Dr. James Levine studied 10 obese and 10 healthy weight (BMI) individuals who all described themselves as couch potatoes. The obese individuals were sitting 2 ½ hours more per day than the healthy weight subjects. This is a 150 minute/day difference equal to 352 calories or a 36 lb weight gain in a year! Look at www.smallstep.gov and www.americaonthemove.org for ideas to move more.
There seems to be no age limit on eating well. A study presented by Afonso MD of Wayne State University in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that a good diet reduces the risk of death, even in an elderly population with health problems. Approximately 4000 people aged 65 were studied and their diets were scored according to the Healthy Eating Index (US Dept of Agriculture). The index includes the intake of fruits and vegetables, salt, meat and beans, and oils. The researchers found that only 18% of the participants actually had a diet that that was above a score of 80 or a “good” diet.
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, knee replacements have increased 100% over the past 10 years and are expected to rise 500% by 2030. The cause of these replacements is the pain caused by traumatic injuries and osteoarthritis.
A recent study of 5547 young people, ages 12 to 19, sent up an alarming red flag. Many have high blood sugar levels, elevated cholesterol, are obese or overweight, have terrible diets, and don’t get enough exercise.
In a society where a person’s worth as a human being is often judged by their appearance, obesity is sometimes seen as the last acceptable prejudice. The overweight are insulted, humiliated and judged as lazy gluttons with no will-power and no self- control. Research studies are beginning to produce a stack of evidence that this attitude is scientifically unsustainable.