Article #12: Obesity
Did You Know?
BMI is one measure thatís used to determine if someone is at a healthy weight.
What does BMI stand for?
a. Body Mass Index
b. Body Measure Indicator
c. Bone Measure Index
d. Bone Mass Indicator
BMI stands for Body Mass Index, which is a calculation based on your height and your weight. This simple calculator
(just put in your height and weight and it will give you your BMI and also the range you want to be in for your height.) will help you to calculate your BMI.
Obesity gets a lot of press these days. When the First Lady makes it a personal mission, you know itís a big deal. And rightly so. In the past 30 years, the percentage of obesity in children has tripled. (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/obesity/
) Now, nearly one in five kids is obese. Simply defined, obesity is too much body fat. It can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a high risk for cardiovascular disease.
Itís about energy (or calories) in and energy out. If you donít put more in than you can burn off (through exercise, and daily chores and duties), then you will maintain or gain weight. Eat healthy foods, increase your activity, and youíll see changes in your body in a few weeks.
Donít stress over how big the problem is. Better to arm yourself with some solid strategies to keep your body in balance.
1. You are what you eat:
Watching what you eat does wonders, particularly between-meal snacks. Reach for a piece of fruit or crunchy vegetable rather than processed, high sodium, high saturated fat snacks (French fries!). Limit the amount you eat of any one thing (portion control), and donít over eat. Itís a better feeling to leave the table less-than-totally full. Learn to make a few items from scratch, so youíre not always stuck with munching on the bad stuff.
2. Donít drink your weight:
Itís tricky. Many of the drinks you might enjoy, even juices, are full of sugars like high fructose corn syrup, sodium, and empty calories. Get in the habit of having your own portable water bottle with you. Or, reach for a glass of low fat milk. Soon, youíll find youíre drinking more of the good stuff than the bad.
3. Screen Limits:
Computers, video games, TV. Theyíre not going away, but you can step away from them. Youíre not expending very much energy, even in an intense game. Try and limit your time in front of a screen to two hours a day.
4. Move it:
Expending energy and burning off calories is as simple as setting the body in motion. Try and work toward exercising an hour a day. Get out and walk a bit, especially after a big meal. With a cell phone, you can even talk and walk. See the Exercise
section, for tips on breaking it up and getting it done.
Involve your family members and friends. Living well is habit-forming, and you can keep each other honest and healthy.
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