Excess weight interferes with health, well-being, and the ability to perform normal daily activities. Some immediate problems of excess weight include decreased mobility, fatigue, and tiredness, shortness of breath with exercise, increased sweating, back pain, and lower limb problems with feet, ankles, knees, and/or hips. Longer-term excess weight includes increased susceptibility to type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
The normal body mass index (BMI) is between 18.5 and 25, although up to 28 is acceptable for persons over age 50. Waist size measured at the navel line has also been shown to be an indicator of health risks due to obesity, regardless of actual weight. Risks are increased in adult women with a waist size greater than 35 inches (89 cm) and in adult men with a waist size greater than 40 inches (102 cm).
It is best to begin early to control a tendency to be overweight. Obesity, Body mass index is between 30 and 40. Normal body function is compromised because of excess weight. Obesity should be treated vigorously when evident. Morbid obesity, Body mass index is 40 or more. Both body functions and health are impaired. Aggressive action may be required to correct it. Weight loss surgery may be necessary if life is in jeopardy.
Most commonly, obesity is due to eating more calories (energy) than used for activity and maintenance. Occasionally, hormonal imbalances such as hypothyroidism or excessive hydrocortisone can help cause obesity.
At least 30 minutes of daily exercise for six days each week is normally recommended. An additional 30 minutes of daily activity would be wise. A good goal is to walk or run five miles a day. A carefully selected diet is important to successfully manage excessive weight. A diet low in animal fat will help.
The diet should be modified to maintain appropriate nutrition while decreasing calorie intake. A daily multiple vitamin and mineral supplement is recommended. Design a weight-reduction diet such as the following:
― Determine the estimated number of calories estimated to be needed to maintain weight based on gender, age, height, weight, and activity level.
― Choose an intake of 500-1000 calories LESS than the one estimated to maintain your current weight (but not less than a total of 1000 calories per day).
― Use your chosen daily calorie intake to determine the servings in each food group.
― Distribute these servings over 5 to 6 meals throughout waking hours.
Use low-calorie snacks to stave off hunger, such as yogurt (80-100 calories) plus a glass of water.
Strictly maintain the size and number of servings each day. Consider and treat edema and hormonal imbalances, if present. These are uncommon and most persons with excess weight can benefit from calorie management.