America’s obesity epidemic seems to know no bounds. Right now, roughly 65% of Americans are overweight or obese. And a new study says that the way things are going, 75% of U.S. adults will be overweight by 2015. And 41%, dangerously close to half the population, will be obese.
This grave forecast comes from researchers at the world- renown Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Their conclusion is based on 20 studies, as well as national surveys of people’s weight and lifestyle.
The country’s collective growing waistline raises the risk of a flurry of health problems: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, reproductive problems, and cancer. These represent the true danger of being overweight or obese.
The researchers also predicted that one-quarter of all children will be overweight by 2015. They used body mass index (BMI) to show who is obese. This is calculated as such: weight (kg) divided by your height (meters) squared (height times height). Most experts agree that it’s important to know your BMI. To convert to metric, divide your weight in pounds by 2.2 and multiply your height in feet by 0.3048. Then do the BMI calculation.
If you score a BMI of 25 or more, you are considered overweight. Obesity strikes when the number climbs over 30. In every age group and racial group, obesity rates are on the rise. Researchers predict that it will overtake smoking and become the number one leading preventable cause of death at some point.
It has been proven beyond any doubt that watching what you eat and exercising a bit every day is the best way to shed pounds. And to keep that weight off. That’s because you are actively changing your habits and lifestyle, so you are more likely to continue eating right and working out for decades.
A number of supplements are purported to help the body shed pounds. Here are the ones for which evidence is positive and which may help in a very real way:
— Conjugated Linoleic Acid: Reduces body fat but not overall body weight — Chitosan (from shells): Studies find both benefit and no result — Hydroxycitric acid: Reduces weight by suppressing appetite or interfering with the metabolism of fat — Chromium: A mineral that helps control diabetes and helps you shed pounds — Vitamin C: Can help significantly overweight people — Guar gum: A fiber that can help with weight reduction — Glucomannan: A fiber that does the same — Pyruvate: Improves the overall composition of your body — Hydroxymethylbutyrate: Studies show a decreased fat mass and increased lean body mass — 5-HTP: Can reduce intake of calories despite you eating the same foods as before