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Weight Control

Multidimensional Programs Needed To Fight Obesity

With more than 300,000 deaths per year due to obesity, wellness programs are reinventing themselves to combat the condition.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s day, Americans gain between five and 10 pounds and consume two pounds of fat.

Research says 55 percent of all adults are overweight. If the trend continues, experts say within a few generations virtually every U.S. adult will be overweight, plus one-third of all children.

So what is the solution?

"It is not simply a nutrition problem," according to Dr. Earl Mindell, a nutritionist and expert on vitamins, dietary supplements and nutrition and the author of the "Vitamin Bible."

Mindell is convinced for permanent weight loss, individuals need to seek programs that require a multidimensional approach that includes a healthy but simple eating plan, exercises, behavioral strategies and goal setting. A successful program should include a thermogenics aspect that does not stress the adrenal system. Thermogenics is the metabolic process by which we maintain our body temperature by burning our stored body fat as fuel.

"Overweight and obesity pose a major public health challenge," according to Dr. Claude Lenfant, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute director.

The American Heart Association has added obesity to its list of major risk factors for heart disease and heart attacks. Obesity is a reason why so many Americans have elevated cholesterol and blood pressure levels. It also is linked to stroke, diabetes, premature death and asthma, according to the association.

The trend in the prevalence of overweight and obesity is increasing, according to the National Health Examinations Survey.

Fad diets and fat substitutes are not the answers to weight loss; in fact, they are a big part of the problem, according to researchers at the Institute of Food Technologies and Herb Research Association.

Caloric restrictions alone are not a good long-term strategy for weight loss, but for some people, cutting back on calories can lead to health risk, according to the National Institute of Health.

© 2003 Health Resources Publishing