It's enough to make a fitness coach cry.
Despite having an arsenal of fitness tools at our finger tips in this country, a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that most Americans--more than two thirds--are overweight or obese. This study was conducted by researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who studied data from 2007 to 2012 of a nationally representative group of 15,208 people ages 25 or older.
The results corroborated estimates by the Centers for Disease Control:
For the record, being overweight means a person's body mass index is 25-29.9 and they weigh 25-30 pounds over the recommended weight for their height. Being obese means a person's BMI is 30 or greater, and they are at least 30 pounds over the recommended weight for their height.
What difference does it make if you're overweight or obese? "Excessive body weight is associated with a myriad of health risks including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, osteoarthritis, some types of cancer, pregnancy complications, shortened life expectancy, and decreased quality of life," says the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Beyond that, the CDC estimates that yearly medical costs of obesity in the U.S. reached $147 billion in 2008, the latest data available.
But losing weight is hard, you say? Then let me ask you this--is suffering from one of the maladies listed above any easier? I'm reminded of a quote I saw recently: "Losing weight is hard. Being overweight is hard. Choose your hard." I have friends battling cancer, and I assure you, losing weight is a preferable challenge.
If you find yourself in the overweight or obese category--two out of three of us will!--I'd like to suggest some simple actions to get you started on your mission to a healthier weight. Using the 2/3 ratio as inspiration, start with at least one of these tomorrow, then add another one the next day, and so on:
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Molly is a wife, mom,
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I am not a registered dietitian, nor a medical professional. My blog is a representation of my views and experiences, which are not intended as medical advice. While I am a certified personal trainer, descriptions of things I eat and exercises I perform may not be suitable for everyone. Please speak with a medical professional before making any changes to your current routine.