We often hear about an “epidemic” of obesity. This past year, the American Medical Association deemed obesity a disease (AMA 2013). A lot of people have a hard time associating the term “disease” with obesity because body weight is within our control . . . or is it?
Obesity has many properties of diseases, including a genetic prevalence and associations with other diseases or conditions like diabetes, hypertension and certain cancers. Obesity causes losses of certain functions and creates pathological conditions that increase morbidity.
Researchers have established that obesity is associated with increased mortality risk. However, a study suggests that the severity of this risk may have been underestimated.
Published in Population Health Metrics (2014; doi:10.1186/1478-7954-12-6), the study looked at mortality and body mass index in nonsmoking adults aged 50–84. Data was pulled from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (1988–1994 and 1999–2004) and linked to the National Death Index through 2006.
The fitness industry is, by its own admission, good at “getting fit people fitter.” But with marketing materials rife with lithe, blond 20-somethings in revealing, brand-name yoga gear, it’s not surprising that people who are overweight and deconditioned find it hard to buy into the very fitness services that could help them shed pounds for good.
Mary Jayne Rogers, PhD, a 30-year veteran of the health and wellness industry, is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As owner of Profound Wellness, LLC, she provides expert commentary for leading publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Shape and SELF. Rogers has earned several industry accolades, among them the IHRSA/CYBEX Fitness Director of the Year Award and the IHRSA/Keiser 50+ Award for excellence in mature adult programming. Rogers specializes in whole-person wellness and fitness education and instruction.
Faced with many of the same challenges the U.S. has in terms of mounting rates of overweight, obesity and related chronic disease among its citizens, the Brazilian Ministry of Health recently released an unconventional new set of dietary guidelines. Unlike the nutrient-based American guidelines, Brazil’s focus more on sensible, mindful preparation and consumption of food.
Three overarching principles set the stage for the 10 guidelines:
Thank you for including my voice in the Tricks of the Trade column [January 2014] that discussed body image. Many people have contacted me about the issue, tell- ing me I am an inspiration to them. They want my advice on how to get through this size-zero world living as a plus-size trainer. Wow, I am overwhelmed by the thanks I am receiving. Trainers and everyday women have appreciated my story and say they hope one day to inspire as I am doing. Thank you. I can’t tell you how much this means to me.
Queens Village, New York
As obesity continues to maintain a stranglehold on the teenage population, experts search for solutions to the potentially fatal disease. When it comes to exercise, a combination of cardiovascular and strength training is best, according to researchers from São Paulo.
Michol Dalcourt is an internationally recognized expert in human movement and performance. He is the founder and director of the Institute of Motion, inventor of the ViPR™ fitness tool, and cofounder of Personal Training Academy Global (PTA Global). An international lecturer and educator, Dalcourt has written numerous articles on human design and function, and he has developed a widely used model for high-performance training.
Family meals and their rituals might be an underappreciated battleground for fighting obesity, say Cornell professor Brian Wansink, PhD, and coauthor Ellen Van Kleef, assistant professor at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. Their study appeared online in Obesity on October 1, 2013.