Americans missing the skinny; obesity rates rise

Black and Hispanic Americans are more prone to obesity than White and Asian Americans.

Obesity is when the body carries excess body fat, that may .

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 60 million American adults, 30 percent the country’s population above the age of 20, are regarded as obese.

I t also reported that black women are at a higher risk for being obese than black men. “Obesity is associated with many health problems,” said Carole Bullock, a registered dietitian.

Obesity accounts for numerous health complications including heart disease, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, strokes, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, dyslipidemia, respiratory problems and cancer.

According to the CDC, overweight individuals tend to have endometrial, breast, and colon cancer.

“My aunt is overweight and suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes,” said Derrick Sampson, 18, a freshman general studies student from Ohio.

The American Obesity Association reports a body mass index of 25 or more indicates obesity, while a BMI of 40 or higher is serve obesity.

There are many factors that lead to obesity such as genetics and lifestyle.

With proper diet and exercise, obesity can be reversed. One meal at a fast food restaurant can equal a days worth of calories. Many overweight individuals experience food allergy, which is food addiction.

Maintaining healthy eating habits and exercise will accelerate weight loss. The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion reported greater consumption of fruits and vegetables (five-13 servings) is associated with a reduced risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases.

More fruits and vegetables also reduce risk of cancers in certain sites, the mouth and pharynx, larynx, lungs, esophagus, stomach, and colon.

But it takes more than vegetables and fruit to facilitate weight loss. “To achieve weight loss, a person must eat three balanced meals a day. Limit or avoid sodas, fried and fatty foods,” Bullock said.

According to, a balanced diet provides proper amounts of fats, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and water. Bullock recommended small changes over a period of time. The changes must be made moderately; if not, the changes may become overwhelming.

“Our diet is based on foods found in restaurants and the grocery store. It’s more like a lifestyle instead of a diet. We don’t want to put you on a diet,” said Judy Wolf, area manager at LA Weight Loss.

“We want to permanently change your way of life. You will never be hungry on this program. Exercise is a great thing, but you don’t have to exercise to make our program work. It’s all about eating right,” Wolf said.

“So far I’ve lost eight pounds by changing my eating habits and working out at least three times a week,” said Paula Abdullah, 20, an elementary education student from Miami.

Abdullah said it was hard at first to lose the weight. “Diet and exercise is more like a discipline. It takes dedication,” Abdullah said.

The CDC reports 50 percent of American adults do not get enough physical activity. Also, 25 percent of adults are not at all active in their leisure time.

According to walking at a moderate pace for 30-60 minutes burns stored fat and can build muscle to speed up your metabolism. reports 80 percent college women diet and exercise. But many use unhealthy dieting practices such skipping meals, smoking cigarettes, laxatives and vomiting. Only 19 percent exercised to the level they would need to lose weight.

According to the CDC, adults should participate in some form of physical rigorous activity for 30 minutes to lose weight; children and teenagers should exercise for one hour at least everyday.

“Diet and exercise go hand in hand with weight loss. There must be some form of physical activity or movement,” Bullock said.

“A can of beans or soup weighs about 16 ounces, or one pound, and makes great arm weights,” Bullock said.

Contact Melissa L. Louis at