Obesity not only takes a toll on your health but your wallet as well, as it costs $147 billion each year in direct medical costs and nearly 10 percent of all medical spending in the U.S.
Roughly one in three Americans are considered obese. An obese person could spend as much as $4,870 per year on health care expenses on Medicare, which is about 41 percent more than a normal weight person spends at $3,400.
Prescription drugs are the majority of medical expenses and can cost an obese person upwards of $1,300 a year, which is 80 percent more than the $700 an average weight person spends.
“…the clear link between rising rates of obesity and increasing medical costs is alarming, but not unexpected,” …the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation said in a statement. “Obesity is the driver of so many chronic conditions — heart disease, diabetes, cancer — that generate the exorbitant costs that are crushing our health-care system,” she said.
“The only way to show real savings in health expenditures in the future is through efforts to reduce the prevalence of obesity and related health conditions,” study author [and] director, RTI Public Health Economics Program, said.
Are you trying to eat right? You're probably overwhelmed with dieting tips and information--some good and some downright incorrect. Just when you thought you knew what you were doing, another new study comes out and changes everything.
The Fat and Skinny on Fat
Doctors and dieting gurus have been harping on staying away from saturated fats, but the latest news challenges all that. Surprisingly, new evidence from a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine questions popular advice to cut out saturated fats and to eat polyunsaturated fats to prevent heart disease (and weight gain).
In the University of Cambridge study, researchers found no evidence supporting dietary guidelines of avoiding saturated fats to reduce heart disease risk. They also found that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acid supplements didn't have any significant effect on reducing cardiovascular disease either. Rather than focusing on macronutrients, we should consider the food groups our meals are based on.
Fat is still… fat
So, what do you do now? Should you start eating saturated fats with abandon? Not exactly. Until further research proves saturated fats are completely harmless, the secret to staying healthy, losing weight and lessening your chances of heart disease is still the same advice: eat a healthy diet, stay active and don’t smoke.
Over recent years many people have been reaching for artificial sweeteners, thinking that it’s healthier than the real thing. It turns out that your tastebuds don’t know the difference between sugar and sweetener — but your brain does.
A new study out of the Netherlands used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain responses in people sipping two different orangeade drinks — one mixed with sugar and another mixed with four artificial sweeteners (aspartame, acesulfame K, cyclamate and saccharin).
The sugar and sweeteners were found to stimulate the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that detects pleasure. Only the sugared drink stimulated the caudate in the brain, showing that the human brain can tell the difference between a caloric drink and a noncaloric one.
Other research on artificially sweetened beverages include:
They can activate parts of the brain that create appetite, but do not satiate it.
Increased appetite has been found to occur in people who don’t consume artificially sweetened beverages often.
People who drink artificially sweetened beverages regularly tend to weigh more than those who don’t.
For those who consume a lot of artificially sweetened beverages, however, their brains, can become used to the sweeteners and may not necessarily cause them to eat more.
When you sit down to eat, do you savor it slowly or do you gobble it up in record time? Did you know that eating quickly can make you gain weight because your body hasn't registered how full your stomach really is?
Well, that's not the only news. Taking your time to eat can help prevent you from overeating, but there's a difference in how this affects your body, depending on whether you're considered normal weight, overweight or obese. Read on for more details.
Eating quickly can make you gain weight because your body hasn't registered how full your stomach is. Taking your time to eat can help prevent you from overeating, but how this affects your body depends on whether you're considered normal weight, overweight or obese.
Bite for bite, pound for pound
In the study published by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, two groups were observed: one group of normal-weight individuals and another of overweight and obese individuals. Both groups were asked to consume two meals, one at a slow pace with no time constraints in mind in which they were asked to stop and put the spoon down in between bites, and a second one at a fast speed with an imagined time constraint, large bites and quick chewing without putting the spoon down for breaks.
Both the normal-weight and overweight groups were less hungry after eating the slower meal.
They also tended to drink more water, which could have affected the amount of calories they consumed.
What can we learn from this? Taking our time and enjoying our meals—healthy food, mind you—we can ensure we'll be taking in a proper amount of calories. Plus, don't forget your H2O…
Friends can be very influential in the way we dress, speak and even eat. So does that mean who we hang around with can make us fat? Obese, even? Researchers decided to look into this to see if that's the case.
What did researchers find?
Turns out that the people around us can affect what we eat and how much, according to findings from several studies published in The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
I'll Have What She's Having
When people know that others in the group are eating low-calorie food, it makes them more likely to want to eat the same, the data said. The same went for high-calorie food. People also ate similar quantities of food just to fit in. When eating in group settings, people tend to eat like their friends do, whether it's healthy or not.
Real Friends Don't Let Friends Eat Junk
Eating is a social behavior and we can use it for good. When dining out or having friends over for a dinner party, set a healthy trend. Select healthier options on the menu and opt to split a large dish to cut calories. Serve a nutritious spread of fruits, veggies and smaller-portioned foods at your next party.
Overeating and making the wrong food choices can make you gain weight, so it's especially important to mind what you eat when in the company of friends. Be the one to make the first move!
Need to lose weight?
Whether it's 10 or 20 pounds or more, Dr. Aron is here to listen and help. Read more about her medical weight loss program in New York.
Credits: Image courtesy of Ambro, FreeDigitalPhotos. Article source eurekalert
While overeating and under-exercising in general is one sure-fire way to pack on the pounds, if you experience a minor slip-up, you can stay on track as long as you keep up with your exercise. Both exercise and diet are critical to your success, but it’s good to know you don't always have to be perfect.
Here are a few ideas for staying active and losing weight this winter season.
Stay Active and Smart
Get your family on board with planning healthier menus for gatherings
Only take a few bites of a dessert without overindulging
Plan to take a walk outdoors right after dinner
Create ways to burn extra calories such as walking laps around the mall while shopping sales or using the stairs several times a day
Go ice skating or play ice hockey for outdoor exercise
Get the blood pumping at the gym if it’s too cold outside
How to Enjoy your Holidays and Keep the Weight Off
Whether it’s hanukkah or halloween, superbowl sunday or super-love valentine’s day, temptations always exist.
Indulge in a few too many latkes?
Swipe a couple extra frosting-and-sprinkled sugar cookies?
Drank a little more eggnog than you’d care to admit?
You can still work Off the Weight
Celebrating the holidays doesn’t have to derail your new year weight loss resolution. A recent study published in the Journal of Physiology found that if you continue to exercise daily —even in short bursts— then your few extra nibbles won’t do much harm.
In a Bath University week-long study of 26 healthy young men, all were asked to overeat.
Half exercised for 45 minutes daily, while the other half remained inactive
The non-exercising group ate 50% more calories, while the exercising group overate by 75%.
The results: In just one week, the non-exercising group experienced a decline in blood sugar control. The exercising group, however, exhibited stable blood sugar levels. Additionally, “the activation of genes within fat cells in the non-exercising group were also found to be negatively changed to those levels needed for a well-functioning metabolism.”
Looking to improve your health and need some guidance?
Dr. Oksana Aron of WeightLossNYC™ is here to help you reach your healthy weight loss goals. Give us a call at 718-491-5525 for your initial consultation. Make this year your year to shine.
Her clinic specializes in treatment of obesity, overweight persons, who have struggled to lose weight via other methods and are seeking medical help.
Sometimes, the only person standing in the way of your own success is staring straight back at you in the mirror. How many times have you sabotaged your weight loss plans? How many times did you give up too soon?
You’re not the only one. Losing weight is just as tough mentally as it is physically. If you can get your mind in shape first, the rest of your body will follow. Do any of the following excuses sound familiar?
I’m too tired
Did you know that regular exercise could actually boost your energy? Perhaps you need to kick it up a notch—or get started on an exercise regime—in order to feel refreshed and start losing some weight.
I don’t have enough time
We always have more time than we think. How many hours a day do you spend watching silly stuff on YouTube? Reading the paper? Clicking through the channels? Swap those idle times for doing something healthy such as taking walks or learning to cook healthy food to set your weight loss goals in action.
I don’t want to get injured
If you start off easy and take baby steps, there won’t be any need to worry about injuring yourself from light exercise. Try working out with a friend or family member and go at your own pace. Or, work with a trainer who can customize a workout for you.
It’ll be too expensive
Eating healthier foods will save you money in the long run. Whole foods are cheaper than packaged, processed foods, and they'll keep you healthier, which means your health care costs will be cheaper as well. Special diet foods aren't required.
You don’t need a gym membership
… If you can stay motivated and work out on your own. Walking, jogging, stair climbing, riding bikes and swimming don’t cost you a thing. You can also check out your local community center for low-cost fitness classes.
There are countless excuses that get in the way of losing weight. No matter what yours is, today could be the first day to a healthier life if you first switch to a positive attitude.
Don’t delay another day to improve your lifestyle and lose weight
WeightLossNYC will show you how to lose weight and feel great while you’re at it. Schedule your initial consultation by calling 718-491-5525 or visit our website at WeightLossNYC.com