This blog was written by Samantha Whiteside. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.
Supersize portions. Hydrogenated and over-processed foods. Lack of activity and responsibility. Decreased nutrient-rich foods in school systems. All of these reasons and more have led America to be the most obese country in the world.
Obesity is defined as having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more. Obesity a risk factor for not just heart disease and high blood pressure, but also for osteoarthritis, gallbladder disease, high cholesterol and triglycerides, respiratory problems, cancer, sleep apnea, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and a decrease in life expectancy.
How much of a drain is this epidemic on our society? Obesity kills approximately 300,000 people in the United States every year and we spend $117 billion annually on obesity-related healthcare.
Do I have your attention yet?
Tips for Living a Healthier Life
Wonder what you can do to lead a healthier life? Here are a few tips to take you into 2011 and beyond:
- Get more active—every day.
- Focus your diet on fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and low-fat dairy.
- Participate in corporate wellness programs.
- Sign up for a gym; or if your company has a worksite fitness center, begin using it.
- Take part in employee health fairs, classes, and health promotion trainings.
- Stay educated. If your employer has onsite wellness staff, use them as your go-to resource.
- Reduce your daily stress. Take advantage of worksite stress-management classes.
Obesity is no longer a silent epidemic. Obesity is screaming, shaking both fists, and asking everyone to step up to the plate and make a change.
After all, how much value is really in a value meal?