Slow and Steady Wins the Weight Loss Race

With a majority of adults in the United States being overweight or obese, looking at ways to become healthy can help reduce the risk for health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Slow and steady is the key to an effective weight loss plan. Simply cutting back on calories, choosing healthier foods, and increasing physical activity can help you achieve a healthier body.

Overweight and Obesity in America

More than 65 percent of American adults are either overweight or obese. More than half of those adults are considered obese. Obesity in children has tripled since the 1970s. Most recent numbers indicate that, overall, about 17 percent of children and adolescents in the United States between the ages of 2 and 17 are obese.

What Is the Cause?

In general, Americans are consuming more calories and getting less physical activity than they did historically. In the 1990s, Americans were consuming 200 more calories per day, on average, than they did in the 1970s. Assuming activity level stayed the same, an increased caloric intake of that degree could result in a 1-pound weight gain every two to three weeks (or about 20 pounds in a year).
Believe it or not, food is less expensive than it used to be, making food more accessible. Americans are spending about half as much on food as they used to. Eating out is also less expensive than it was historically, and now about 40 percent of Americans eat out on a regular basis. Meal and snack preparation is also more convenient than it used to be. The production of packaged foods and the invention of the microwave make eating easier. Unfortunately, prepackaged and premade frozen foods are rich in calories.
Modern conveniences, such as elevators and escalators, and modern entertainment, such as television and video games, also contribute to the obesity epidemic in America. People are more sedentary than ever, and many Americans get less than 30 minutes of physical activity each week.
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