What is being overweight?
Overweight and obesity are both defined by Body Mass Index or BMI (which is a ratio of weight to height). A BMI between 25 and 30 places someone in an overweight category and 30 or higher is considered obese.
The classifications of overweight and obese are not simply labels; there is a dramatic increase in the likelihood of disease as people increase their BMI, such as:
- Coronary artery disease (CAD)
- Certain cancers
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol and triglycerides
- Sleep apnea
- Type 2 diabetes
The cost of being overweight
Obesity itself is not what causes the harm; it is the diseases that are associated with obesity that cause the harm. The costs of these diseases and syndromes are enormous, and that doesn't even begin to calculate the personal, physical, and emotional problems associated with increased BMI.
- Obese people are expected to live 2-4 years less than someone with a healthy weight; the extremely obese (BMI over 40) have 8-10 years taken off their life expectancy. i
- More than one-third of adults in the U.S. are considered overweight and another one-third are obese.
- The medical costs associated with obesity are estimated at over $150 billion dollars.
- Obese people cost an average of $1,429 more in medical services per year than someone who is normal weight.
What can I do to control my weight?
There is much you can do to control your weight. First of all, there are no easy answers. Reducing and maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best tools we have to forestall or avoid many diseases.
2. Boost Your Metabolism: Maintaining or increasing your lean body mass (muscles) is your best bet for keeping your metabolism going strong. There are a variety of supplements that can help with your metabolism as well.
3. Leucine: The amino acid leucine is great at helping maintain muscle mass, especially in people who are cutting calories and exercising. ii
4. Protein: Not only does protein help you feel full longer, it also helps you keep your lean body mass. Starting the morning with a good protein or protein shake helps you feel full longer. iii
5. Fiber: The benefits of fiber on weight loss are many. Studies have shown that fiber can help you feel full, support blood sugar, and it helps remove cholesterol from the body as part of a healthy diet.iv
i Whitlock G, Lewington S, Sherliker P, et al. Body-mass index and cause-specific mortality in 900 000 adults: collaborative analyses of 57 prospective studies. Lancet. 2009 Mar 28;373(9669):1083-96 PMID: 19299006.
ii Wayne Westcott, Jose Varghese, Nicholas DiNubile, et al. Exercise and Nutrition More Effective than Exercise Alone for Increasing Lean Weight and Reducing Resting Blood Pressure. Journal of Exercise Physiologyonline. 2011 Aug; 14(4): 120-133.
iii Leidy HJ, Bossingham MJ, Mattes RD, Campbell WW. Increased dietary protein consumed at breakfast leads to an initial and sustained feeling of fullness during energy restriction compared to other meal times. Br J Nutr. 2009 Mar;101(6):798-803. PMID: 19283886.
iv Pal S, Khossousi A, Binns C, Dhaliwal S, Ellis V. The effect of a fibre supplement compared to a healthy diet on body composition, lipids, glucose, insulin and other metabolic syndrome risk factors in overweight and obese individuals. Br J Nutr. 2011 Jan;105(1):90-100. PMID: 20727237.
Thanks to Shaklee for putting together this fabulous information.