthy weight management a family function. This is good for the health of the entire family.
Foods with a Bonus. Special yogurt designed to aid in digestion, extra fortified cereals and meal bars, even juices with added omega-3 fatty acids and calcium are available and make nutrition more convenient.
Medical Procedures. This includes not only cosmetic surgery for trouble spots like abdomen and thighs, but also weight loss surgery such as gastric bypass and lapband procedures. There are newer fat loss treatments called lipodissolve that claim to melt cellulite selectively. These procedures involve injection of phosphatidylcholine and sodium deoxycholate directly into problem fat areas. It is touted as a less invasive form of liposuction.
As weight gain continues to be problematic, particularly in western countries, the drive to find ways to combat it stays strong. The good news is that there are more options than ever for coping with weight loss. Because such an array of options can be overwhelming, it is vital that those wanting to lose weight do research before committing to any one solution, particularly if it is a drastic solution such as weight loss surgery.
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