Who needs to have weight awareness?
Everybody does. By raising our children to appreciate life and have a healthy life style, everyone in society will benefit.
Who needs to try and lose weight?
All persons who are obese or overweight should try not to gain additional weight. In addition, those who are obese or who are overweight with other risk factors should consider losing weight. A complete health assessment by a physician is the best way to decide the right steps for you.
Maintaining a healthy weight is a major goal to reduce the burden of illness and its consequent reduction in quality of life and life expectancy. Using the body mass index (BMI) as the tool is becoming the standard for making recommendations.
The body mass index (BMI) cut-point rationale is based upon scientific observations. Recommendations to establish the upper limit of the healthy weight range is based on the relationship that over this cut point (overweight, obesity and morbid obesity) there are increased risk factors for chronic disease or premature death.
A body mass index (BMI) of less than 25 has been accepted by numerous groups as the upper limit of the healthy weight range, since chronic disease risk increases in most populations at or above this cut-point. The lower cut-point for the healthy weight range (BMI of 18.5) was selected to be consistent with national and international recommendations. Problems associated with excessive thinness (BMI less than 18.5) include menstrual irregularity, infertility, and osteoporosis. There is some concern that the increased focus on overweight may result in more eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia nervosa. However, no evidence currently exists that suggests the increased focus on weight awareness has resulted in additional cases of eating disorders.
While every person does not need to truly lose weight, everyone should be weight aware and diet aware. You do not need to lose weight if your weight is already within the healthy range, if you have gained less than 10 pounds since reaching your adult height and if you are otherwise healthy.
Physicians generally agree that people who are 20 percent or more overweight, especially those with morbidly obesity, can gain significant physical and emotional health benefits from weight loss. Many weight and obesity experts believe that people who are less than 20 percent over their healthy weight should also try to lose weight. This is especially true if they have any of the following risk factors: family history of certain chronic diseases such as heart disease or diabetes; preexisting medical conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, or high blood sugar levels.
What about children?
Children need enough of the proper foods for proper healthy growth. Fat should not be restricted for children younger than two years of age. Teach your children to eat a healthy diet. Encourage them to play actively in a safe environment, and consider limiting television time. Helping overweight children should be done carefully, with major diet changes accompanied by regular monitoring of growth by a health professional. Behavior modification is a result of regular and repeated activities that takes time to ingrain and accomplish.