No Thank You, I Do Not Want Any Fries With That!

By Plume Apparition

Obesity is on the rise; more and more of us should shout out "No thank you, I do not want any fries with my meal. Obesity means having too much body fat. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. Both terms mean that a person's weight is greater than what's considered healthy for his or her height. BMI, a standard measure to determine obesity, is calculated using weight and height.

A BMI of more than 25 is considered overweight, and more than 30 is obese. Obesity occurs over time when you eat more calories than you use. The balance between calories-in and calories-out differs for each person. Factors that might tip the balance include your genetic makeup, overeating, eating high-fat foods and not being physically active.

The bad news

Being obese increases your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, eye disease and some cancers.

The good news

If you are obese, losing even 5 to 10 percent of your weight can delay or prevent some of these diseases.

Blame it on Mom

A study by Dr. Mary Beth Terry at Columbia University in New York City of a group of 261 women born between 1959 and 1965 found that the amount of weight a woman's mother gained during pregnancy influenced her risk of being overweight at age 20 with every 10-pound increase in weight gain associated with a 65 percent greater likelihood of being overweight.

But maternal pregnancy weight gain had no effect on whether or not a woman would be overweight at age 40, suggesting that current environmental factors had a greater influence.

Mom's body mass index, as well as her own birth weight, also influenced the likelihood that the daughter would be overweight at age 20, but not at age 40.

Rapid weight gain between one and seven years of age was the only factor to influence obesity risk at both time points.

Given that people today are heavier than they were four decades ago, and that women tend to gain more weight during pregnancy (averaging 30.5 pounds in 2003), compared to 22 pounds in the early 1960s), "these trends all point to dramatic long-term consequences for the prevalence of overweight in adulthood", Terry and her team note.

Nevertheless, she added in an interview, the finds should not be interpreted as discouraging women from gaining enough weight during pregnancy. "Having a healthy weight gain and having a healthy size baby at birth is very important for reducing infant mortality." Terry said. Obesity Linked to Eye Disease

OVERWEIGHT people are urged to shape up or risk losing their eye sight. Source: The "Daily Record" in Glasgow, UK

Scientists have found a link between obesity and a range of eye problems, including glaucoma, which can lead to blindness.

They say it is common knowledge that expanding waistlines are linked to conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Now opticians warn the prospect of eye disease should also be a powerful incentive to lose weight.

Professor Michael Belkin, professor of ophthalmology at Tel Aviv University in Israel, found a link between obesity and four eye diseases that cause blindness, age-related eye degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and retinopathy.

"While this is something that most ophthalmologists know, it's not common knowledge and it should be."

"It's the risk factor that no one talks about."

BMI and colon cancer

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - For men, the risk of colon cancer increases with body weight in a nearly linear manner, a study shows. For women, the risk is more variable but still trends upward, particularly for those younger than age 67.

The findings highlight the importance of weight control for colon cancer prevention, Dr. Kenneth F. Adams, of the National Institutes of Health in Rockville, Maryland, and colleagues conclude in a report in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

They examined the association between body mass index (BMI) and colorectal cancer incidence in 307,708 men and 209,436 women enrolled in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study.

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