Obesity Epidemic

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Remember the New York teenagers, Ashley Pelman and Jazlyn Bradley, who sued McDonald's for making them obese? One of the plaintiffs included a 15-year-old Bronx boy who says he's been eating McDonald's food since the age of six. Gregory Rhymes--at 5 feet, 6 inches tall--says he now weighs 400 pounds and has been diagnosed with diabetes. Newsday reported that the children's parents say they never saw posters in McDonald's restaurants that explain the nutritional content of the food.

William Sears, the author of several books on children and nutrition, commented on this story saying, "The bottom line for the food industry is money. What motivates the food industry and health-minded mothers is worlds apart."

I say, What's wrong with this picture? What's wrong is the value of self-determinism that was obviously ignored or disagreed with by these teenagers' parents. Victimism may be the core issue surrounding obesity outside of a glandular birth defect. Wouldn't the American Founding Fathers be cringing in embarrassment to find citizens so radically oriented away from the principles of free choice and democratic self-restraint? Of course, children follow the examples of their parents, and eating habits along with moral values begin in the home.

That being said, once a heart-and-soul decision has been made to reverse obesity (now defined as overweight by 30 percent of the ideal body weight), as free-choosing citizens here is a list of proven protocols to help start out on that road to recovery and wellness.

Behaviors

Currently Dr. Phil seems to be the champion of the weight-control movement, and his approach is behavioral. One main point that hit home to me was that of support of the household. If those you are living with have a refrigerator full of sweet, high-calorie snack foods, and are indulging in them constantly, it makes the job of sticking to a regimen that much more difficult. On one show, Dr. Phil went so far as to say we should cut-off any relationships in our lives that oppose our weight loss intention. Ultimately, this would mean the entire family would have to be involved in your weight loss program, and respect it because it is your heart's desire.

Exercise

Taking in fewer calories than you burn is the cornerstone of any weight loss strategy. On the average, for every 3,500 calories that we eat over what we need to maintain our weight (regardless of how many days it takes us to do it), we gain a pound. So if your maintenance level is 2,400 calories daily, and you are consuming 2,650 calories daily, you can expect to gain about a half pound or so per week (250 calories/day x 7 days/week divided by 3,500 calories/pound = 0.50 pounds/week). It also works in reverse; for every 3,500 calories under our maintenance requirement that we don't eat, we loose a pound.

Of course, the idea is to figure out ways to increase caloric output and decrease caloric input. So a combination of more than normal exercise coupled with below-maintenance calorie intake insures weight loss. Since the goal is to maximize calorie use (while decreasing calorie intake), what is the most efficient exercise?

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Experts agree that although aerobic exercise is good for you, it is not the most efficient calorie-burning activity. Muscles burn the most calories of any body system. Therefore, working as many muscles as possible during a workout is the most efficient way to more rapid weight loss. Weight training, martial arts, or yoga are the obvious choices here. But whatever the choice is, it has to be enjoyable and has to produce results, making it much easier to remain on the program.

Nutritional Support

The following are the latest products designed to help the body use calories (increase metabolism), and to use stored fat (use these as search terms in Google to find sources).

Herbal Accelerator and LypoZyme: These enzyme/herbal formulas target the body's fat utilization strategies. The enzyme lipase is what the body uses to digest fat in the liver, and is the main ingredient in these formulas.

Carnitine: It is the "forklift" that carries fat to the mitochondria in cells to be burned. It is an energy facilitating ingredient. In a recent study, Carnitine caused an 11-fold increase in weight loss over a 12-week period. Carnitine also raises HDL (good cholesterol) and lowers triglycerides (precursors to artery blockages)

CLA (conjugated linoleic acid): Helps block fat cells from filling up, and increases muscle metabolism creating leaner muscles.

Chitosans: Produced from the shells of crustaceans, Chitosan has the particular quality of absorbing fat molecules and binding them. Because Chitosan itself is not digestible, its load of absorbed fat is then carried out from the body through the bowels. Usually is recommended before any fatty meal.

Grapefruit: Actively inhibits enzymes in the intestinal tract responsible for converting carbohydrates to fat. It is an excellent source of Vitamin C, potassium and folic acid as well.

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Boyd Martin is a writer for the Vibrant Living Newsletter.

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