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Posts Tagged ‘weight management’

For better and for worse, we all inherit particular characteristics from our parents. Maybe it’s our mother’s eyes, or maybe our father’s temper. Some of that is directly the result of the DNA we’ve received, and some of it comes from the influence they exerted in our environment. When it comes to our health and wellness, it can be challenging to determine whether nature or nuture has more of an impact. In some cases, it may not really matter. But when it causes you to feel powerless or apathetic about how much you can change your condition, it definitely matters.

Results of a long-term study were recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Cardiology. The study tracked data on more than 2,500 Americans who were followed from young adulthood in 1985 to 2010. One of their findings is that body mass index (BMI) as a young adult appears to be the best predictor of long-term obesity risk.

There have been other studies that have identified certain genes that have been shown to contribute to a person becoming overweight and obese. There are rare inherited causes of obesity, but this is not the case for most of the population. This recent study suggests that knowing our BMI is more beneficial than purchasing a genetic test.

Hopefully, this research can empower people to know that being obese doesn’t have to be someone’s destiny. Their healthy lifestyle choices – the foods they eat, their portion sizes, and physical activity – can result in a better quality of life.

As I reflect on my childhood, I watched my mother struggle with her weight. At one point in my early adolescence years, she lost a significant percentage of her body weight. This was mainly the result of strict dieting with little change to physical activity. Within a few years she had gained it all back and even more. She was obese for most of the years that I remember her.

My mom had a massive heart attack when she was 59-years-old. It forever changed my life and my brother’s life. She enjoyed being a grandmother to my son for 18 months, but her three granddaughters were born after her death.

None of us  know what the future may bring. We do know that research shows being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems and certain cancers. The healthy steps we take to reduce and maintain our weight can mean a better quality of life for us and for our families. May this be an encouragement today that you can make changes in your life, even if you need a little help.

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2013) Genes and obesity. at https://www.cdc.gov/genomics/resources/diseases/obesity/obesedit.htm

HealthDay: News for Healthier Living (2020) What matters more for obesity risk, genes of lifestyle? at https://consumer.healthday.com/vitamins-and-nutrition-information-27/obesity-health-news-505/what-matters-more-for-obesity-risk-genes-or-lifestyle-753678.html

Live Healthy Live Well Ohio State University Extension Family and Consumer Sciences (2019) Make healthy fast food choices. at https://livehealthyosu.com/2019/10/03/make-healthy-fast-food-choices/

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (2020) Aim for a healthy weight. at https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/

“Polygenic Risk, Fitness, and Obesity in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study,” JAMA Cardiology. DOI: 10.1001/jamacardio.2019.5220

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (2020) Nonsurgical weight management. at https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/weight-management/weight-management-nonsurgical

Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/push-ups-exercise-fitness-workout-888024/

Written by: Emily Marrison, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Coshocton County

Reviewed by: Lorrissa Dunfee, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Belmont County

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1017151259gThere are many things I love about the holiday season: the lights, cheer, traditions, time with family and friends, just to name a few. At the same time, there is one thing I dread: baked goods and sweet treats seem to be everywhere, and avoiding them takes significant planning and effort!

I have many friends who enjoy baking, either as a tradition during the holiday season or as a hobby throughout the year. Most of these individuals will tell you that they like to give away the treats they make because they don’t want to keep them in the house. This statement leads me to wonder, if bakers themselves don’t want to be tempted by baked goods in their homes, what leads them to think that others will appreciate the temptation if given these items as a gift?

A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the average American adult gains about a pound between mid-November and early January each year. Although a pound might not seem like a big deal, those pounds add up when they’re not burned off in the spring, summer and fall months, which is the case for many Americans. A study published in the same journal concluded that at least half the weight gained during the holiday season remains into the summer months and beyond. With this information in mind, giving baked goods to people who are trying to watch their weight, cut back on sugar consumption, count calories or generally make more healthful food choices is hardly a gift. Presenting well-intentioned people with tempting sweet treats can sabotage even the best of efforts!

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If you like to bake during the holiday season, consider trying an alternative hobby or starting a new tradition that supports health. If you are a regular recipient of holiday baked goods, don’t be afraid to suggest the following ideas to the bakers in your life:

  • Make and exchange ornaments, small gifts or hand-written cards in place of cookies and candies
  • Create fruit santas (such as those pictured above) or other holiday fruit treats instead of baked goods
  • Give fruit baskets as gifts in place of cookie trays, cakes and pies
  • Play board or card games with children when you would typically spend time baking together
  • Take a family trip to a park, museum, theater production or holiday lights display
  • In the workplace, suggest a “no dumping” policy to discourage coworkers from bringing cakes, cookies or other desserts from home. Bring healthy snacks and pack healthy lunches throughout the holiday season so you’ll be less tempted to fill up on sweet treats that you do encounter.
  • Write thank you letters to firemen, policemen and members of the armed forces to express your gratitude for their service instead of donating baked goods.

What will you do this year to make your holiday season healthier? Share a comment with your plans!

 

Author: Jenny Lobb, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewer: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

 

Sources:

Chieh, Helander & Wansink (2016). Weight Gain over the Holidays in Three Countries. New England Journal of Medicine; 375:1200-1202. Available at http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc1602012.

Yanovski et al. (2000). A Prospective Study of Holiday Weight Gain. New England Journal of Medicine; 342: 861-867. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4336296/.

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Whether you are in the checkout line at the local supermarket, discount store or local library or listening to the radio or TV, you have seen or heard the “claims” . . .  “look slimmer without dieting”, “stay-slim secrets”, “drop 10 lbs. or more”, “boost energy”, “look and feel younger”, “10-minute tummy tighteners” and “new rules of healthy eating”.  The list goes on and on.

The annual revenue of the U.S. weight-loss industry, including diet books, diet drugs and weight-loss surgeries is a conservative $20 billion according to an ABC News 20/20 report from May 2012.  The report continues citing 108 million individuals in the United States are dieting annually.

Unfortunately, there are no “quick fixes” to weight loss.  It requires lifestyle changes.  Ohio State University Extension wants to help you make those necessary lifestyle changes for improved health and well-being.

Live Healthy, Live Well is a free six-week online email challenge designed to help participants improve their health.

Each week participants will receive two e-communications containing research-based nutrition, health and fitness tips.  Additional a food and activity log will be available for download to help participants track their progress.  A pre-and post-assessment online survey will be used to collect comments to improve future challenges and track participant progress.  All participant information will be kept confidential.

Interested in participating in this online challenge?  Send an e-mail to Cindy Shuster at shuster.24@osu.edu with Live Healthy, Live Well in the subject line and subscribe in the body of the email no later than Friday, April 4th.  You will be enrolled and begin receiving e-communications starting April 8th.   The Challenge runs from April 8 to May 20, 2013. Additional information is available on the Ohio State University Extension, Perry County website at http://perry.osu.edu.

Written by:  Cynthia R. Shuster, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Perry County, Buckeye Hills EERA

Reviewed by:  Liz Smith, M.S., RDN., L.D. NE Regional Program Specialist, SNAP-ED, OSU Extension

Reviewed by:  Jeannie Allen, Ohio State University Extension Office Assistant, Perry County, Buckeye Hills EERA

Reviewed by:  Jennifer Lindimore, Ohio State University Extension Office Associate, Morgan County, Buckeye Hills EERA

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